Today is the March 15, 2016, the day after pi day or 3.14 but there was not a peep about it since the dates in other parts of the world the date is written 14.3. I am on a plane reflecting on what what has been going on inside my head --but before I can even finish this post, my short trip to Christchurch is over--”Please store all laptops and other large electronic devices under your seat.”
After boarding the bus from the airport and dropping my bags off at the YHA Rolleston House, [yay, only $2.25 with a Metro Card] I went back off in search of the bus stop to visit the principal in a school about 30 minutes away. Paula Eskett @librarypaula had recommended I meet him due to his awesomeness! Since I had plenty of time, I treated myself a visit to they city art gallery. It was spectacular--the art spans from various time periods and styles. One room is dedicated to the 2011 earthquake where you can find these paint cans serving as a pillar of strength. I do not have a card reader or cord with me to get the pix off my camera but here is the outside of the building!
After an hour long debacle ( walking around the city in circles) which was related to finding the bus stop due to bus stops being relocated due to the construction, and the actual construction blocking the path to the central bus station (where all buses can be found) I eventually got on the bus which then sat in the station for another 15 minutes but I was glad to at least be sitting on the bus. [long sentence!]
I got off the bus with a woman near the primary school I was visiting and realized she too was going to the school! She brings her child to this school which is not the closest school to her home due to the diversity at this school. She raved about the principal and tried to give me a tour--she was awesome and introduced me to other PTA members. By then, the principal heard the ruckus and knew that I had arrived. In true fashion, I recommend that we all take a selfie together.
As for the principal, there are no words to describe the biggest gift he gave me today. I cannnot begin to explain the scope and depth of the programs that are offered to his students at this school all due to his vision and leadership!
He is a very special man and the students at this diverse school with 40 nations represented are very lucky but they may not know it yet! Too much to write about in this post! This man was fun and warm, and I feel like I have known him all my life. He was eager, energetic, and well spoken in the way he presented the school programs and activities; He was proud to share his vision, accomplishments and school with me. This is the sort of school that other schools should be modeled. I hope to elaborate more on the school programs in a later post or in my final project.
Sue is a teacher and school librarian living in Atlanta, GA, USA. She was in NZ as a Fulbright Distinguished Teacher from Feb-June 2016.