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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

Alea’s high school graduation!

Alea finishes up her years at JIS with a beautiful evening of pomp!

Fourplay party!

Great Fourplay party this afternoon, with super food and drink, slippery floors, and even the muff bag! Our group has had a few members move on over the years, but also gained a few babies, so all is good.

 

Alea’s graduation pictures

Alea and I spent yesterday afternoon exploring the JIS campus and taking some pictures. We wanted something that could go in her graduation announcement, and had fun checking out some different places and poses.

Here are some of the pictures that will NOT be in her grad announcement – that one will be a surprise. There are just pictures that I like…

Jogjakarta school trip

Our school takes a week without walls-type trip every year, and so we headed out to Indonesia’s cultural center with 200 6th graders. We got to visit ancient temples, go white-water rafting, view traditional dances, and just do all sorts of fun stuff to wrap up the school year (and our time in Indonesia).

And here's the whole gang at Borobudur!

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!

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!!

Math department dinner

Math department dinner last night – great colleagues, super food, and a late night in the pool! Thanks to all who made it (including our principal party crasher)!

 

Don't they look so serious?!

Volleyball Champs!

2 volleyball tournaments this weekend – 1 championship and 1 3rd place. Great job to all the JIS MS girls’ teams members!!

2014 JIS MS Girls Volleyball - Champs!

Band Bash!

The combined middle and high school bands put on quite the performance this afternoon!

Breck blaring away Alea's ready to roar!

Breck and the Boyfriend

No, we don’t have any big announcement to make. Just wrapping up the run of the high school play “The Boyfriend,” for which Breck was specially trained and appointed as one of the key spotlight operators.

You can see him in the cast and crew picture below with all his high-tech gear!

4th from the left in the front row

Band Concert – both kids in HS now!

Alea and Breck perform in their first HS concert together. Breck is in the Concert Band (red batik stripe) and Alea is in the Wind Ensemble (blue batik stripe)

Welcome back to school

Bali dancer at the JIS middle school welcome back assemblyThe first week is always a bit of a blur for teachers and kids and teachers, especially for all the “newbies.” Most of the first few events are designed to help get over some of the anxiety attendant with that rush of activity. For example, our first assembly at the middle school featured, for the second year in a row, a traditional welcoming Balinese dance. And, of course, for the second year in a row, I didn’t have a camera.

Luckily others did, and I was actually able to steal one from a fellow teacher and grab some shots from the back of the stage, looking out at the crowd of kids. Interestingly enough, even though I didn’t know it at the time, Breck is just visible beyond the dancer’s skirt (he’s in a red t-shirt).

As I noted when I first put this shot on Facebook, I love working at a place where the welcome-back-to-school assembly includes an exotic traditional dance. Very cool!

He must be on the front stage

And now it is Breck’s turn. He was cast as the lead character in one segment of the middle school production!! He is The Man (no really, that is the character’s name) in the play “Could Things Be Worse?” Basically he complains about his life, and his rabbi sets him up with a whole bunch of new troubles at home just to prove that there is plenty more terribleness that could be going on, and to convince him that he doesn’t have it so bad.

I’m not sure I agree with the overall message (which I take to be “hey buddy, even if things are rotten, just accept them rather than trying to take action to improve, since there is always a way for you to be more miserable”), but it is a cute play anyways. Check him out in the gallery below; opening night is Friday and we are all excited about seeing him in action!

She must be on the front page

Backstory #1: Our school is celebrating its 60th year of existence this spring, and part of the festivity is the construction of a “JIS Legacy Mosaic.” This will be a wall made up of glazed ceramic tiles that students and community members design and paint. The tiles are being worked on this month, and the high school gets first shot at creating their designs.

Backstory #2: We got an email today to vote for our school’s Board of Patrons members (the hilarious part of the process is the line which read “Inasmuch as we have two candidates for two positions, results will not be announced. Nonetheless, please vote!”). But whatever, I decided to do my duty, and clicked on over to our school website. And low and behold, what do I see?

Alea painting a tile

Who is that in the picture (with her “Be Pawsitive” t-shirt on) but our very own Alea! She is in the midst of painting her own tile, and on the front page of our school website, but we would never have seen it if not for the Board of Patrons vote. I’m casting my ballot right now – democracy rules!!!

Keep us posted!

