Monday, February 13, 2012

Turning 25!

I never really thought about it until I actually had to tell someone I was 25, but it sounds so much older than 24.  I am now closer to 30 than I am to 20.  A tough realization to come to.

However, I could not have asked for a better Birthday.  Before I tell the story, I just want to point out that I have always been one that does not like for a whole lot of attention on my Birthday. Yes, I like for people to know and maybe say something, but that is about the extent of it.  My family can tell you stories about begging them NOT to tell our waiter that is my Birthday when we used to go out for dinner when I was a kid. I didn't like the attention.  Well my Birthday started with a small little party with my homeroom, where they sang to me and we ate some pastries.  Not too bad.  After that I had my students wishing me "Happy Birthday" all day long, writing on my board, and some even giving me gifts.  Again, very sweet and really special.  THEN, after school we had a school wide pep-rally for all the basketball teams that were playing in the finals or 3rd-4th match that night.  The entire gym, packed with every student from pre-K to seniors in high school, and the entire faculty.  You can probably tell where this is going, if not I'll tell you.  During the pep-rally they decided to bring me to the front of the gym and have the whole school (around 500 people) sing happy birthday to me.  It was really embarrassing, but it was also really special and just made me feel so loved by the entire school community.  I am truly blessed to be where I am.

Well after the pep-rally we all took buses to the games.  It took the entire night, but it was a lot of fun to watch as all four of our basketball teams placed in the top 4!  We also easily had 5x as many fans as any other school there, so much so that the announcer at the medal ceremony was joking about how we should bring more fans next time.

My Birthday celebration continued onto Saturday night where me and a group of my teacher friends all met for a Mexican dinner.  It was a beautiful breezy night down by the river, and just a wonderful time with wonderful friends.  I truly am blessed to be where I am.

 Homeroom celebrating my Birthday

My Whiteboard 

Cheering for a victory

Night out with friends

Friday, February 3, 2012

International Night

Tonight was our "international night" were we celebrate the cultural diversity of our school.  It was an all day event as we allowed students and faculty to have a free dress day and encouraged people to represent their country of origin.  It was a really neat sight seeing students in such different and diverse cultural garb (even had one student rep a Cam Newton jersey, War Eagle!).  The school then capped off the night with a set of performances by different student groups representing countries from all over the globe.  We had dances from Indonesia, Philippines, India, Korea, a tae kwon do performance, and some American songs.  A group of us teachers then decided to surprise everybody with a secret performance at the end of the show, in which we wanted to represent America.  We figured that when people think of America they usually think of apple pie, baseball, and...Michael Jackson.  So, in a matter of less than a week a group of about 10 teachers, myself included, learned the "Thriller" dance. ENJOY!

 Andrew representing Mexico

Ben representing India

 Frankie in his Boy Scouts of America uniform

 Nagisa in her kimono from Japan, and Michelle and Harin in their Hanbok from Korea.  You can pick out the Koreans by the peace signs

 Mark representing Cam. War Eagle!

 Indonesian dance.  This had lots of hand movements.  It was amazing how in sync the all were.

 Indonesian fashion show with clothes from many different islands of in Indonesia.

 K-pop dance.  Think Backstreet Boys or Spice Girls Asian style.

Korean Tae Kwon Do performance.  Note to self: don't pick on these kids.
Ballywood dance.  Very neat!

Indian dance group.  They got the whole crowd participating with them.

 Filipino choir.  Sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "This is the Day" in Tagalog.

Filipino dance.  This is one of those things that is super neat to see, yet impossible to explain.  The poles made a rhythm by beating them against the ground twice and then they clapped them together.  Meanwhile these little kids danced between the poles and would quickly exit when they clapped together, keeping rhythm the whole time.  Basically a more extreme form of jump rope.

The staff "Thriller" dance.  I am all the way to the left with the afro.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Go Slingers!

Despite being a small island, Singapore does have it's own professional sports team.  The Singapore Slingers represent Singapore in the ABL (Asia Basketball League) and they are currently 4-0.

I got to go to a game with some co-workers and the 2nd in command at the U.S. embassy (not a bad person to know) and it was a BLAST!  Consider me their newest super-fan.  Tickets are cheap and seating is pretty open, so you can get pretty close to the action if you wish.  This will not be my last Slingers game, not in the least.  Go Slingers!

 Close to the Action

 Chris, James, and I

You betcha! Our mascot is a Merlion

Sumo Wrestling

Had a little fun learning about Japanese culture and practicing the art of sumo.