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Published: August 5th 2013
At the end of the day, the only thought I had was: "Holy Cow, I've only been here 1 day." There are so many things that happened today, that I have no idea where to start. So how about I start at the beginning of the day eh?
I am always the first to get picked up by the bus, and always the last to be dropped off due to my location being the farthest away from school. As I got picked up, sitting on the bus all by myself, I carry on a very brief conversation with the bus driver before I realize my Spanish needs improvement and I just stare out the window. Excitement builds as we approach the first apartment complex and two new faces come and join the party (Annie and Holly), and the next as Carly and Shannon join. My immediate thought is, "oh no, I'm in trouble. Too many attractive and fun personality people." (As I look back on the the days I have been here, that thought remains true and worse as I meet more and more people.) Luckily though, the last pick up is Daniel. Good another guy.
We finally arrive at school and our jaws drop with how impressed we are with the school. The school is divided in two parts. On the east side of the road is the lower and high school, the west side consists of the middle school and athletic fields. The hallways are all covered outdoors, with fresh winds blowing through the campus. I love that I will be outside as I transition between bells. It is really quiet impressive with its layout and views. Already a very positive atmosphere to be teaching in.
We start the day with a meeting for the new teachers that includes the entire admin team, and new teachers. We play a silly name game that works well, especially with the willingness of the administration who lead by example. The game is followed by a brief meeting to discuss the profile of a graduate and the mission of the school. The mission is very simple and is three pronged: 1. Students will learn the skills 2. Character Development and 3. Courage. As the head of the school said "There are many people that have the skills, but don't have the character. You can just look at the news for evidence. And there are many people who have the skills and character, but not the courage to step up." I think it is important to have these core values, just like at CHC (integrity, scholarship, opportunity, and community). It gives direction for teachers, students, and the whole community.
I learned that my schedule is going to be very interesting being mixed between the high school and middle school. No one quite knows what to do with me considering they have never had a cross over teacher before. That could be very good, or that could be bad if I don't ask what is going on. I enjoyed meeting with Marie Sutton, who is the head of the upper school. I think she is going to give me a lot of freedom to shape advisory, and make the most out of it! Because that is one of my missions while at CDS! I can't wait to take what I have learned, observed, and participated in while at CHC.
That afternoon, we went shopping for essentials at Wal-mart. I would rather skip that whole experience, because I felt like a rat in a cage. I hate Wal-Mart, Target, etc in the States as my blood pressure rises as I get closer to the door. Now do that abroad, and it only gets worse. I HATE CHAINS! Everyone keeps on talking about Subway, McDonalds, TGIF, and other chain restaurants... I don't understand why. Eat local. Buy local.
Finally for dinner, we went to a restaurant that was 1,000ft or so above Escazu that overlooked the entire San Jose valley, including Escazu. It was a fantastic view. There are a lot of people in the valley, approaching 2 million. It was nice to drink some beers and talk with all of the new teachers and admin. The admin had no problem buying rounds, which I have come to learn is a big part of the culture. After dinner, a group of teachers went out to the bar to start building our CDS teacher community.
What exciting times that are happening in Escazu!
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