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Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

There are no words for what we have seen in Japan in the past few days. How they will ever recover, I am not sure. We continually hear stories about waves of bodies washing up on shore, numbering in the thousands; possible meltdowns from nuclear plants disabled by the tsunami and earthquakes; no food, power, even water for nigh on four days.

It is staggering, and the rest of the world watches in horror. But I wonder- what do the Japanese watch with? Or can they even watch? They take this disaster and blame it on no one, immediately picking up the pieces before they have all been thrown onto the table and sorted. I often wonder, would America- if, knock on wood, were to be hit with such a disaster on such a scale- take it with such grace?

Here’s a helicopter video of the actual tsunami waves:

Here are satellite comparison images from NY Times- definitely worth the look.

Satellite Images NY Times

And last but not least, here is a video I found on the internet today. At first it seems like a small wave, and then it gets progressively worse, until entire houses are being swept inland.

I do urge you to donate what you are able, or do what you can (Samaritan’s Purse and Red Cross are great ways to do so.)  I don’t believe much in God, so I’m sending my love; but please, pray to whatever you do believe in, because hope is more than nothing at all.

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Hello, again!

Okay- so there’s been a rather long gap since my last posting and now, but nothing has really happened. No one ever got back to me about those presentations that I talked about earlier, and then I became part of a local musical that had me practicing until at least eight or nine at night every day. But, I have been asked to present at my school’s faculty meeting this coming Wednesday, and that is most definitely a concrete plan of action, something tangible I can plan for and look forward to.

You see, in my county we have what are called Global Initiatives. Our schools are graded on exactly how many global points we acquire- a certain number of points for the percentage of students that have traveled, for the percentage that speak a foreign language fluently, for this event or that event or this global awareness program or that. Last year, for example, our students put on an “International Fair,” where we pretty much went around and learned about the countries of the world and got cute little flags.

Obviously, doing Pennies for Peace would garner our school a great number of points. But hey- here’s to hoping that the school cares more about the points, no? Actually, I’m pretty sure they could put me in charge of globalizing the school and it would work pretty well…

just kidding.

But, now, for storytime! Today at lunch I was talking about how excited I was that Adam Lambert was performing on American Idol this coming Thursday (for those of you who don’t know, he’s kind of my guilty pleasure.) Before I had even finished saying that statement, the guy beside me looks up and says, “He’s the gay one, right?” Well, yes. But it’s because he’s a good singer, and that’s what matters, I replied. And of course- what with me living in a rural area in the South- an argument about religion and rights of gays and lesbians and whatnot ensued. What matters, however, is how the conversation ended.

He looked at me and said, as the bell rang and we stood up to throw our trays away, “I’m sorry, but I was just raised to be intolerant.” I don’t get mad easily, but that really did make me quite angry. The fact that he knew it- he KNEW he had been raised to be intolerant, was consciously aware of it- and he wasn’t doing anything about it. The fact that he didn’t care enough to think, “Oh, is being intolerant wrong, or right? Why?” The fact that he simply took what he had been taught and accepted it without question.

I remember at a scholarship interview a few weekends ago we had to read an article written by Paulo Friere entitled, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. In the article, he talks about the “banking” method of education- how students are bank deposit boxes and are simply being filled with knowledge, without critically analyzing why it is so. This kid at lunch reminded me of that. (Plus it is a MAGNIFICENT read, and worth the time and effort involved, at the very least.)

I think Pennies for Peace would be a great asset to our school, if only to show the kids that are “raised to be intolerant” that tolerance is often the best option.

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Friday I applied to a program called WorldView in Chapel Hill. This application, if accepted, would allow me to be able to address a room full of teachers- grades K-12- on the advantages of using new web technology- mostly interactive- to spur globalization and global studies. The chance to talk to them about Pennies for Peace would be the perfect opportunity to spur the process along. I hope I get it, but if I don’t, then I’ll just have to be creative in other ways.

I want- my vision, at least- is to bring it to nearly all the schools in Union County to reach maximum potential. That would be so cool. Dealing with the elementary schools and the middle schools isn’t too bad. That’s easy enough- all I have to do is tell the classroom with the most change that they get a free ice-cream party. Done deal.  The high schools, however, are where the problems start.

I live in the conservative Bible-Belt of America. And that’s not a problem- at all. I just have to overcome that obstacle. But what an obstacle it is.  Often, when I mention the Middle East or Islam, I do not see interest. I get a remark, similar to this: “Oh. Those Muslims. Why do we want to help them?” It hurts me- it really does- because all they see is face value. They don’t see beyond that. At all. This blindness is the entire reason why we need to teach globalization to our children.
Helping children help children- both ways.

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Hello! My name is Kristina Drye and I am a senior at Piedmont High School in Monroe, NC. You may wonder why I’ve started this blog. So of course I’m going to tell you. ( :

Sometime last year after final exams, I read a book called Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. This book was about a guy (named Greg Mortenson) that attempted to climb the mountain K-2- the second largest mountain in the world. Unfortunately, he failed in his task and wandered, weary and cold, into a Pakistani village called Korphe- after these villagers nursed Greg back to health, he wanted to find some way to possibly thank them. When he asked where their school was, he was led to a group of children, writing figures with sticks in the sand. Greg vowed to build them a school, a proper school. After many years, this school was built. Now, Greg builds schools all over Pakistan and Afghanistan in an attempt to educate children- especially girls.

I was, to say the least, inspired. How could one man do so much? I wanted to get involved. Greg Mortenson’s institute, the Central Asia Institute, runs a program called Pennies for Peace. This program is geared toward not only raising money for their schools through students, but also teaching these students about other parts of the world, and how they are not that different, after all. My goal is to start a Pennies for Peace campaign in Union County, and not only raise money but also raise awareness.
Thus the blog ( :

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