Posts Tagged With: teachers

VISIT TO A VILLAGE PRIMARY SCHOOL.

When we arrived at the school, the children were sitting on the rooftop doing morning meditation. Ahmmm, with palms up, thumb and forefinger clasped, eyes closed. After which they gave a pledge to the flag and sang a song.

This little boy and girl did a song with gestures, then repeated it in English. The school is supported by the parent company of OAT, Grand Circle. Part of our travel money, funds projects in the countries in which we travel.

There was a question and answer session.

Carol used her puppet to talk to the kids. A big hit. As they transferred from the roof to classrooms, the little ones would say good-bye to the puppet as though it was real. The older kids know but are just as delighted.

The classrooms are small and crowded with two or three kids to a desk.

The shy one.

Kathy charmed them and let them see their pictures in her phone.

We don’t know what this gesture means, but kids everywhere in India use it. And they constantly move. If we aim a camera at our kids, they know to stop moving and even pose.

They are proud of their work and love school. The parents are poor here, but they must pay a little. The parents understand education can be a way out of poverty for them.

Of course, Theo was a hit with the kids. They’d keep asking him to come to their room, over and over. He found out that some boys were older than he is.

They challenged him to juggle a bottle, and of course, he could.

Behind Theo you see kids on the floor with no desks. Just a rug on the cement floor.

 

The kids carry a backpack with personal belongings but nowhere to store them. These girls are sisters.

Their play area is pitifully small. About a 24 ‘ x 24’ foot slab in front of the school stairs. And, as you leave the school, this is what you see. A slum.

This man is a heavy supporter of the school. He works there and lives in this poor village. He owns land.  Ranvir chose vegetables from government food bags. (He paid) Ranvir is taking us to visit this man’s home and family and get a cooking lesson. Since I had mentioned I’d like to ride one of the little motors we see all over India,  Ranvir asked if I could ride back to the house with him. I hopped on, we took off. The rest of the group walked.

When we arrived, she didn’t look too pleased for him to show up with me. I saw what turned out to be a daughter-in-law nursing a baby. A teen age boy standing on a stone inside the house in his underwear, then putting on his outer clothes. I didn’t want to offend by taking pictures so I asked for water to wash the veggies. The husband set me up with buckets on a beautiful slab of marble outside. He brought pans to rinse and a pan for the leaves and discarded pea pods. And a pan for the cut vegetables. Our cooking lesson tomorrow, maybe. Tomorrow is the St. Patricks Day Parade in Murphys.

 

 

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MANZANITA ARTS EMPORIUM

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Step into my parlor said the spider to the fly…I can’t help it. It’s what happens to me when I get my art fix.  I want to be part poet and part artist wannabe, all mixed up.  No flies here. Inside Manzanita Arts Emporium the bold work of Cate Culver greets you. Deep glorious colors. A small entrance draws you in to her powerful work.

DSC07691 (Copy)Then the next long room; great wall space filled to capacity. Here I view wood cuts done by John Trinkle.

DSC07707 (Copy)He made this table that retains the shape of the tree trunk, polished to enhance the natural grain.  Don’t miss the bottom shelf. Gorgeous.

DSC07694 (Copy)I mentioned bold. This gallery is like something you’d see in San Francisco. Some hotelier will find Gary Rose’s pieces perfect for a lobby. This installation takes up about 10 feet in length.

DSC07693 (Copy)Gary does smaller pieces suitable for the average home, too.  Again, the word powerful comes to mind.

DSC07699 (Copy)In the next room is Monika Rose, busily editing a 500 page book…

DSC07700 (Copy)…with her partner Joy Roberts. They are working on different chapters.

DSC07701 (Copy)The Arts Emporium is a co-op owned gallery and office. Another partner, Connie Strawbridge is researching something on the computer. This is Calaveras County? Local talent? I’m impressed. I kept moving from room to room.

IMG_2801 (Copy)Giles Parrish does abstracts of women. Again, they are bold, engaging paintings.

