By Nagy Abdelraouf Abdeldayem
Al-Obour Model Institute, Cairo, Egypt
Hello America, Egypt, the twenty countries of SUSI participants, The Mansfield Center and the embassy of the United States in Egypt.
Today, I am going to talk about my fruitful experience through our second visit to Big Sky High School in Missoula. This visit added a lot me a teacher as I met the staff of the school who were ready to share all their resources and experience with us as SUSI participants. For example, Ms Meleina, a helpful teacher of writing gave wonderful solutions to the problems of teaching writing and how to deal with the trouble-makers in our classes. Ms Nancy Thibo handled class behavior and how to create a meter for self-assessment of the teacher to see how far he/she proceeds. Mr. Aron Fortner showed great enthusiasm to cooperate with us and our students through making connections in between teachers and students in our schools and those of Big Sky High school. Really, today’s field trip was a great one and the people of Gig Sky are great respectable and loving staff. I truly thank them from the deepest of my heart.
I consider this trip complimentary to that of Helena, the capital of Montana. In Helena, we managed to have an overview on the history of the United States and its native culture. We started with the Capitol where we felt that we traveled more than 100 years backwards in time. The architecture of that building goes back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The decorations, the wall hangings, the paintings, the statues, the supreme court, the senate, the chamber of representatives…etc. All these narrate a history of an area of the U.S. where one should stop for long to study. Moreover, I was so pleased with the warm welcoming of the Lieutenant Governor, Mike Cooney who greeted us and gave a synopsis on the history of Montana’s constitutional convention.
Next, we visited Montana’s History Museum where one can see himself/herself seized within different epochs of native American history. from the ice age up till the modern age. The paintings, tools and instruments, the sculptures, everything in the museum leads you back across history of the native American culture. In addition, we were lucky to visit the Montana Office of Public Instruction where we met the committee responsible for content standards and Instruction, and that of Accreditation. Finally, I was truly fascinated by the great effort done by the Indian Education Division. This division is responsible for reviving the native Indian cultural heritage. In Particular, this topic took me back to my continent where the men of letters and thinkers prophesied an approach towards liberating the African continent from the clutches of colonialism. They called it “decolonization”. Its aim was to take the people of Africa back to their indigenous cultural heritage through reviving their old traditions, mythology and ancestral legacy. The Indian education has a lot in common with decolonization. It is truly amazing to help the Indian revive their culture and to be proud of it.
Back to the most thrilling events of the day (Friday June, 10), We met our host families for this weekend. I was truly lucky to be with Mr and Mrs Wood. A very nice, open -minded, generous, loving, understanding, respectful, decent, honorable and much more. When they came to Pantzer Hall to pick me up, I felt great happiness as I started to feel as if I am going to spend the weekend within my own family. When we arrived at their home, I realized how great and generous they are to volunteer to host somebody they do not know from a totally different culture. The Woods embody the real meaning of a universal family who has friends all over the world and hosted people from around the globe. I truly thank them as they represent an unparalleled example of an American family from the peaceful State of Montana.
In short, the SUSI 2016 is really wonderful for the variety of academic, cultural and regional activities it provides for its participants. it has added so much to me about the history, culture and the educational system in the United States.
Let’s have a look at the photographs picked at the events I handled in this report.