I seem to have fallen out of the routine of updating this blog lately and I'm determined to make my New Year's resolution include blogging more regularly! It has been a busy few weeks and perhaps that is the reason for my lack of posting, but I suspect that more to blame is the six season box set of NCIS that the Upper School principal has loaned me. I watch it all the time! Speaking of which...if you have seasons of TV shows that you'd be willing to loan me for a few months, let me know. I can get them while in the states and return them on my next trip home, or whatever. I'm especially looking for The Sopranos or Desperate Housewives...
Anyways, moving on...Work is rolling along. As of now, we have six more work days before I can head back to the States for the holidays. I am so looking forward to setting foot on soil where I know the cultural expectations and can ask questions when I have them. I have a new found appreciation for those who don't speak the language of the country they live in. It is SO hard. My job at school changed a bit in recent weeks. I was hired as the Technology Integration Specialist and the idea is that over the next three years I work with the teachers to learn how they can integrate technology in their classrooms and help them learn some needed skills. At the beginning of the year, I would take the cart of laptops into the rooms and most of the time the teachers would leave, as this was a planning period for them. After discussing the timeline for this position with the principal, he decided to fast track my thoughts for next year; that the teachers have to stay in the room during technology and be involved in what's happening. Makes sense, right? Well, as many of you read this are teachers, you know the reaction to losing a planning period. So, while not everyone was thrilled about the loss of a planning period, most teachers are interested in learning the how-to's of some things and are eager to get involved. Now that this change has taken place, I think that long term it will make for a much better result for our teachers and students. I hope you'll check out my school website and go to the Showing Off Our Work page underneath Elementary Technology. I'm excited by many of the things we've done and I'd love for you to see it!
This past weekend was a five-day weekend for us due to some Italian holidays on Wednesday and Thursday. Kate, her mom, and I headed to Munich to check out the Christmas markets we'd heard so much about. While the train ride is a bit long, about 7 hours, it took us east to Verona, Italy and then headed north to Innsbruck, Austria. Along the way, I wrote down the stations we passed to map out the route we had taken. Shortly after leaving Verona, I was convinced we had to be in Austria because the architecture of all the houses became stereotypically German. But, alas, I was wrong, and for most of the trip we were in Northern Italy, which has a section that functions relatively like it is Germany, speaking German and not Italian.
This train ride took us through the Italian Alps and with a little help from above, snowed during our time on the train. It made the scenery something spectacular. If you close your eyes and imagine what you'd think the countryside of the Alps should look like in winter, this is exactly what we got. Evergreen trees and mountain tops covered in snow, with more of the white stuff floating through the air. Beautiful. This link is reminds me of what we saw as we traveled towards Innsbruck. I shot this video with my iPod, so the quality is probably terrible, but it'll give you an idea of a little bit of what we saw.
Of course, once we got to Munich the pretty snow ended and we were stuck in the rain. Thankfully, Kate's mom's friend gave us a driving tour of Munich and I was lucky enough to have met Elizabeth in Boston at the job fair, who provided me with a place to stay. Elizabeth and I headed out that night to a German restaurant and I had the special of the evening...sauerbraten with kartoffenodel...or at least I think that is what it was called. But, here's a picture of it nonetheless.
|Otherwise known as roasted pork and potato dumpling...as far as I can tell!|
Well, enough for now. Back to NCIS!
I'll be home late December 22nd. I hope to see as many people as possible while home-- the only rule is NO Italian food!
Lastly, if I'm on your Christmas card list and you're not sure where to mail the card this year you have two options. 1) Send it to me at my parents: 8 Moss Court, Savannah, GA 31410 or
2) Mail it here to Italy:
c/o American School of Milan
Via K. Marx, 14
Noverasco di Opera, 20090
The mail system here is slow, but I would love to get a few pieces of mail every so often! So mail me something, even if it's not a Christmas card. If you send it now, I'll get it by Valentine's! Just kidding...or not.
Wishing each and everyone of my faithful readers "Buon Natale!"
NCIS image: http://www.deadline.com/tag/cbs-ncis/
Christmas graphic: http://www.wishmerrychristmas.com/graphics/christmas_graphics_06.shtml
Wills & Kate image: http://www.people.com/people/package/0,,20395222,00.html