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We’re talking about social issues in class

It’s been an interesting week in class this week.  My students have the assignment of creating a Public Service Announcement video.  We’ve been talking about social issues.

Kids are amazing.  They have so much insight sometimes.  If I throw a little fuel on the fire, “what about this?  what about that?  did you think of this part?”  BOOM, they can come up with some incredible connections.

This is my favorite part of being a teacher,  helping them discover that they can change the world.

Sometimes, it is so difficult to help them see that they can better understand the world, see the world, change the world, if they would disconnect from it for a bit; use their own minds, instead of searching for what everyone else has written, looking at what everyone else posted, needing to have everyone else reach them.

But when you can manage it, the brilliance begins to shine in them.

 

Peace and Love my friends!

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Posted by on 14/11/2018 in living

 

Here are some things on my mind as I try to understand what is happening in America right now.

Countries like Albania look to America for understanding of how to be a great nation.  And like Albania, America is struggling with the right morals where women are concerned.  Why are men’s careers more important than women’s lives?

To the US Senators,  the world is watching.  What are you going to show them?  Are you going to show the world that powerful white men that make it through the Good Ol Boy training camp get to have appointments they don’t deserve?  That Party loyalty is more important than morality?  This is the link to a current Albanian issue being brought to light by an English expat here. in Tirana.  This is so in step with what I feel is being hashed out with this Kavanaugh appointment, I had to include it.  Because violence against women is global, but America has eyes on it where Albania doesn’t.

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Amongst all of the media and political shit storm, who is thinking or even caring about the victim? Once the public row dies down, who will be picking up the pieces of her life? All of us are Xhisiela, she is our daughter, wife, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, colleague, and woman we pass on the street. This is not about political tit for tat, it's about protecting women, protecting citizens, and ensuring we have the right to pursue the full recourse of the laws regardless of who our abuser or attacker is related to. Whether you are Albanian, foreign, male, female, or whatever your political persuasion, you have a duty to defend humanity. #albania #albanianwomen #albaniangirl #shqiptar #shqiperia #shqiperiaime #shqip #shqipe #myalbania #womensrights #humanrights #lironixhisielen #metoo #violenceagainstwomen #genderbasedviolence #genderviolence #activism #activist #tirana

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The #MeToo movement – these survivors can’t continue to be ignored, given sympathy nods of the head, and swept to the side.

The #WhyIDidntReport movement – And these are stories of why it’s so difficult to come forward. These are stories of why the #metoo movement was so strong.

Or how about this tweet?  The responses help enlighten us to how much of life women are cautious about instead of living.

And this.  A great Twitter feed about how unwanted pregnancies result from male ejaculation, not what a woman wears.

This is my letter to Senator Flake on Saturday.   With thousands of posts on his site, I’m sure he’ll never see it, but I feel like I did something.

Dear Senator Flake, I am not from your state. I am from your country, but I reside and teach abroad.
As a survivor, I want to thank you for giving at least the appearance of hearing the doubt, hearing the pain, and hearing the people who say look deeper.
I have been watching the hearings from my laptop, unable to do my work because this possible appointment affects my very ability to breathe in a world that feels safe.
I ask that you speak in earnest with your fellow republicans. Do not vote out of party loyalty.

Do not choose the way the rest of my life and the lives of American sexual harassment and abuse survivors must live, by party line alone. Please see that this appointment, whoever gets it, must be above question.

It’s not likely to find the perfect person, but someone with no question to their morality, their goals, the reason they were proposed to the appointment, that person can be found and it is not Brett Kavanaugh.

A yes vote for him affirms rape culture. A yes vote affirms white privilege. A yes vote affirms that the good ol boy ideals are today’s ideals that you want preserved for our next generation.

I am not from your state, but I am from your country. I write to you because you may have some sway with your fellow republican senators. Please. Stand along side the people who would be hurt the most if Kavanaugh is appointed. Vote no, talk to others to help them take off the Party blinders.
#whyididntreport #metoo a yes vote for Kavanaugh is literally telling everyone of these Americans telling their truths, that they don’t matter.
Please, talk to the people in powerful positions to affect our lives, people appointed to represent us, and talk about whether or not party loyalty or American safety is more important.
Please choose my safety.

Mari

And finally, it’s ok if you don’t agree with my politics, but let’s try to find agreeance on basic civility and human decency.  I wish light and love to you all, and fingers crossed a safer world for everyone to live in.

 
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Posted by on 30/09/2018 in living

 

A photo tour of Gjirokaster, Blue Hole, and a couple beaches of southern Albania

 
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Posted by on 25/07/2018 in living

 

What am I listening to? …facepalmsigh

Ok, I have some more beach posts, summer posts, etc I need to get up.  I will.

I was turned on to a possible opportunity for the school year after this coming school year.   Planning a bit ahead is never a bad idea.

*Quick side note:  This coming school year I get to teach drama!  😀  Yeah!  I really enjoy venturing into barely known waters and seeing how things turn out 🙂  Who knew how much I’d end up enjoying being a TV news anchor, until after I’d done it?  I am very lucky that so many varied opportunities have come my way over my life.  I have a pretty long list of things I can do because of them.  So, I begin a new adventure as a drama teacher.  (Thank you to all of my theater, tv, and movie friends for your experience to draw from!!!!)*

The one drawback for this possible opportunity is that I have to have at LEAST a rudimentary ability to communicate in French.  Yup.  Me the can’t seem to figure out how everyone around me knows 17 languages, mono-linguistic teacher, really needs to get on this French thing if I even stand a chance.  I have a year.

