headermask image

roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

Afternoon at the Museum

We headed downtown on a sunny Sunday to take in the Indonesian National Museum.

Mathcounts in Saigon

Our teams traveled to Vietnam to take part in the regional Mathcounts competition last weekend. Since I started the program at JIS and pushed for an interscholastic tournament, check out the phenomenal growth:

  • 2012 – 18 students from 1 school, school-wide competition in Jakarta
  • 2013 – 49 students from 5 schools, competition in Jakarta
  • 2014 – 72 students from 8 schools, competition in Singapore
  • 2015 – 108 students from 11 schools, competition in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

I’d say we’ve gotten things pretty well off the ground!

Travel Pictures Contest Entries

Our annual MS welcome-back party was held last night, and part of the festivities included people’s pictures from the break. Teachers (and spouses) were invited to submit a picture in a number of different categories, and then everyone votes on the winners in each. I’m not sure my entries were as strong as in the past, but it was fun to match up with the different categories! All these shots are from our recent trip to Thailand…

*Update – I noted the winners in the photo caption: I had 4 photos win 1st or 2nd!!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating today! Καλά Χριστούγεννα and Срећан Божић from the tropics.

Thai Christmas decorations

Happy Anniversary!

We’re so busy enjoying the Thai sun and surf that we’ve posted very little during our trip. Here are 4 quick shots from our dives – under stunning cliffs, we saw sharks, rockfish, and Susan finally laid eyes on a real-life seahorse! That makes for a pretty special anniversary present, right honey?

Happy Holidays to all!

We’re getting ready to head to Thailand for the break, and part of my job is to prep all the technology. I was cleaning off the camera card, and saw that I’d never even looked at our “above water” pictures from Bali. One of the last shots of the trip was of this family coming down from a temple ceremony at Rambut Siwi, and I really like it.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday!!

Big smiles in Bali

Middle School Madness

Our end-of-semester fun and games day ended, yet again, with our powerful SALAK team claiming victory!!

Look at those bright colors!

Wayfarin’ to Warsaw!!

Big Stutz family news this morning – Susan and I have accepted jobs at the American School of Warsaw for the 2015-16 school year! Alea will graduate a JIS Dragon, but Breck will be a Warsaw Warrior.

We must have had a premonition, as we’re wearing the school colors of white, red, and black in the holiday photo we took this weekend:

All decked out in red and black batik!

Snoozing on 12/13/14

Breck’s catnap today with Linsea and Dori…

Breck's Catnap

Google for Educators presentation

Google Education Summit in Jakarta

Getting my geek on this weekend: My teaching partner and I are presenting at a Google Summit being held here. Name of our session? Forms As Reflective Tools. We have so much fun with acronyms!

Thanksgiving 2014

We are missing mom, as she’s back in the US for the month, but are grateful to friends here for hosting yet another spectacular Thanksgiving dinner. Dave and the kids were all excited to get dressed up for the occasion!

Thanksgiving 2014

Susan in the States

Suz is in Minnesota for about a month, and got her first taste of snow in years. She made sure we knew all about the fun she was having, so we had to remind her of what she as missing too!

Black and White photos

A friend of ours from Mumbai recently foisted one of those Facebook “challenges” on me the other day to post a black and white photo 5 days in a row.

Now, I do have to make a confession: I think black and white is kinda cheesy and a cop-out. Just let me explain.

  • First of all, who shoots in black and white? In the olden days, when there was only black and white film, that was one thing. But once there was color film – and especially since we now shoot digitally – why, oh why in the world would anyone choose to shoot in black and white? You can always change color to b/w in processing, but if you take a picture without the color information, you can’t get it back. So to my way of thinking, anyone who takes pictures in b/w is just being silly for whatever reason.
  • Secondly, I think it is a lot easier to mess around with a black and white picture, adjusting things here and there, than it is with color. You don’t have to worry about one hue being too garish or not seeing the one little stripe of really pretty pink: there are no colors! Just jack up the contrast or whatever, and voilà – you have a picture. So it seems a far lesser challenge to get a black and white photo ‘right.’
  • And that brings me to the third reason: ANY FREAKING PICTURE YOU PRINT IN BLACK AND WHITE AUTOMATICALLY LOOKS ARTSY!! It doesn’t have to be a good picture – just change it to black and white, blow it up real big, and hang it on the wall as a piece of Serious Art. I guarantee you people will walk up to it, hand on chin, and say “hmmmmm” like it is something by a Renaissance master.

