Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Read about what, you ask? Why, sir / ma’am, I just got back from a week-long school trip Sao Paulo. Neat, huh? 🙂
But before I recapitulate, let me start by saying that I am amused by how many people correctly discerned and navigated the scavenger hunt embedded in my “Composing Myself” post. Well, in light of the rate of success, I should probably start by saying something else: apparently my sense of humor is too dry even for scavenger hunters to scavenge. So yeah, no one found the “hidden items.” Should have seen that coming. Isn’t it a rule in English education to always give readers a clear objective? Without telling people what they are looking for, in detail, they will probably not see what they are looking for. Hindsight strikes again!
Dear readers: I am sorry for the lack of detail. You see, the film-based theme of The Sound of Music and the seven different hidden items were references to the seven musical notes. At the end of this post, I have made a key listing the seven different references in their order of appearance. But if you are one who hates to look at the last page of a book (or look at scavenger hunt keys) before doing the hard work, watch this video as a reminder and get back to it. Happy hunting!
So, Sao Paulo.
For those who do not know (yet), Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world. It is also home to noteworthy museums. Our troop made it to the national Portuguese Museum, Soccer Museum, and others. Couldn’t snap any photos inside the Soccer Museum due to house rules, but here’s my ticket:
One cool exhibit at the museum was a collection of short videos showing how select state teams celebrated or cheered in their stadium. I have to say that I was pleased to find that my team, Coritiba, was the most organized and unified. I’m biased, sure. But in any case, Coxa Branca, you make me proud.
Besides museums, we also visited cultural sites. For example, we went to Sala Sao Paulo, a concert hall with some of the most exceptional acoustics in South America. Here’s the view from the rear balcony:
The pizza in Sao Paulo is also exceptional. Considering the number of Italians in Sao Paulo, the pizza is no surprise, just a welcome fact. However, what is a surprise is that I managed to eat 11 pieces in a contest with several of the 9th and 10th graders. Here is my plate before I went on a pizza-demolishing rampage:
But where is the food? Believe me, the resulting food domination was too much to behold, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Suffice it to say that I ate ELEVEN pieces. What?! Yeah, and I still lost the contest. But hey, I made memories… even if I couldn’t put pressure on my abdomen for 12 hours. Then again, reflecting on the bus back to the hotel, maybe it was a good thing I ate so much: obese people are rewarded in Brazil.
Preferential seating? Sweet.
Another memory which I made was watching an evening moonrise on the highway back to Curitiba. It was like watching the lights at a baseball stadium light up the sky behind a mountain, focus into a half-ball, and then inch over the zenith until they decided they weren’t shy. And then I grabbed my guitar from the overhead stowing space and played in the middle of two lanes of bumper to bumper traffic.
Don’t worry, Mom, no one was going anywhere. (Two pick-ups had had a little accident about half a mile ahead of us, people had turned their cars off while they waited, etc.) And the bus driver got a kick out of dancing to the key of E while complete strangers reclined on the concrete medians, nodding to the music. Not a bad ending to a cultural Portuguese As a Second Language trip. I was happy to aid my fellow teachers and act as a chaperon. Bringing my guitar and playing in traffic was just siding on the cake. (Drywallers and painters, you know what I mean.) Yep, thumbs up, on this trip.
My direction for classroom content over the next two weeks will be leading students into persuasive essay writing on LOTF and starting Romeo and Juliet. At this point I will be doing much of the teaching alone. A little scary, but I know that things do not have to be tragic, even if we are studying a tragedy. Of course, maneuvering around MAP testing over the next few weeks may be a little tricky, but I’ve been preparing for this for a long time, and I have lots of support. Not to mention professional advice and prayer.
Readers, you guys are great, and I really appreciate your taking the time to keep up to date with me and my trip. It is already March, and I have learned so much by being here. And I think I will learn a lot more before I am done here.
If you have any ideas of what you would like to see on my blog, whether it’s more photos, special details, or anything else, tell me and I will see what I can do.
TESOL Teacher Kyle
Seven Musical Notes:
“Mi mi mi mi mi!” – Mi
“Doh! Moving on.” – Do
“I know that this is a long, long way to read” – Fa
“Musicians, please see the note that follows:” – La
“*So… the thing is that, if you have a harmonica…” – So (The asterisk was a hint to see the La-So connection)
“…or rather, tea to drink with the jam and bread of thought” – Ti
“Right about now, getting a clear direction for the future would be like a drop of golden sun.” – Re