Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh yes, I also teach! Actually, this week, I taught six classes. I have taught Piaget, Erikson, Gardner, Bloom, the learning process, lesson planning and some English classes. I generally teach each course two or three (sometimes more) times. I have been using some power point. Odgerel and I take our equipment, including the screen, to the classroom when we use it.
To the left and below is a math methods course where I used no bake cookies as a demonstration for how to use cooking in the classroom. I am most interested in modeling ways to involve and engage students - notice the group work and presentations. Odgerel is my main interpreter, Nara and Amaraa have also interpreted for me. We all work well together.

Five hundred and thirty - 530 - in-service teachers arrived on campus on Wednesday for a five-day program. I taught this group twice.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What a great Saturday. Doko, an accomplished felter and manager of Duuren Sanaa - an NGO that promotes Mongolian handicrafts and teaches villagers to develop their own businesses, arranged a trip to Altanbulag - a village in the west. We traveled through incredible scenery - no picture does it justice.

Goats - from whence comes cashmere. Our picnic break - al fresco and al coldo! Through the woods you can see horses being herded.

The river is beginning to melt - another sign that spring is on the way!

The looms in the ger of a weaving family. Both husband and wife weave, and they specialize in the belts worn with the tradition Mongolian costume - the del. Their weaving is so superior, they provide belts for many Lamas, and they have a contract with Japan for belts for Sumo wrestlers! Their work is sold in UB. The weaver becomes part of the loom. She has a belt around her waist that hooks to her work - it functions as the front beam of a loom. She is weaving with incredibly thin cotton thread

Doko is holding a stack of belts that are ready for market.

Left is a bird's nest! Much like an oriole's nest, these small birds use sheep and goat wool to "felt" their nests! The family gave me this one as a gift - it will bring me luck and wealth - we can only hope!

A collective of four women in the village. In the summer and fall they make huge batts of felt, and then in the winter, they fashion their rugs and chair seats but quilting the felt. I am now the proud owner of one such seat.

Preparing a Khazak design for a felted wall hanging.

This family also has a small business. They make boots for young children. The husband is carving the boot forms. The felt is then formed into the uppers, and Doko is displaying a finished pair of boots.

What an interesting day. Felt is such an integral part of Mongolian life. Not only does it cover the ger, it covers their bodies, and provides warm places to sit. Felt is imbued with medicinal assistance as well. If one wears a felted hat, one has less chance of losing hair and having it go white. (Too late for me on both counts). If one sits on felt, one's bones will stay well and arthritis may be kept under control. The seat cover I purchased will be on display on my office chair!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to me. I had a wonderful day. Actually, two days! On Friday, my department celebrated with a gorgeous cake and some lovely gifts. And, on Monday, the math department hosted a joint celebration for me and Enkhtsetseg - our dean whose birthday March 12. Another beautiful cake and more very special presents. If you have to have a birthday and get older, this is the way to do it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Some of the more famous buildings in UB. Above is the post office. Many directions begin with - "from the post office you go....." Just below is the stock exchange - pink on the left, and the Golomt Bank - green on the right. To the right is the ballet theater. These buildings are on the periphery of Sukhbaatar Square.

These are pictures of the Square, and the Parliament Building at the back. Chinggis Khan sits in front of the building. There is another statue, very recently unveiled, in the center of the square of Sukhbaatar, the leader of the 1921 Revolution.

Above is the Ulaanbaatar Hotel, complete with a statue of Lenin! Yes, Lenin....this is UB's only five star hotel. It is right across the street from the Mongolian State University of Education, which is next to my school.

This is a manhole...note, no cover. One of the hazards of walking in UB....I had to include it in my walking tour.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

UB is surrounded with mountains, and in the past few years, groups have been developing some ski areas. Sunday, I went to Sky Resort with Odgerel, her daughter, her grandson - Emu (4), and her daughter's boss, a very nice man from Japan. We had a lovely day. Odgerel's daughter practiced her snow boarding, and Idia and Emu skiied. Odgerel and I walked to the top of the slope on one side of the chair lift, and down the slope on the other side....and spent some time going up and down the bunny hill with Emu in the afternoon. We ended the day with a wonderful dinner at the Seoul Restaurant - sushi all around. What a nice day - out of the city - clear air, lots of sun, and a good bit of exercise.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Enkhe (Director of Training), Tseveen (Department Chair), Odgerel and I went to the Human Complex School in the Central Aimag (district). This is about one hour south of UB. The school was built in 2006 by the World Bank and houses both preschool and primary classrooms. It is a showcase school. We were warmly greeted and then held a sharing session with the teachers. We agreed to continue our relationship with inservice training and joint research projects. After our session, we went on a tour of the school.