OK – enough of that. Here are the pictures I posted with the story of each:

Eastern Montana grain elevators

Here’s a black and white shot of a sleepy little eastern Montana town, taken during my journey to our Helen cabin this past summer.

Cambodian boat repairer

We came across this old man repairing a boat in the Four Thousand Islands region of Cambodia last year. I thought the lighting was pretty cool.

Rain on upside-down leaf.

From yesterday’s rainstorm, here is black and white photo #3. We had a tree blow down in the back yard, and this is a shot of the water droplets on an overturned leaf.

Women washing in Mumbai.

This is a Thanksgiving-related post for black and white photo #4. In 2008, we lived in Mumbai, and Breck and I planned to use the holiday to explore the new elevated walking path running over some local slums down to the train station. When the news broke of the terrorist attacks downtown, however, all plans changed, and we stayed at home for the next few days.
We didn’t take our walk for more than another year, but during the last week of school in 2010, we finally did. This is a shot from above of some women washing clothes in the offspill from city water pipes.

Omani camel races

You seriously are missing out if you have never attended camel races in Oman. I’d even match them up against the Indonesian Pacu Jawi event.
We were way out in the middle of nowhere, and to see these animals thundering down the dry canal was something else. I love the way the one guy is holding onto his turban! We were the only non-Omanis there, and once again had a pretty special experience as a family.

UN Day 2014

Breck and Alea are all set for their high school UN day. Breck is sporting good ole cowdude duds, while Alea’s got a USA neck kerchief, bangles from India, a Serbian hat, Indonesian skirt, and Honduran scarf/belt – all the places she’s gone to school!

Breck and Alea - UN Day @JIS 2014

Tree down in the back yard!

Alea and I got home from school – after a mongo rain, wind and lightening storm – to find that one of the biggest trees in our yard had broken! While it fell on our roof (and reached almost to the top!), there was no damage inside or outside that we could see. Wow!!

Aunt Nancy’s birthday party

Since Susan is in the USA for a month, she got to crash Aunt Nancy’s 50th birthday party. Looks like a crazy time!

"I mustache you a question..."

Happy holiday colors – Indonesian style!

Our back yard is currently in ‘fruit harvest’ mode, and we are treated to green mangoes and red palm fruit on a daily basis. Alea and I were treated to quite the show of birds zipping around this afternoon, feasting on the fruit flies that enjoy the treats as much as we!

Mangos and red palm fruit - looks yummy!

Team America at JIS UN Day!

'Murica - "heck" yeah!!

Happy Holiday Season!!!

Halloween is finally over – that means the Christmas tree can go up!!

Alea and Breck joyfully (?) show off their handiwork

Working with Indonesian teachers

Spent the day collaborating with local teachers, helping out with a workshop about “Applications of Mathematics in the real world.” Susan set up a whole series of activities revolving around math problem solving strategies, and I was able to lead a couple of small group sessions on gathering data and displaying/interpreting graphs.

Lots of smiles all around, and a reminder to myself that A) Susan and I are really are a pretty awesome team together and B) living around the world affords us some astoundingly unique life opportunities.

International School Partnership morning workshop

Diving in Bali – October 2014

We headed to the tropical paradise of Bali for our autumn break, and spent a few of those days on the north shore diving. We’ve been to this area several times before, but not for diving. While we didn’t see the huge schools of fish that we’ve encountered in other places, we did come across plenty of colorful mini-reef life that kept our eyes occupied and our camera busy.

Bali for October break

(Maybe) our last time in Bali 🙁

Dive pictures coming soon – for now, how about some beautiful breakfast flowers…

Bali flowers

Oktoberfest ’14

Our party this year had a dedicated guest list – our men’s softball team. The Gurus showed up in force for Oktoberfest, celebrating the night away in fine style!

Batik day at the middle school

So Batik is the national fabric of Indonesia, and everyone wears it from time to time. We decided to all wear Batik this Friday, so here is a shot of a few faculty/staff on the Bali stage –

Batik!!

Cookie Cop

Breck and his cousin Aiden, with a guest-starring role played by Susan, made a little video this past summer. We just now got it uploaded to Youtube, so here it is!