Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Far East Tour- Home of the Dragon (Part 1)

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.” -Alain de Botton

An incredible short clip from Shots of Awe: 
Why We Travelhttps://youtu.be/6_SRZiU9EuI

For the past several months, I have been waiting for this day. The day, that I kiss my amazing wife, Abigail, and incredible son Henry goodbye as I take a journey to improve my own educational growth and hopes to establish networks and an additional foreign language curriculum. The day, where I'm to embark on a 14 hour plane ride to the Far East, China. 

I have been fortunate in my life to have traveled to many countries before such as: Italy, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, France, and Egypt. Yet this will be the first trip without Abigail, who has always been my travel companion. This will also be the first time that I am visiting school and university settings to study, and better understand their educational system. 

Thanks to the gracious support of my interim superintendent, board of education, staff, students, and my school community, I am beyond thankful!

With a team of ten administrators from New Jersey, thanks in part to Rutgers University and the Confucius Institute, we are heading on a study tour of five middle/high schools and two prestigious universities. Yet, before we arrive to Beijing and Changchun, we need to fly over the NORTH POLE! That in itself is simply mind boggling. 

I'm honored to have been invited on this trip and that I was given the opportunity to help select others to join. Jay Eitner, helped Dr. Dietrich Tschanz to come in contact with me and I'm blessed to have an unselfish friend like Jay, who like many in my PLN, is about helping others grow for the betterment of themselves, their students, their staff, and their schools. In playing it forward, I was able to have Spike Cook, Pam Moore, and Steve Santilli added to the team of ten. 

What's ahead?

-14 hours on a flight to Beijing, then a three hour layover before taking an 1hour and 50 minute flight to Changchun. 
-Visiting multiple middle/high schools.
-Visiting two prestigious universities.
-Site seeing so many historical areas and tourism sites.  
-Internet access- What will the Great Firewall of China block?
-Living 13 hours into the future. Yes, 13 hours ahead of home time. 
-FaceTime with my family, staff, and students?
-New networks/relationships between their schools and mine?
-What innovative ideas will I bring back to share with my school?
-Will we be able to start a Chinese Language program at my school in the near future?
-What memories will be created during this adventure?
-Will I be able to blog and post photos of each day?
-So much curiosity and wonder lies ahead!

Stay tuned, as the adventure of a life time is just beginning! 

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