Disclaimer: These are my views and do not reflect the views of the Peace Corps.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Monkeys Stones and Speakers

Hey hey, I'm going to be perfectly honest, I don't really have anything exciting to write about, but my computer is in front of me and I have time... Last week I got to test out my new speaker with the students, and it was a huge success! I think it's the first time music has ever entered the classroom here. Another first was the introduction of skits. It took some prodding to get the ball rolling on this one, but my advanced club eventually figured it out. The students came up in front of the class and enacted several of the situations that we'd listed on the board, some of which turned out to be really funny! I made a day trip into Phnom Penh on Friday, and started a game of settlers of catan, but had to stop early to head off to my meeting with my supervisors, which was the real reason I was there. The meeting went really well, and I got some good ideas about how to be more effective in the future. While I was in the office, I saw a book that made me laugh: "Feelin' Good: the New Mood Therapy" by David Burns (there isn't an apostrophe, as you can see in the picture, but there should be!)

I have no idea about the contents of this book, but the title and author combination was pretty amusing. Besides taking pictures of books, I also picked up a copy of "Stones into Schools" which I spent the better half of yesterday reading, and finished this morning. The fact that it took me two days to read the thing is a testament to its merit. It's a hard book to put down, and a fascinating true story. If you have not read this book or "Three Cups of Tea" please read one of them. They are incredibly uplifting stories with the positive message that peace and stability are rooted in education, particularly women's education. As a teacher, I'll admit that I'm predisposed to want to accept this as true, but even without a stake in education, it's a compelling argument. The story is a testament to the power of tolerance, acceptance, and trust in fostering human connections which help to change the world.

Ending on a completely unrelated note, here's a picture of a monkey carrying a baby monkey across a power line in Phnom Penh:

(The baby monkey is hard to make out but you can see its little tail.)

Have a great weekend everybody!

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