Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Awkward But Cool

We have penpals that live across the world from us all the way in the great state of Texas.  We had a skype conversation with our penpals today.  It was a little on the awkward side but still very cool!

Awkward - My students couldn't seem to treat this as a normal conversation.  Their penpal would introduce themselves and there would be this long silent pause before I prompted them, "Say 'Hello' or 'it's nice to meet you!' Tell them your name.  Ask a question."  You would have thought we had never had a civilized conversation before!

Cool - The two penpals who talked to each other and had so much to say because they are both into riding horses.  No awkward pauses there!

Awkward - The school announcements with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to Texas (didn't know there was such a thing) came on the intercom in the middle of our conversation.  They told the kids they didn't have to stand  but there was one little kid behind the camera who was confused.  He was up.  He was down.  He was looking around.  It was awkward!

Cool - In discussing questions we could ask, one of my kids wanted to ask her penpal if they believed in God!  I love the fact that that was her number one question!

Awkward - It was awkward to have to tell her that she probably couldn't ask that question since our penpals are in a public school.

Cool - One of our penpals tried some French out on our French speaker when she said, "Au revoir!" at the end of her conversation.

Awkward - My kids told their penpals about Jumpy, our classroom pet.  They all wanted to know what kind of spider it was.  I'm sure they are picturing tarantulas or some other kind of exotic spider and not this.

Cool - My teacher counterpart asked about the staffing situation at the school and I got to share the great news of how God is providing.

Awkward - It was awkward the number of American children who looked at me with a question in their eyes when they were asked what state in the U.S. they were from.

Cool - Listening to all the kids ask each other where they were from and hearing our penpals respond with "Texas, Texas, Texas" and then hearing our students respond with "Nigeria, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland, Niger, Canada" - Now that was just COOL!


  1. Good morning how are you?
    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.
    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.
    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Niger? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Niger in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:
    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)
    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.
    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez

  2. I got the same comment from Emilio as you on my blog. Some very cool conversations take place with penpals!

  3. i think your class is just "super cool" ...said, of course, with my very best french pronunciation.


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