Blessings in the Temple

March 12, 2014

There were several temples inside the great Batu Caves.  This one was quiet and serene.  In side a priest came out to greet us and asked us where we were from.  He also gave us his blessings….

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Batu Caves 2014

March 10, 2014

We chose a Saturday to take the trip to Batu Caves, a Hindu holy site on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.  The dramatic limestone mountains can be seen from miles away, but close-up the view is incredible.  Built into the caves and around the entire site are several temples and impressive statues.

The students pose before the statue of Lord Hanumann, the monkey god, as we enter the holy site.

The students pose before the statue of Lord Hanumann, the monkey god, as we enter the holy site.

 

The gold plated statue of Lord Murugan, to whom the cave temples are dedicated, is a thrilling sight to see.

Nearing the steps to the cave, the student teachers pose before one of the most famous Malaysian landmark, the statue of Lord Murugan.

Nearing the steps to the cave, the student teachers pose before one of the most famous Malaysian landmark, the statue of Lord Murugan.

 

We stopped before the gate to the steps, because this was a banana tree with bananas and pod included!  We’d seen so many banana trees nearby, but no one had spotted the bananas on the tree like this one.

Bananas!

Bananas!

 

And they were ready to begin the climb to the top….

Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, go!

 

Next: the view from inside the caves.

Meet the 2014 Student Teachers

March 9, 2014

Teaching is what the student teachers came here to do, and they were eager to get into the routine of teaching.  They seemed to settle in fast, thanks to the support of their cooperating teachers and the enthusiasm of their students, who were very excited to have American teachers.  Take a few moments to get acquainted with this group, the 3rd cohort of Wilkes University student teachers in Malaysia:

1.  Amanda Bast is seeking certification in Pre-K through Grade 4, Early Childhood, and Special Education.  Under the tutelage of Miss Jeaniene Ganisan, Miss Amanda is teaching Mathematics, Moral Education, Physical Education, Art, English, and English Oral to some very lively and lovable second graders.  Meet Miss Amanda:

Miss Amanda by the board with Miss Jeaniene in blue

Miss Amanda by the board with Miss Jeaniene in blue

Miss Amanda with the children of Standard 2.

Miss Amanda with the children of Standard 2.

2. Paige Trusty is near completion of her degree in Mathematics, with a secondary teaching certificate enabling her to teach Mathematics to students in grades 7-12 (Form 1-O/A Levels). Her cooperating teacher is Mr.  Casey Dhevan.  Meet Miss Paige:

Paige Trusty with the students of Form 4B (Sophomores)

Paige Trusty with the students of Form 4B (Sophomores)

Miss Paige gives plenty of real-life examples.

Miss Paige gives plenty of real-life examples to help her students wrap their minds around linear graphing.

3. Chase English (all 6’6″ of him) will soon be certified in Pre-K through Grade 4.  He has established a wonderful rapport with students and staff alike!  His cooperating teacher is Mr. Alfred Sy, who has welcomed Mr Chase as an equal partner.  Meet Mr. Chase

Mr Chase at the new Jungle Jim for the Kindies.

Mr. Chase at the new Jungle Jim for the Kindy students.

Mr Chase with two colleagues en route to class

Mr. Chase with two colleagues en route to class

4.  Mitch Yamrus is pursuing his degree in Biology with a teaching certificate in Secondary Education, 7th through 12th grade.  Mr. Mitch is being mentored by Miss Zainurain Binti Zainal Abidin, and he is teaching Biology and General Science to Forms 1-5 (High School).  Meet Mr. Mitch:

Mr Mitch and Miss Ain

Mr. Mitch and Miss Ain

Mr Mitch teaching a lesson ecosystems....

Mr. Mitch teaching a lesson on ecosystems

5.  Robin Sorber will soon graduate with a degree enabling her to teach Pre-K through Grade 4.   Ms Robin’s cooperating teacher is Mrs. Lalaida Appukutan, and Robin is feeling very comfortable with her colleagues in the Kindy .  The children have really taken to Miss Robin!  Meet her:

Miss Robin looks after the Kindy Students after a swimming class.

Miss Robin looks after the Kindy students after a swimming class.

Miss Robin gets these enthusiastic reactions no matter who she tells!

Miss Robin gets these enthusiastic reactions no matter what the question!

6. Last but not least is Rachel Gill, who is soon to graduate with a degree in Chemistry and a certification to teach secondary students. Her cooperating teacher is Miss Shariza Sharir, and the two of them have become good partners and colleagues.  Rachel teaches Chemistry and General Science to students in Form 1-5 (Grades 7-11). Meet Miss Rachel:

Miss Rachel running a lab

Miss Rachel running a lab

Miss Rachel runs a basic lesson on cell structure.

Miss Rachel holds an introductory lesson on basic cell structure.

While their days are filled with teaching and lesson planning, they do manage to get out and experience the sights of the local area.  Next: the 2014 trip to Hindu holy site, the Batu Caves.

2014 New Year Lions Visit Sri Utama

March 9, 2014

Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days. On the last day, Chap Goh Meh, Sri Utama was visited by two mischievous New Year Lions and their entourage–to the delight of all!

Close-up Lions

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The children enjoyed the prankster’s antics, as he taunted us and teased the lions.

The New Year Clown with the Kindergarten classes

The New Year Clown with the Kindergarten classes

Chairman of Sri Utama, En Hassan, jokes with the Clown

Chairman of Sri Utama, En Hassan, jokes with the Clown

Mr. How with a New Friend

Mr. How with a New Friend

If you don’t feed the Lions the Ang Pow (the red envelope with Lucky Money inside) they will try to frighten you into it!

