By Janice Kukuk Posted August 2004
Mrs. Gael McGibbon who is Lowry’s chemistry teacher traveled to Timisoara, Romania in the summer of 2004. Mrs. McGibbon was in Timisoara from mid-July to mid-August. In Timisoara, she attended a Bridges for Education convention. In Timisoara, she taught at an international camp. She worked with students from six different countries. She would have conversations with the many different students to help them learn how to speak English.
Mrs. McGibbon attended the convention because she likes to travel. She also went because the convention blended her personal interest in humanitarian efforts.
The qualifications to go to the Bridges for Education convention were very detailed. Mrs. McGibbon had to fill out an application and get many recommendations from her fellow teachers. She also had to meet with a group in Ohio, read seven books, and prepare several lesson plans. The whole process took about three months.
Mrs. McGibbon’s favorite part of her trip was the interesting conversations with her students. She learned many things while talking with the students. She learned about how East Europe was still adapting to being out of communism for the past 15 years. The attitudes of the students were very different from the attitudes of their parents. The students did have to grow up under a communist government as their parents did. The people in East Europe have few real freedoms as we do in America. The East European currency is losing its value very quickly.
In Timisoara, the lifestyle is very different than ours. People don’t multitask as we do. They do one thing at a time and still get everything done on time. They don’t spend their extra time inside watching television. Instead, they spend their free time socializing. They go to the corner pubs where they can socialize with each other. They even think of grocery shopping as an opportunity to socialize, not as a chore. Mrs. McGibbon said that there were always people out on the streets, just talking with one another.
Mrs. McGibbon’s trip to Romania has changed her as a person and as a teacher. She now tries to not multitask and to take things one at a time.
By doing this she has more patience for her students.
Mrs. McGibbon recommends others to go to a Bridges for Education convention.