Wednesday, 3 July 2013

St Christopher's School

Good Morning Room 19. As I write this it is the middle of the morning on Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia, USA, and in New Zealand you will be tucked up in your beds, on Thursday morning.  I am sitting at St Christopher's school which has the most amazing facilities.  It is a private school for boys and they are here for all of their schooling before university, so they have a strong sense of belonging.  Something that amazed me, which I am sure you would all love is that the school cafeteria where they all eat (the cost is part of their enormous school fees), is open all day because the school says pboys are always hungry. The facilities are out of this world.  They have recently built a new sports building. As a part of it there is an indoor auditorium which has an indoor 400m track, and 4 full size basketball courts across the centre of the track.  That makes this room almost as big as our school field. Also in this gym is a huge weights gym with amazing equipment.  There is another room about as big as our gym, which is the wrestling gym,  there are huge locker rooms, as well as a number of other rooms.  Then to top it off, in the foyer area, behind some windows, we noticed a huge curved rock climbing wall which is almost 3 stories high.  Amazing.

Outdoors, there are basketball courts, a baseball diamond, gridiron areas, and area for playing soccer and lacrosse, athletics, a grass area for general play and the school has large, green areas for walking around.  There are three huge marquees set up for the conference.  The other night they had a lovely reception to welcome us all in the marquees and dining room.  There was so much lovely food, including many specialties of this area; foods such as fried green tomatoes, beans, rice and sausage, spoonbill bread, shrimp & grits, bean and rice salad.  The music was played by a blue grass band, which is a well known type of music in this region.

I could talk much longer about the wonders of St Christopher's, but I won't. I want to talk a little bit about the international baccalaureate (IB) concept of Perspective which we are looking at in class at the moment.  Back home in NZ, myself and many others hold a certain point of view about American people; we believe the stereotypical American to be very loud, brash and demanding and quite self centred about USA being the most wonderful place on Earth.  We perceived them to be a little ignorant.  I can tell you that with all the Americans I have met on planes and buses, at the conference, in the community, shops and the hotels I have been very wrong (maybe, I was right about the loudness thing!).  The people I've met have been lovely, friendly, incredibly positive and cheerful,  and so very helpful. They love hearing about the world. The lesson that I have been reminded about 'don't judge a book by its cover'.   We don't know what people are like until we get to know them, so don't listen to other people's points of view, form your own opinions.

Well, I have written a lot so at this point, I'll love you and leave you.  Early this afternoon, we are taking a train from Richmond to Washington DC.  Tonight is a night tour, then tomorrow the 4th of July. So excited.  

Your caring teacher,
Mrs Hogg

PS.  Last night I went out to dinner with some extremely lovely principals and their wives from across NZ.  We ate at a restaurant called the Tobacco Company (google it). Also in the restaurant were groups from SouthAfrica and Australia.  We were seated around the central open atrium on the 3rd floor of this lovely old building (it was a tobacco factory, and tobacco was the life source of this region, grown by their African slaves).  After dinner, us New Zealandes got up, stood in a group and sang the Maaori version of our NZ national anthem, before we toasted the other groups. The South Africans replied with an amazing version of their anthem, after which the Australians sang theirs.  The waiters all had their phones out recording.  The general consensus was that we NZers were the top singers.  Another special moment.  I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with you next term.  Enjoy your early finish today. I hope production practice is going well.

PPS. It is so hot here, and very humid. Hamilton is never this hot.

Photos from around the school...

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mrs Hogg. Thank you for the updated. Berkley misses your smiling face but your SS misses you the most :-)