Sunday, May 20, 2012

Making new friends

Often you have to wait until you arrive at a new school to make contact with the other teachers there.  However going to visit ASB in February gave me the opportunity to meet with the other new tech coordinators who will be moving there too.  I'll be on the new campus, and Jim and Sharon will be coordinating the tech in the middle and high schools on the existing campus.  We'll all be living in the same apartment complex too.

First glimpse of my new school

I went to visit the school in February - I was so lucky that ASB agreed to fly me out to Un-Plugged and I could see for myself what a dynamic place this will be to work.  One morning I went to visit the new campus - the building site!  Yes, this is really going to be ready by 1st August and opening with 500 or so students.

This is the architect's model for Kohinoor city.  Right in the front of the model is a new shopping centre and then behind that (the building with the pool on the roof) is the school.  The buildings behind the school are the sports club and hotel, and further up the street the large building is a hospital.  I'll be living in one of the apartments here.

 This is what the school looks like inside.  Lots of open spaces.  The architect's plans show how this will eventually look.  No classrooms as such.  Glass dividers that can be moved around.  "Campfire" spaces for whole group work, "watering holes" for students to work together in small groups, "cave spaces" for individual work.  A real 21st century design for learning.

First visit to Mumbai

First impressions of Mumbai were that I'd come to a completely different country than the India I remember from 30 years ago.  Of course it is very different, and of course I was never in Mumbai.  The photo above is taken in Juhu looking out over the Indian Ocean.  

A meal out in a great restaurant by the sea.  I noticed amazing sunrises and sunsets - a big sun in an orange sky.  I think the colour could be something to do with the pollution haze though :(

Bandra - greener than I imagined and lots of tuk-tuks which reminds me of Bangkok.

Getting Ready to Move

Christmas 2011
Three years ago we were living in Bangkok, and in pretty much the same situation as we are in now - sorting out, throwing out, packing up.  In the middle of the chaos of this moving business I looked back to see what it was like before, and surprisingly I seem to be more organized than I was then.  This time three years ago I hadn't organized a shipping company, hadn't booked flights and hadn't visited the country that was to be my home for the coming three years.  This time around I've done all of these things!

Christmas 2011
But things will be different.  This is the first time in over twenty years that both children will be away from home.  I'm facing the prospect of the "empty nest" with mixed feelings.  How wonderful it will be to be independent.  How much I will miss being a mum on a daily basis.  It seems like the whole family is on the move.  Joal to work "somewhere" for Lloyds, Rachel to Scotland to university and Mum to sheltered accommodation near my brother Kevin.  The last time we were all together was last Christmas - but now we are scattering to the winds.  Joal will spend the summer in the USA as a camp counsellor, Rachel and I will be on the other side of the USA in California at the ISTE Conference, Lex will be back in Holland visiting friends and family.  Next Christmas, the next opportunity we have to be together, seems an awful long way away.

Mumbai will certainly be different from Switzerland.  I'm exchanging rural beauty for a thriving metropolis.  I'm exchanging a work experience that has been less than positive for a new job at one of the best and most forward looking schools in the world.  It's a time of change, of new possibilities, of a new life.  Follow along and share my new adventures in India!