Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Story of Sharing Lives

As you know, Kathleen Parker, USDA Agricultural Research Service in Pullman linked our middle school writing class up with Pen Pals (Letter Buddies) in Dr. Jeffery Chaichana Peterson's Intercultural Communication classes through Vernette Doty and the Center for Civic Engagement.  We definitely met one of the goals: culturally diverse civic engagement and leadership experiences. The Washington State University Pen Pals organized the event and arrived ready to bond with the pen pals who anxiously waited for this day to come. 

All week the students have been saying things like, "Only two more days!"  "I get to go, right?"  "Am I all caught up cuz the field trip is this week" "When do we leave?" "I'm getting shy again, but I want to go," and "Can we bring our cameras?"

The day arrived, and here are images to tell the story of sharing lives:

What did the students think in our first reflections the next day?

Grade 8

Pepernos wrote "When we first got to WSU we got our nametags and we walked into the auditorium. It was so awesome cause all of our pen pals raised up a piece of paper and it said one or two of our names on it. We all chatted for a little while." and "When I meet someone new, talk more so they will want to hang out again!"

Naner wrote "When I first walked into the auditorium, I was nervous...I admit but then I wasn't because I seen a girl with poofy black hair. And she was holding a sign with my letter and a paper that spelt my name in bold letters. When Ms. Edwards told us to find our "letter bud'ys" I knew where to go:D When I sat down by her I quickly made her laugh ;)  "

Dragan said, "I actually liked the speaker. I learned an awesome quote. 'Learn to listen, Listen to learn.' I also learned that there is 1 native in the NW thats gonna be a dentist." and  "When we played games I got to learn how to communicate with my group and not be shy. I appreciated that those games made me open up and talk."

Roger wrote "I appreciated hearing the story about  Coyote and the Monster, because last time I heard it was 4 or 5 years ago. And how the lady said to never give up, and go to college and be successful in a career that you choose." and "I learned that Tori (my mentor) was VERY outgoing and she was always looking for something to talk about, like what we're gonna do for the summer, or what we like to do the most."

Alper wrote "What I appreciated
- That they woke up so early to catch the bus.
- The story Robby told us.
- The Pizza for everyone."

Grade 7

Lamjo said, "I appreciated the Native American speaker. I enjoyed the story that she told us. I think I heard it once befor from my grandma. I learned to sit and listen to the speaker with out talking. I also learned to never give up on your dream."

Rojo wrote that "I  appreciated  listening to that woman's story about coyote and I learned without friends your just going to be loneley." Later he said, "I really appreceated that all them people would try our traditional round dance and play a fast game of group tag."

Sekin said "I appreciated that scavenger hunts are easy with friends. I learned it's good to work together."

Jamon said, "I appreciate WSU getting all the pizza's. I learned that they bought 33 pizza's. Games I appreciate that they were very kind about going over things as many times as it took. I learned to be very patient.

Grades six students wrote these on the day of the field trip:

Rista wrote "I learned that there is no such word as I can't in our language." and "I learned that going to college is important and will influence the rest of my life." 

Loudy wrote  "I learned that you could get to know more about people when you hang out with them." and "I learned that coming to college is pretty fun once you meet students that go there"

We'll debrief more next week and hope you check back to see our thoughts.

What do you think? Should we do more of these activities?

And now, thanks everyone for this successful trip:


The students in grades 5-8 participated in an exciting field trip yesterday. We did enjoy a wonderful learning experience.

That happened because of all the wonderful staff at our school:

Nurse Betsy provided the first aid kit, supplies, and information for all the safety and health needs.

Dean Erickson forfeited a track meet to allow his track members to attend.  In addition, he remained at school with those students who were unable to attend.

Terrie Sanger and Debbie Joseph jumped right in and wandered with a group in addition to their usual activities.

Terrie arranged for special considerations as needed through our WSU coordinator Vernette Doty.

Jama Van Brunt and Kayla Wells also followed groups of students through their science, craft, game, and scavenger activities.

Kayla took pictures for us too.

Joyce Fleischman is a WOWSER bus driver, making sure we arrived on time and is so kind to all the kids on the bus. Thanks to Jerry Novotney for arranging the bus and driver.

Dee and Vel sent along snacks for the long day, which saved us from hungry kids. We had a morning and afternoon snack. The kids really appreciated that.

It was a great day thanks to these people who made sure everything flowed well on our end.

More thanks to come for the WSU side, when I learn all their names.

Please also thank our students, whose smiles and active participation throughout the day added a special learning experience for their Pen Pals at WSU.

Thank you all for the great day!

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...


  1. When we went to go see our mentors...I was really excited then I got there and was like "Dude I'm nervous!!!!" until I seen my mentor and was like "Alright she seems normal:)" haha but I had fun and I really have to admit I felt as if I were boring her to death:/

  2. Yeah it was a fun day. I had a great time meeting my mentors, Tyler & Evan. I got to admit my mentors had crazy stories of their life like Tyler he broke his nose twice and Evan he was on the a Rugby team...Awesome. I've always wanted to play Rugby, it looks fun to play because it's American Football without shoulder pads...Sweet.

