Apr 292012
 
Edcamp: Is an UnConference the Best Way to Learn?

Everything I know about learning has shifted.

Today I attended my first UnConference: EdCamp Boston 2012, and it was a day-long revelation. To explain what happened today, let me awkwardly interview myself.

Q: What the heck is an UnConference?

A: In an UnConference, a bunch of like-minded people get together at an appointed venue and time. In the case of EdCamp Boston, 400 folks interested in Education converged on a gloriously sunny day at the [...Read More!]

Apr 212012
 
Eating the Best Foods of Greece Like Zeus Ate Athena

The ancient Greek gods did a lot of eating of their children.

Zeus ate Athena’s pregnant mother, only to have his daughter spring out of his head once Hephaestus split it open with an axe.

Cronus ate his first five children until his wife tricked him by switching a tasty rock for baby Zeus.

Inspired by the ravenous appetites of the Greek gods, on this teacher tour of Greece, we have been eating like monsters.

Only, instead [...Read More!]

Apr 192012
 
Nudity and Peace at the Original Olympic Site in Greece

I never realized the sheer amount of nudity in the ancient Olympic Games until our teacher tour of Olympia, Greece this week.

“The ancient Greek Olympic Games took place from 776 B.C.E. to 394 C.E.,” our guide, Mara, explained. “The athletes were all men, and they were all… NAKED. They were also covered in oil.”

“Whoa!” gasped one teacher traveler, aghast. “Were the spectators nude, too?”

“Well,” Mara laughed, “Funny story. The only people [...Read More!]

Apr 182012
 
Scandalous Facts Behind the Oracle of Delphi in Greece

What actually happened during the hundreds of years between 720 B.C.E. and 395 A.D. when ancient Greeks consulted the Oracle of Delphi? Who was this magical woman named Pythia whose advice changed history?

In our teacher group walking tour of Delphi, we learned shocking facts to explain the history of the Oracle.

1. Ethylene gas in the nose. The Oracle of Delphi was actually several different women from the village below. They were [...Read More!]

Apr 172012
 
In Greece, Can I Buy Man-Cave Decor for a Vegetarian?

If you’re totally baffled by the title of this article, just read on.

Research suggests that in marriage, men need a room of their own to do Man Things. This sanctuary is often referred to by the term: “Man-Cave.” A Man-Cave is the sanctuary in a shared home in which a man can be a MAN, and the lady of the house stays out.

In our house, my fiancé has a Man-Cave, and [...Read More!]

Apr 162012
 
Touring the Sites of Greek Myth and Legend in Person

“If you look to the valley below us,” our guide, Mara, instructed our busload of teachers touring Greece, “you will see the crossroads where Oedipus killed his father.”

“WHAT?!” I gasped, nearly inhaling the sesame-seed-encrusted almond in my mouth.

For three different years of my eight-year teaching career, I’ve taught kids the scandalous play, Oedipus Rex… and now we were driving by the actual scene of the crime?!

If you’re not familiar with the infamous legend [...Read More!]

Apr 162012
 
Our Teacher Curriculum Tour is Loving Athens, Greece!

Months ago, my beloved co-worker, Cathy, said, “Hey, you wanna go to Greece with me on a great teacher curriculum tour?

I’ve been on a “Living Life Full-Out” kick, and so, given that I’d toured Spain in December and China in February, of course, I said, “Sign me up!” The decision to come was made even easier when I won a great grant for being a “Literacy Champion,” which is helping pay [...Read More!]

Apr 122012
 
Xiu Na: Surprises at the Beijing Zoo and Summer Palace

Article #12 in the Student Travel Stories Series from our tour of Beijing, China. By Xiu Na, Age 15, 9th Grade in Boston. Born in Southern China, came to the U.S. at age 3.

Q: What were your favorite parts of our China trip, and why?

A: My favorite parts were the Beijing Zoo, the Great Wall of China, and the Hutong neighborhood.

I liked the zoo because I love animals in general, and the panda [...Read More!]

Apr 062012
 
Daniel: Travel Shows There is No Need to Fear China

Article #11 in the Student Travel Stories Series from our tour of Beijing, China. By Daniel, Age 17, 11th Grade in Boston. Born in the U.S. to parents from El Salvador.

Q: What message about China are you bringing home to America now that you’ve traveled to Beijing?

A: I will try to convince people we shouldn’t be afraid of China.

Sure it’s a country that is progressing fast, but we can look at our own country, [...Read More!]