Saturday, August 7, 2010

Better Flat than Never

I'm no longer in Israel, but I'll be thinking about the trip for quite a while.  I'll use that as a flimsy excuse for introducing someone I should have introduced at the beginning of this experience:  Flat Stanley.

Flat Stanley reading about Israel while in Beersheva, Israel.

Flat Stanley is the main character in a popular series of Children's Books.  He's also the star of an international literacy and community building project.  Read more about the project begun by teacher Dale Hubert in 1995 and currently promoted by Arkansas' First Lady Ginger Beebe.

I was a pretty big fan of literacy prior to my trip to Israel both personally because I love to read and professionally because of my years in the classroom.  I'm an even bigger fan of literacy now.  The English alphabet, all 26 beautiful letters, is one of the things I missed the most while I was in Israel.  I don't read or speak Hebrew or Arabic, so wandering through the cities was at times very frustrating. 

That frustration has motivated me to participate more actively in promoting literacy.

My contributions to Flat Stanley's travels... 

Here we see Flat Stanley standing on the shore of the Dead Sea and reading about the unique attributes of that body of water.

And then adding to his journal about the experience.
Flat Stanley partaking in a little metacognition.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cheesy Vacation Pics

A dip in the Dead Sea. (pun intended)

"When I see the sea once more will the sea have seen or not seen me?" ~Pablo Neruda

"...there is also nothing but destruction in case your feet slip, for on each side there is a vastly deep chasm..." ~Joseph Flavius on the Snake Path used to reach the fortress at Masada

Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to hike up the Snake Path and watch the sunrise is more fun than Mr. Flavius makes it sound.