Monday, December 12, 2011

Stephen Fry in America

It's hard to imagine a more English, Englishman traveling across the United States. Prince Charles, Hugh Grant, the late Noel Coward? In this series from 2010, writer and comedian Stephen Fry crisscrosses America in a London black cab dispensing his inimitable wit as he travels through state after state. Some of the states get a bit of short shrift. Nevertheless it's funny to see the US through the eyes of a Briton. I wish he'd brought Hugh Laurie along with him. Maybe next time. Free streaming from Netflix. 

Meet Plan Go

Do you spend 10 hours a day trapped in a tiny cubicle toiling away on TPS reports or something worse? Has the morning commute become so routine you drive to work with your eyes closed? Perhaps it's time for a career break. Ever thought about it? Looking out the windows by my cubicle at the cold and advancing gray sky certainly puts in mind that the sun must be shining somewhere. I've been reading through Meet Plan Go's website lately and fantasizing about what it would take to take some time off, lots of time. If you're ready to cut loose and do some serious travel Meet Plan Go might be just the thing for you. They host events around the country and offer practical advice and support on how to make a career break part of your career development. 

Culture Fairs

I joined the PTO at the boys' elementary school earlier this year. They're always looking for people and I thought it'd fun to be a bit more involved.

In November we hosted a multicultural fair. Stevenson Elementary is surprisingly diverse considering its size and each year the school holds a culture fair to celebrate that diversity. There are parents and students from nearly every continent, and many of them volunteer to host rooms.

We had rooms dedicated to: India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, China, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Native America, Russia, Vietnam, and Sweden. (Though not officially a Swede, I felt Jenni and I could at least represent.) Each room had crafts, clothes, activities and most importantly food. As the kids and their parents entered the school, each child was issued a passport like you see on the right. After a presentation in the gym and some music, the kids took their passports to each room to have them stamped, have a snack and maybe do the activities. It was a great way for the kids to be exposed to cultures from around the world. There was clog dancing in the gym, henna tattooing in the cafeteria, and a virtual world tour in the library.

Living in a university town we have a lot of culture fairs and international festivals, but I'd have to say this was one of the best I've attended. The best thing about it was having parents volunteer and participate at the school. If you're more of a stay at home traveler, which we've become lately, this is a great way to share your knowledge and bring a bit of the world home.