Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Olympics in a Different Light

It's a very unique experience watching the Olympics while living in a foreign country. Yesterday, Cate decided to let the kindergartners watch for awhile, so we went into the TV room at school to see some swimming. I'm not used to cheering for one country while everyone else is cheering on another! Our splendid Michael Phelps was in top form, but the Korean swimmer was also excellent, so it was an exciting race. My little kindies were jumping up and down, screaming for their athlete! They were about as much fun to watch as the race was! I tried not to brag too much when the USA took gold (and bronze).

The Olympics have been a great teaching aid for me. I've played Olympic-themed games in classes, and been able to have numerous conversations with the kids about the games. Even the kids that aren't into sports get excited about the Olympics.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"