DSC07698 (Copy)I have to admit a bias for his work since I own a couple of his pieces.

DSC07702 (Copy)Dimensional metal sculptures, catch the eye. Sizable pieces as well are from Wanda Macioszek and her husband Robert Santiford.

DSC07703 (Copy)I detect the difference in style, but who does pine cones and who does quail, I do not know. They are all good.

IMG_2805 (Copy)Patty Payne horses are unique.

DSC07713 (Copy)If you love a paint pony, this rendition is quite literal.

IMG_2804 (Copy)Another Cate Culver painting, but look at the copy cat quilt made by Linda Bass. A different kind of partnership, in art.

DSC07689 (Copy)Kevin Brady is also a well-known area artist. This small rendition is the Frogs Last Supper.

DSC07688 (Copy)You will find beautiful art cards. Also local writer’s books for sale.

IMG_2806 (Copy)Ceramics by James Aaron and others.

DSC07718 (Copy)Another room in the building, is owned by another person I did not meet. There I spotted a Judy Caine Papais painting, an old friend whose work I know and admire. She has a rammed earth studio in the high country. Her work is well-known in the area, as is Monika Rose for her teaching writing, and publishing the work of local writers in prose, memoirs, and poetry. It has been her passion for, I’m guessing, 30 years. She is an amazing force for literary talent in this county. Connie Strawbridge came out of the Calaveras Arts Council Gallery and is now flying with a place on the street in Angels Camp,  Manzanita Arts Emporium.  She sells Giles Parrish’s work.

DSC07695 (Copy)I like that there is much to choose from.

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DSC07716 (Copy)Under this display is an antique table for sale. We know that art and antiques are a splendid mix.

DSC07704 (Copy)I’m blown away by what this small group is offering and by the quality of local talent. Manzanita Emporium offers a series of lectures and speakers, one coming about Navy aircraft carriers with Bob Rogers and Judy Laws. Another on social media by Brett Bunge. And in honor of Valentines Day, Romantic Poetry by Suzanne Murphy.

Check out their website at: http://manzapress.com/

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ARE YOU SICK OF HIGHLY PAID TEACHERS?

I blatantly copied this from an email sent to me by my friend, Dominic Torchia who lives in Tuolumne County.  He got it from a friend that shared it with him on Facebook.

And, my youngest daughter teaches at a Jesuit College, Santa Clara University.

ARE YOU SICK OF HIGHLY PAID TEACHERS.

Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or ten months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do — babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning — that equals 6-1/2 hours).

So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET’S SEE….

That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nationwide) is $50,000.

$50,000/180 days = $277.77 per day / 30 students = $9.25 / 6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student — a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)

WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

* And next time you are out there gathering signatures for unification of Tuolumne County Schools, and someone bitches about the teachers making too much money – show them this number – then show  Tuolumne C’ounty’s top two superintendent’s what we pay per student.  Also, you might remind them that at Sonora High and elsewhere, some classes have 41 students in them – and those are not Phys Ed classes.

It is kind of interesting when you compare teachers wages to babysitters wages. Day care centers make much bigger bucks than teachers per hour. When my own kids paid day care for their kids, it was their second highest payment next to their house payment.

Now, quitcherbitchin and have a heart for the people who choose to make a difference in your kids lives.

(Tax ball parks as a business and send the money to the schools.)

 

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CHRISTMAS CAROLING LOST

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The Sonora Elks Lodge I’ve joined has an organ/piano player, Lenny. At our meeting last night he played Christmas Carols while the rest of us sat around and chatted and sipped pre-dinner cocktails.

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A few people gathered to sing along, myself, included.DSC04237 (Copy)

I enjoyed the sing-along, something I hadn’t had an opportunity to do in years. In high school I relished high school choir, the recitals, the camaraderie, the whole process was so enjoyable that when it came to church choir, I would attend two masses each Sunday so I could sing twice. Fellow Elk member, Judy Roberts, (in pink) told me that she recently attended a community Christmas Party where many young people attended. At a community sing, they were lost. It is something they’ve missed along the way and they didn’t know the words or tunes to the most common of Christmas Carols. She sighed, feeling sorry for them. I hadn’t realized that our Christmas Culture is generational. As children, we caroled on the street from house to house with our school teacher leading the way. At our last stop, (my house one year) my mother had hot chocolate ready for our weary voices and a fire to warm cold hands and feet. I  guess we are turning into old fogies and caroling isn’t hep anymore. Their loss is our loss too.

