Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Perks of going on a study tour . . .

Many teachers have said to me before, "Why bother going on a teacher study tour if it's not completely funded? Why not just travel to the place on your own?" The short answer? Because today I met Royal Galipeau and David Jacobson. Who? The first is a an MP (Member of Parliament) who led us on an impromptu tour of the Parliament building this evening. Can you imagine just walking into the US Congress and having John Boehner just walk up and start talking to a group of strangers and leading them all over - including onto the floor of both chambers? Incredible. M. Galipeau is such a humble, down-to-earth guy who not only taught us so much about the inner workings of parliament and history of the building, but also gave us a remarkable glimpse into what it means to be Canadian. The latter is the US ambassador to Canada, whom we met this morning at the US embassy when we were there for a lecture from state department officials and others. He graciously came in and talked to our group, and was so personable and kind, you'd never know that he was a big Chicago lawyer who was the #2 fundraiser for President Obama. He wanted to take a picture with us and since no one had their cameras (so we wouldn't have to go through security with them), he pulled out his cell phone to take a picture, until one his aides brought in a camera! Our focus today was on economics and politics, and in addition to having superb lectures by two of our professors, we were treated to something quite special by two politicians who surely had better things to do with their time - and never acted like it for one minute. This is why teachers should participate in study tours.

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Salon Marocain

Salon Marocain
In the village of Tinghir

Jess and I on our camels

Jess and I on our camels
Giddy up, Booshtran!

YouTube videos of Morocco