May 1 through May 7th…the final weeks at MIIS

May 1st through July 1st, 2014 were another series of adventurous moments in my journey. During those two months, I touched (15) states and (2) countries. A cross country exploration with my Mother, training teachers as an academic manager and a trip to the World Cup in Brazil highlighted this busy portion of my year. Below is some info on one of my final days here at MIIS

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An expression in our green thumb, student run garden at MIIS

“To start everything is beautiful. My G-d how it’s good to be alive. The conductor would calm the song of nature, the ocean, what beauty and harmony”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 1

T minus two weeks until the curtain closes on another act of my life. This Thursday morning starts with my International Education Program Design and Assessment class. We focus on case studies of ethical practices of evaluation and survey research participants. An intriguing conversation about questionable practices of asking a population to participate in an evaluation survey before they know which group they’d be assigned to. Next on the agenda was a bit of work in the library followed by taking part in a focus group, evaluating the potential for an immersion program for MIIS with an organization named, Peace Boat. The group discussed for a little more of an hour some of the components that would be vital for the project to be successful and appealing to students including possible deliverables and immersion experiences around the ports of the southern part of South America. After the meeting, I drove to the beach as it was an abnormally hot day in Monterey. A stop, a dive in the refreshing, cold Pacific and I was ready for the afternoon push. After a quick meeting with my proposal writing in international development group, I went to developmental economics. The day ended with my partaking in an international fashion show, modeling my sunga and canga from Brazil to the tune of Wilson Simonal and some drinks and dinner with some of the older students of MIIS (my age :).  I’m going to miss the MIIS

May 2

Late to bed, early to rise. Luckily my Jeep starts as the fuel gauge had been lit and on empty for days. After shutting the light, I headed to campus for an IEM capstone and symposium.  Our current interns shared their stories from their various experiences via Adobe connect. Next, our program was lucky enough to have the president of NAFSA, Dr. Fanta Aw give an hour and a half lecture and q/a session about the future of international education. She touched upon so many points in a sincere, intimate and informed manner that the attention of the group was intensely engaged. One subject she posed is how exchange programs need to be transformed into student diplomacy. We as international educators need to empower our students to look at themselves as ambassadors, not just individuals searching for their own meaning to an exchange experience. Here’s brief synopsis of her experiences, http://www.american.edu/profiles/faculty/fanta.cfm. Needless to say, I was humbled by her presence. After lunch, I went to the library for a bit to work on a Portuguese presentation and got some ice cream. My day concluded with some beers with my friend Paul who is an RPCV and will be heading to Kyrgystan to continue doing development and field research in this complicated area of the world.

May 3

The loss of my 10 year old English Bulldog last year lingers like one of her farts….not disgustingly but thematically. With that said, I was up early on this Saturday and off to volunteer at an event with AFRP in Carmel. I set up the tent and table and spoke to various visitors about the dogs’ history and how the adoption process. The more I’m around these selfless, sensitive, loyal and loving animals, I realize how much affection I have for them. After volunteering, I went to the Naval Postgraduate School’s International Day. The event, although something fun, was more of an observation, a competitor analysis for a project here at MIIS centered around program design and assessment. The event was impressive with more than 60 countries represented and a series of live music. However, they didn’t serve alcohol, allowing the community to be more involved and children to enjoy the day without drunk people around. My day culminated with a birthday party for my friend Juliet. Some people from my Masters program were there as well and I must say these past 8 months have flown and it was good to see where each of their next steps were going to be. The chowder and IPA didn’t hurt either.

May 4

Workouts and school work took up most of this day with focus on a Portuguese paper and a presentation.

May 5

Some yoga, a webinar about service learning and some time at home cooking stir fry. Time is winding down in California, Monterey and my cottage

May 6

Tuesdays this semester have always been a bear. Class and work from 8-8 including International Education Program Design and Assessment, Latin American Public Policy, my FINAL Student Council meeting, a group meeting about a Developmental Economics presentation, Developmental Economics and finally Portuguese. The night culminated with some email catch up and reading.

May 7

Work and school are starting to be intertwined as my work with Education First is beginning. This morning focused on email catch up, a chat with our director of US operations and some setting up of teacher trainings and modules for online, pre workshop training. After, I continued my work on my program design and assessment class. The work is really coming together and looks to be 15 pages long with data gathering and analysis. The gym called mid day which always re energizes you. After, I met my professor to discuss my assessment proposal and we had one of our normal, long and substantial conversations. It focused on the potential areas/platforms I could consider for pursuing a PHD on my research on the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program. She recommended that whatever I’m doing, I should always take an hour a day to add information to my research so it stays fresh and continues to accrue. My day ends with an educational foundations class, some dinner at Full Moon for chinese food and finally some trivia.