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FROM INDONESIA AND BEYOND

I had an opportunity to meet Mike and Irene Boylson-Perbal from Mokelumne Hill. Irene offered a gourmet Indonesian dinner,  and since I have a connection to Indonesia, I was delighted to have such an opportunity. I’ll explain our connection, briefly. My student, Linda Djamaludin stayed with our family for a year in 1986. She is Muslim. Anytime you connect with another culture, you learn something; it changes your perspective and changes you.

My friend, Carol Gordon accompanied me and I must apologize for my out of focus pictures. My little “purse” camera does not do well without a flash-my error to have turned it off. Anyway, Carol hosted a student from South Africa the same year Linda lived with my family.

Meeting Mike and Irene for the first time, and getting to know each other, over the course of the evening, made me realize, we evolve. I’m not the same person I was in 1986. We live several lifetimes, we go out into the world, and change. We change each other and hopefully change our world to be a little better than what we found. I found that true of Mike and Irene and Carol, too. Kind of a Buddhism concept, before the afterlife.

We covered so many subjects, travel, books, politics, cultures, military, solar cooking, poverty in America and developing countries, it was an invigorating evening.  Mike is a serious and avid reader of politics and history, and philosophy.  He is retired military with a varied and applied life through two wars, WWII and Korea. He spent gobs of time in France and speaks some French and enjoyed a stellar career.

Irene is Dutch, and most of her family is from Indonesia and Belgium. As a child, her family secretly protected Jews and her father was hauled off to a Nazi prison camp and never seen again. A world traveler, she speaks many languages and her major project is spreading the word about solar cooking. She is active with Jackson Rotary and won for them the prize awarded by Rotary International for the best International Project with her solar cooking demonstrations and teachings.

While our wonderful Indonesian dinner of Nasi Goreng, Ajam Ketjap, Sajoer Lodeh and Boeboer Mango, (colored rice, Chicken in soy, beans in coconut milk, mango custard) and plain old American wine was the focus of the evening, we were all over the world instead.

Mike and Irene have hammocks from countries that grow colored cotton.  This orangey-pink hammock is not dyed.

Jewelry made from all natural products, including the tagua nut which is hard and beautiful and carveable. It is called vegetable ivory. I had never heard of it  before.

But I was most fascinated with Irene’s work with solar. She has traveled to other countries and demonstrated solar cookers. I love my solar oven and little hot-pot. I’ve gotten others to use solar ovens locally. But Irene does this in a big way.

The question she is asked most often, is:  What do you do when the sun doesn’t shine?” She introduces them to the hay basket and the rocket stove.  I knew that countries like India, African countries, Guatemala, South American countries that have pockets of deep poverty, where propane is expensive and wood becoming scarce and water in need of pasteurization can be solved with the sun. The rocket stove, an insulated pipe will cook food with very little scrap fuel. And another alternative: if you heat your food boiling hot and then cover the pan and sink it into a basket of hay and cover it over, it will continue to cook and be ready to eat when you return from work, thus using minimal fuel. Wonderful survival techniques. But even more impressive, Irene presented to her Rotary group poverty in America. At first they didn’t want to believe it. But, what does someone do who is living on the streets or in a vacant lot or in their car?  How can they cook food? Using solar. She reaches out in her own community and changes it for the better. And, there is that type of poverty in our own counties, we just don’t see it.   Mike and Irene are two fascinating people and I am thrilled to have met them, learned new things and enjoyed a wonderful evening.

We stood for a few fleeting minutes and enjoyed a lovely sunset. Carol and I hated to leave for home.

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