That title doesn’t just apply to this entry (which it does, as you’ll see), but also to the general state of our blog. I have been remiss in the past few weeks in terms of keeping everything up-to-date, and I do apologize to both our readers out there. It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon, after a rainy morning, and I plan on sitting out by the pool with some chill music in the background and a cold drink in the foreground. Hopefully I’ll be working on a few posts as well, and schedule them to take place during the week. Let’s see if that happens…

But for the news of the day: this morning, we received an email from our head of school regarding a post that appeared on the “International Schools Review” website last week. He stressed that, while the language in the entry was alarmist, our school works in close conjunction with the appropriate ministries in Indonesia and has had no indication of any drastic changes coming for next school year.

On the other hand, he also used the entry as a “teachable moment” – the sort of opportunities which provide a learning experience in a real-life situation. As we move into a digitally-infused educational environment, it becomes even more important for us to help kids “question authority,” or in this case, question “on who’s authority?” this anonymous posting was made. Heady stuff for a Sunday morning, to be sure, but one that made for an interesting discussion around the Stutz breakfast table!

In any case, we will be sure to keep posted as (if?) anything develops from this. My gut feeling, based on nothing, is that – even if such a law is enforced – our school is so highly international in character that it would have very little impact.

Article text:

In 2013 an alarming education policy will take effect in Indonesia. The new legislation, Peraturan Pemerintah Republik Indonesia Nomor 17 tahun 2010, has far-reaching implications for international educators wishing to teach in Indonesia. Here are the basics of the legislation as explained to ISR:

1. “National Plus Schools” [nat’l curriculum + internat’l curriculum, eg: Cambridge] will now be called “International Schools.” This means that for every foreign teacher there must be 3 local Indonesian teachers. Foreign teachers will only be allowed to teach English and NOthing more, as all other subjects will be taught by locals.

2. Schools currently called “International Schools” will become “Foreign Schools.” NO Indonesian citizens will be allowed to attend these schools.

It appears international teachers in Indonesia will be relegated to teaching ESL.

(Just FYI, here is the response from a teacher at one of the other international schools located in Jakarta)

Breckdancing

No, not “breakdancing” as you might think…

So here’s the story: we were in a lunchtime meeting, and we could hear all this music being played outside. No big deal, right? Then other teachers started coming in saying that all the kids were on the Bali stage dancing, they were having a great time, and there’d never been anything like it before. Whatever.

Then, I started getting emails from people, and instructions to go the the front page of our MS website. And there it was:

Apparently Breck had climbed up on stage and started busting out with some boogie-Bollywood moves that people wanted to follow
At first, it was just him with a bunch of girls - the guys were off to the left doing their own thing
And the stage filled up, with crowds in the stands all around!
Actual quote: “Your son was the star of the Bali Stage dance floor today at lunch.  He had about 30 kids out there dancing with him.” Our boy was gettin’ down! It was like a scene right out of an Indian movie, where spontaneous dancing breaks out and makes everyone happy. It was certainly a fun way to see the kids spending their time!

Batik

BatikIt seems that the unofficial shirt of Indonesian men is made from Batik material. It is loose, airy, and apparently super comfortable to wear. We see people wearing it all around the city, and our administrators make a habit of putting it on quite often (and looking very sharp as well, I might add).

The school is in the midst of taking a reflective look at itself. In addition to it being the 60th anniversary this year, the mission and vision statements were revamped in a “Dream Summit” held at the tail end of last year. One of the really cool ‘extras’ that came out of that whole process was a decision to embody JIS symbols in a batik pattern specifically designed to personify the school.

Rather than try to explain myself the process, I’ve attached a pdf (rather large at 5mb – I apologize) that describes all the thought and symbolism that went into the design. I can’t wait for it to come out on banners and shirts – that will be an absolutely awesome way to jump right in to the school culture.

And we are moving to…

Jakarta Family - we've got our Bintang and Batik, our SLR and Snorkel, and are all very excited about our impending move to Indonesia!Jakarta, Indonesia!

We accepted positions today teaching first grade and middle school math next year at Jakarta International School. We are thrilled and cannot wait to share all the exciting prospects of this move.

We are pleased that the kids will be graduating from a World IB school, that we are in a country where we can explore everything from mountains to jungles to beaches, where we can meet orangutans and Komodo dragons face-to-face, where we can get our scuba diving certificates, and where we can easily travel to Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, and Thailand (to name but a few).

We are SO fortunate and look forward to many visitors 🙂