The one really good thing I can say about the housing is the food was amazing and they had top notch caters and chefs cooking for us! Most of my fellow educators were also SUPER IMPRESSED that they had such a big liquor budget at the receptions that were held for us. I don't drink so I did not get to take advantage of the free-flowing booze but lots of others sure made up for it!! For some people, it was a "party like a rock star" fellowship and lets just say for those who do not know, teachers (including myself) can be totally "Ghetto" when it comes to free ANYTHING!
With that being said, I am super grateful for this experience as well as the others I have been given. This year I not only got to study under two of the most respected professors in the world, Skip Gates and Evelyn Brooks Higgingbotham; I got to work with some of the most talented educators from all over the United States. Its funny, when all of the other teachers shared stories and educational strategies, we all had the same issues to deal with. Whether we worked in urban cities such as Los Angeles or New York or affluent suburban neighborhoods in southern states like Florida or Georgia--most all teachers deal continue to struggle with the fact that most students do not choose to read and are usually at least two years below grade level. This is an issue in education that is becoming a bigger and bigger problem no matter what area of the country a person lives in. Also, teaching is not a job that comes with a ton of respect or compensation; especially when teaching in an urban public school. As an educator, you are rarely treated with respect for what you do and sometimes are treated like you have no brain cells at all in your head. I admit, some teachers are outta their minds and don't belong in a classroom but most really do care and want to change lives. I got into the field because I like to think I am one of the people who wants to change lives and hopefully, will continue to do so.
The dorms look really beautiful from the outside....
The dining hall is where you go eat all of your meals. The meal plan is mandatory and costs like $5,000 for nine months.
These are the long hallways that remind me of a cheap motel. You have to walk down the halls to use the bathrooms.
The bathrooms are all up and down the hallways...most of them had two showers, two toilets, three sinks and that's about it. There were a few that had a shower, tub and a sink and toilet and you could lock the door for privacy.
This is the linen service..two towels, a wash cloth and a mni bar of dial soap!
This is the 9 by 9 cell.....I mean room! It had an extra long twin bed, a desk, a chair, a dresser and a closet.
The desk that I used to study and do my project on! Thank God for wireless access right? Unfortunately my computer was down during most of the trip so I spent a lot of time in the library or borrowing people's power cords!
I spent a lot of time by the window (when I actually was in the room as there was a bad heatwave ) and it was the only way to keep cool! They do not have air conditioner in the dorms! It reminded me of a cheap motel I stayed at when I was in Belize and we went to the Keys.
Anyway, gotta run...I will add post some more in the next couple of days. As for smoking, it has been a ton of days without smoking and I actually saved a lot more money than the calculator figured. I saved at least a couple hundred dollars more than it says at the top of my blog as I was on the patch for quite awhile and did not buy cigarettes. Anyway, hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.