Those of you poor souls who have been following my journey from the beginning, know that naive me thought I could learn Spanish, (insert overdramatic theatrical voice) yes, become fluent in Spanish, in a year.  Rosetta Stone,  some other expensive language tutorial, Spanish 101 at university, and Mama, who would try, but I am S….L…..O…..W at learning language.  Something is tweaked weird in my Wernicke’s area. I’ve got quite a few Spanish words I know, it’s the putting them together in a sentence I can’t do……

BUT failure is an opportunity to learn.  SO, what can I learn from that. 1) keep going, don’t give up.  I think I lasted 2 months outside of my university class, in which I did quite poorly.  2) It ok to take my own advice and just mess up all over the place but keep trying.  3) Find a 1-1 teacher this time.

ANYWAY

I used my free credit with Audible to get the Pimsleur French 1 audio book.  I have been listening to it at night as I sleep, hoping beyond hope that it will help the language sink in.  Fast forward 2 weeks of doing that every night (and 1 week of not listening at all because I was at the Freaking Beach Man, it’s SUMMER).

So now I am back to listening to it at night, but this week I have begun to take 30 minutes and listen to it while awake.

What am I listening to???   The Hell????  This is seriously “How to pick up a French woman 101”.

Chapter 1 starts out ok, it is an English speaking American man meeting a young French girl.  We get to learn how to say “Excuse me” “Do you understand” “I understand” “I don’t understand” “English” “French”  “Mister” and Mademoiselle”.

Sure, ok.   That’s not terrible.  A little sexist, but whatever.

Chapter 2.  P: “You are sitting next to a French woman who you want to start a conversation with.  Try to get her attention.”

Here you are supposed to say “Pardon mademoiselle”.

P: “She does not respond.  Ask her if she understands”

Now you get to ask “Do you understand?” *in French but I can’t spell it*

P: “She still does not respond.  Ask her if she understands French”.

You ask the question you just learned.

P: “No response again.  Try asking her if she understands English.”

*If she does not understand French, and understands English, why would I ask her if she understands English IN FRENCH??*

You ask the question.

P: “She responds”.

The lady’s voice comes on saying she does not understand English, in French.

*Call me crazy, but if she didn’t respond to your first 3 attempts – she is probably ignoring you.  If she responds in French that she doesn’t understand English, she heard you the first 3 times.  She is definitely ignoring you.  

P: Now say, Ahhhh you understand French”.   Why not?  You are acknowledging she was ignoring you and basically making it impossible for her to ignore you further without being explicitly rude. Seems legit.

You do.  She responds saying “Oui, monsieur”

If I can just add in that there is even a bit of inflection happening that is just….   well it made me write this post.  I will keep going.  I will keep listening.  I will try to give this attempt the full year of trying.  At least I will know how to pick up a French chick should I choose to.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on 25/07/2018 in living

 

Summer’s here??

Rain, rain, and more rain! Is this really summer? It’s been more of an extended spring around here, today being the first sunny day in a week. The video was last Wednesday, as I headed off to Kala festival in Dhermi. So, not like drizzle rain…. Massive rain.

The weather forecast is starting to look better, and beaches are on my horizon!

YEAH SUMMER

Light, love and peace to you all!

 
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Posted by on 01/07/2018 in living

 

Dear Valerie

You’re probably my only reader 🙂 And I’ve been absent for awhile.

I’m super busy, but that’s not my main excuse. I don’t know what to write.

My heart is heavy with all that is happening in the States, in the world. I want to address several issues, but I want to do my research first. Which brings me back to I’m super busy.

Summer is coming, my school load will be less, and hopefully I will make time to write on here. To say the things I want, with the research behind it.

I’m doing good in Albania. It’s a nice country. I have a few friends and get to see Mama Ocean every so often.

I hope you’re also doing well. I hope your family is well.

Love and light

 
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Posted by on 20/06/2018 in living

 

Bella Roma! The Flavium Amphitheater aka. The Colosseum

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Bella Roma for sure! From the moment we (accidentally) saw it in front of us, I was mesmerized. I jumped up and down like a little kid getting a four scoop ice cream cone! So amazing.

We opted for the 3.5 hour tour by Colosseum and Vatican Tours and I’m so glad we did!! The Vatican was closed on Easter Monday and the lines to the Amphitheater was extensive. Not only did we get to skip right past all the lines, we had an amazing tour guide. I hope all the tour guides are as knowledgeable and friendly as she was. We learned so much about the history of the Amphitheater I was in overload.

Each section was carved at the quarry to exact measurements, with holes in specific places on the inside. A bronze rod was placed in the hole of the bottom piece and the top piece fitted over it. Then the remainder of the hole was filled with molten bronze. Every section, every stone; and that is how it remained intact for centuries. It was not until the Middle Ages, when Christians began tearing down all the “Pagan” buildings and removing all the bronze, that it was damaged by an earthquake.

It was amazing to be inside. Oh! And we learned that the Hollywood version of fight to death isn’t actually accurate! Hardly any shows were death fights because the gladiators were too expensive to kill. Mind blown.

Ok, here’s post 1, stay tuned for more 🙂

Peace and love.

 
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Posted by on 07/04/2018 in living

 
 
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