Prof Gina feeds the lion

Prof Gina feeds the lion

But Pn Noorita is not afraid!

But Pn Noorita is not afraid!

Finally, the group makes the presentation of fruit and well wishes to the Chairman of Sri Utama.

Presentation w expl

And a good time was had by all!

2014 Wilkes Student Teachers Celebrate the Year of the Horse at Sri Utama Schools, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2014 Wilkes Student Teachers Celebrate the Year of the Horse at Sri Utama Schools, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mitch’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day 2014

March 7, 2014

When Valentne’s Day rolled around, it was hard to believe that two weeks had passed so quickly.  And it was Mitch’s birthday, too!  So we all took him out to Secret Recipe to have a little celebration with our principal Annie Termaat.

Mitch Yamrus, the Birthday Boy!

Mitch Yamrus, the Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

March 7, 2014

Just a few photos will show you why Wilkes keeps coming back to Sri Utama: Old friends and new friends getting together to serve our students!

Miss Komal, Pn Khairi, Pn Rosemiah, MIss Annie (Principal), Prof gina, and Pn Junaita

Miss Komal, Pn Khairi, Pn Rosemiah, MIss Annie (Principal), Prof gina, and Pn Junaita

Mr How in the middle!

Mr How in the middle!

Miss Amanda with Cooperating teacher Miss Jeaniene, and Wilkes alumn Miss Becky Gallaher

Miss Amanda with Cooperating teacher Miss Jeaniene, and Wilkes alumn Miss Becky Gallaher

MIss Rachel with Cooperating Teacher Miss Shariza, Seconary Chemistry

MIss Rachel with Cooperating Teacher Miss Shariza, Seconary Chemistry

New student teachers Miss Rachel, Mr Mitch and Miss Paige

New student teachers Miss Rachel, Mr Mitch and Miss Paige

Miss Amanda with two of her new students

Miss Amanda with two of her new students

Wilkes Alumni Miss Kate McGurk and Miss Becky Gallaher--teaching grades 4 and 6.

Wilkes Alumni Miss Kate McGurk and Miss Becky Gallaher–teaching grades 4 and 6.

Kids sitting


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Nice to meet you, Sri Utama!

March 7, 2014

Just a few photos will show you why Wilkes keeps coming back to Sri Utama: Old friends and new friends getting together to serve our students!

Miss Amanda with Cooperating teacher Miss Jeaniene, and Wilkes alumn Miss Becky Gallaher

Miss Amanda with Cooperating teacher Miss Jeaniene, and Wilkes alumn Miss Becky Gallaher

Amanda Becky, Kate & Kids Chase outside Kids sitting P1050908 P1050909 P1050915

New student teachers Miss Rachel, Mr Mitch and Miss Paige

New student teachers Miss Rachel, Mr Mitch and Miss Paige

Rachel & Shariza

Year of the Horse

February 23, 2014
The gang amidst the New Year action

The gang amidst the New Year action

It is just wonderful to be over here during Lunar New Year.  Everybody gets off work, and the shops have great sales.  Restaurants and packed and generally, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle.

Hustle and bustle of New Year

Hustle and bustle of New Year

Long Chinese Lanterns

The only problem for us was that ALL of the cellphone and sim card places were closed because they were owned by Chinese Malaysians, who were busy celebrating the New Year traditions with their families.  So it took us about 5 days until we were able to phone our relatives back home.

Classical Chinese music

Classical Chinese music

Entertainment in the shopping centers

Entertainment in the shopping centers

Meanwhile, we certainly enjoyed the sights as Kuala Lumpur welcomed the Year of the Horse!

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Horse

Malaysian Pizza Party

February 22, 2014

Still, it’s great to just relax with comfort food.  Pizza party at Dr. Morrison’s!

Current student teachers and Becky, '12, now a primary teacher at Sri Utama

Current student teachers and Becky, ’12, now a primary teacher at Sri Utama, and Olivier, also a Sri Utama teacher (and our next door neighbor)

Chase on Floor
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Old and new friends make this adjustment EASY!  Thanks, everyone!

Our New Home

February 22, 2014
We're here!

We’re here!

We spent the next day, January 31, getting used to our new home. We were joined by Dr. Linda Winkler of Wilkes University (above, far right), the Special Assistant to the Provost/Director of International Initiatives, who had come to meet our hosts at Sri Utama as well as potential partners at Malaysian Universities.

And it's NY

The first thing we noticed was that everything was decorated for Chinese New Year.  Bright colors, especially red and gold, were in every public place to celebrate this big national holiday.  What a time to come to Malaysia! With  a day off for the holiday, we were able to fight off jet lag and get acquainted with the neighborhood.

The View from Wangsa Maju LRT station, very near to our condo

The View from Wangsa Maju LRT station, very near to our condo

Looking our the opposite platform at Wangsa Maju LRT station, you can see the Petronas Towers in teh distance.

Looking our the opposite platform at Wangsa Maju LRT station, you can see the Petronas Towers in the distance.

The condo where we were staying was just beautiful.  Situated next to the Wangsa Maju Mosque, it is nestled into the side of the hill.  We heard the call to prayer six times a day, and we loved the view from our 11th floor windows.

Wangsa Maju Mosque

Wangsa Maju Mosque

The weather was beautiful, about 80 degrees and windy.  We were able to get our bearings and explore the area, where the cat-lovers among us made friends with the cute cats that hung out on the ground floor (which we would call ‘first floor’ in the US).

Chase and Robin: Cat lovers

Chase and Rachel: Cat lovers

Chase & Cookie

Chase & Cookie

Coming up:  Malaysian pizza party


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