From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Friday, April 17, 2009

End of Book Week

This past week was Book Week at school. You may be asking yourself a couple of questions at this point. What is book week? and Do you have a week for everything at QSI? The answer to the second question is YES. We have weeks for everything under the sun, including a Sun Week, Moon Week, Stars Week, and Milky Way Week. Pluto Week was dropped a couple of years ago because it was demoted as a planet. That was a bad day for those Pluto fans out there. I digress a little bit, but we do have several themed weeks toward the end of the year. Earth Week is next week, but it is so for many of you out there. More on that later...

Book Week was successful. We had our pictures taken with our favorite book. I really didn't have my favorite book with me, so I just posed with my Kindle along with the book cover of a book I was reading on the Kindle. We placed these pictures on our door along with a statement about our favorite books and where we buy English books in China. Just about every teacher did this. Jamie never got around too it because she was out of town and didn't prepare for it.

I took my kids along with some other students to the elementary school on Monday to read poems to some of the younger students over there. It was good and our kids got community service hours for it. At QSI, each student must do so much community service each year. No one really knows what happens to the student if they do not do this, and I'm not sure if it goes on their record or not. It is a good way to get kids involved in the community or school functions. I think my 12 year olds have to do 25 hours. Since they are 12 and half brain dead, most do not have more than 3 hours at this point. They'll be picking up trash in Shekou at the end of the year I guess if they don't get it finished.

All week for 30 minutes of one period of the day was D.E.A.R or Drop Everything And Read. I enjoyed this because I didn't have to plan for that time and was able to read. The had taken all of these pictures of teachers with books and posted them in the media center computers as screen savers for Book Week as well as made all sorts of banners, posters, and displays on each floor representing all sorts of various books.

The highlight of the week was a children's author David Greenberg's guest appearance and presentation. I had never heard of him, but he has written books entitled Slugs, Bugs, Snakes, Crocs, and other animal related books and poems. His most recent novel, however, called The Tugging Strings, concerns growing up in the Civil Rights Movement. Interestingly, his dad is Jack Greenberg who was one of the only white attorneys who worked for the NAACP and actually worked on the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954. He later went on to be an attorney for Martin Luther King, Jr. Pretty amazing actually. His presentation was amazing and he is very talented with children and his writing. The kids loved it.

So that was Book Week or all that I can remember right now. Next week is Earth Week and there is 3 times as much going on. We do actually teach somewhere in the midst of all of this, I promise.

Griffey had his 2nd guest barking appearance today with a 10 year old class. They were watching the movie Shiloh and begged their teacher to let him come and watch it with them. He had a blast and they did too. He's the best dog in the world!

All for now. Jamie and I are going to Hong Kong tomorrow since it will be our last time for the year. We have to turn in our passports to renew our visas for the year when we return from Bali. Supposed to take a month to do this, so when we get them back, we'll just about be headed home.

I am hoping to finish Chapter 2 of my dissertation by Sunday with the exception of some additional Chinese research. I am excited about this and it is amazing what I have accomplished. I'm proud and can only hope that it is any good. We'll see soon enough. Have a great weekend everyone!


Laurel Kornfeld said...

Please reinstate Pluto Week in your school. The controversial demotion of Pluto was done by only four percent of the IAU, most of whom are not planetary scientists, and was opposed by hundreds of other professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. Stern and like-minded scientists reject the demotion and still consider Pluto a planet. This is very much an ongoing debate, so I urge you to present both sides rather than just one interpretation as fact.

You can find Stern's petition here:

You can find transcripts of the Great Planet Debate, held in response to the IAU demotion, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD, in August 2008 here:

And you can find much more on why Pluto is a planet and worldwide efforts to reinstate it here on my Pluto blog here:

Please do not deny these children the chance to learn about the wonderful planet Pluto!

Eric Brown said...


Thanks for posting the biased information, but what is done is done. We all have to let go sometimes. I know it is difficult, but you will get through this. There are 8 other planets that need your attention. Uranus particularly has been down for the last 10 years since he found out his name actually sounds like... well you know. He has been the butt of so many jokes!!! OMG! That was hilarious! I crack myself up!

Nonetheless, I will continue to brainwash the international children of tomorrow with naming only 8 planets and using the mnemonic device of MVEMJSUN (My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nicely) or something similar.

Laurel Kornfeld said...

A mistake that is done can be undone. The 2006 IAU decision is not final. I'm not "letting go" of anything or "getting through" anything other than working to overturn the wrongful demotion. There are more than eight planets in our solar system. Maybe it will take the up close pictures by New Horizons in 2015 to convince you and others that Pluto is one of those planets.

Thanks to the Internet, I and countless others will counter your presentation to international children of only one side of an ongoing debate as fact rather than the interpretation it is. I have faith in the ability of the world's young people to tell the difference between real information and propaganda masquerading as such. Hopefully, the book I write about Pluto will assist them in this effort.

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