  3. davtrav51 My comment on the WSU field trip was an amazing experience and also meeting our pen pals and when we had to leave I was ready to cry. That day was a little emotional but the experience will stay with me.

  4. i loved it
    it had some of the comments we had and then some of the pictures of us interacting

  5. Kimy,

    It was fun in Spokane. I enjoyed playing the games. It was only My mentor and I until Yawn joined our group. His mentor didn't show. I had fun in the scavenger hunt. Thanks for the time.

  6. Hi,

    I had lots of fun on the trip. It was exciting, interesting,and memorable. I had a lot of fun getting to see my pen pals in person ,and getting to know them a little better. I learned that it's good to meet new people. I also learned two different ways of of DNA. I learned you can communicate with people with barely even talking. I had lots of fun and I hope we can do that again.

  7. When I went to the campus I was so nervous.I thought that she would be bored the whole time.Then I realized that my friend was in my group and wasn't nervous.I really had a good time and want to do it again next year.

  8. I loved the scavenger hunt! I liked taking the pictures with my phone and acting out the scenes when we couldn't find the objects!

  9. Vinick:When I got to the WSU college with all of my friends and teachers to see our letter buddy's( pen pals).

  10. I enjoyed being able to go to WSU with the school,it was fun there we got to meet our mentors and get to know them better.I liked the games we played they were fun and if i get to go back i would like to thank them for giving their time up to be with us.

  11. I had a lot of fun with my two pen pals. I liked the games. The games were scavenger hunt, totem pole, science DNA, and the games. The games were whisper,sculpture,and then the next person has to figure out what it is.

  12. I had so much fun with my mentor! She is so awesome we a bunch of things in common! I loved the Scavenger Hunt! We had to act some things out because we couldn't find them, it was so funny!!!

  13. I was not that glad to go at first to go to the WSU at first but that I was not so I pulled my act up and had the best time of my life and mt mentor told a lot of funny stuff about her self.We also told a lot of story's about our self's and others. =P

  14. I had a lot of fun in Spokane. I liked how every one was communicating with their mentor and have so much fun.I had so much fun playing the telephone game! The game was were one person witch is the whisperer, then there is a drawer, and a sculptor and lastly there is a person that is the guesser would pick out a phrase,they tell the next person, then the person that was told the phrase they have to try to draw it. Then the sculptor has to sculpt what they think they saw or heard. Then when the sculptor is finished they let the guesser see and they try to guess what the phrase is. So that was a lot of fun for me. Then there was another fun thing about the day... that was when me and my mentor went for a photo shoot. We had to step out of the science room and run to the main room. Then the guy was telling us to pretend to read letters and talk to each other, and when we were talking to each other we just started to laugh really hard. So since I had so much fun I want to go back next year!!

  15. I really had fun, I had to join Kimy's group but I enjoyed it. I'd rather be there than any where else because I thought they would be against it, but they were o.k with it. I liked doing the name sharing the most because it was interesting. :)

  16. The field trip was really fun because i liked the memory game.We had to remember all of the peoples names and you had to trow the ball to a person who ever you wanted to trow the ball to.It was hard to remember who we through the ball to the second time.that was my favorite that game was the best game i ever played in Spokane.

  17. On the WSU field trip we ate pizza for lunch then we went to science. What we did in science we scribbled pencil lead on a piece of paper. We smear our finger on it, then you tape your finger and pull it off. Then you have a finger print. Then we went into the back of the room and we put water in a electric box. Then you put salt water in the water then dye. Then you stir it up. Then you put positive and negative and yellow will show up on the left and hot pink will show up on the right. In another room (game room) we tossed a ball around saying the person's name. In another room we did a scavenger hunt. In the scavenger hunt we have to search for a lot of stuff. In the craft room we made a totem pole of our tribe so called, which had many lines of types of things that explain our dream team group. Next we thanked our mentors in a huge circle dance. The circle dance was about 100 ft wide with 86 people in the circle dance. After that we started our two hour trip back.

  18. I was glad that I got to go and see my
    mentor. He was cool.We talked then ate lunch and had a good time. I hope we get to do that again sometime.We did a lot of fun activity's with other people.My favorite game was making are own tribe.

  19. It was fun getting to see my mentor in person for the first time. At lunch time I think I ate three pieces of pizza. When we did the the forensics I learned how to do my finger prints.

  20. During the W.S.U field trip out in Spokane we go to meet our mentors. The auditorium was the first place we went to first. There was this Native American girl that gave us a speech about her life. I learned that a new story about coyote. I also learned that my mentor was from Seattle.

  21. it was so cool. I had a blast. it was cool seeing new WSU students. but the non cool thing was I could not see my real mentor.But until next time I want to see my real mentor.It was fun playing the scavenger hunt.I learned by a story if your mean you might be lonely no friends and lose every thing.

  22. On the W.S.U field trip I was really nervous because we walked into the auditorium and it was full of people and they were our mentors. They were holding up signs with our names on it. When I found my name and sit with my to mentors Aaron and Shannon. I learned more about my mentors and they said that there bus trip was really boring almost like our everyday bus route from my house to school


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