Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Answers to My Classroom's Questions

Hi everyone!

A few weeks ago, my friends Keith and Kristin visited my classroom so they could talk about their adventures with me and show the equipment they use when making their radio programs. Everyone had a great time and worked on thank you notes for Keith and Kristin. Last week, Aunt Lynn gave Keith and Kristin the stack of thank you notes from the class. Keith and Kristin really like the notes and they tell me that some of my classmates had some questions in their notes. So I asked them if they could write down the answers for me to pass along. Below is what they gave me (along with some of my own comments).

Question: How old are you?
Keith was born in 1965 and Kristin was born in 1972
(Can you do the math to figure out their ages?)

Question: Have you been to Australia?
Keith and Kristin have NOT been to Australia

Question: Have you been to China?
Yes. Keith and Kristin have visited Hong Kong
(See if you can find it on the map)

Question: Do you interview a lot of people?
Yes. Journalists interview many people when they are working on stories. They interviewed more than 20 people while they were in Doha and Dubai.

Question: Do you dress like the people in the places you go?
Keith and Kristin haven’t dressed in the “traditional” clothing in the places they have visited. They wear the same kind of clothes they would wear to work. Sometimes they wear jeans and work boots if they are working in a place with mud or sand. And, Kristin says she and Keith do make sure they respect local customs (I guess in some places you can’t wear shoes inside. I had no idea!). But, Keith and Kristin have purchased “traditional” clothing from some of the places they visit. Remember the headscarf that Keith brought to class? That was from Qatar.

Question: Have you ever interviewed any sports players?
Yes. Kristin has interviewed Bill Bradley. He used to play basketball for the Boston Celtics. Keith has met (but not interviewed) Muhammed Ali, the former heavyweight boxing world champion.

Question: How do you get a passport?
You must apply to get a passport. There is a form you have to fill out and you have to get special-sized photos. You can get your photos at Wal Mart and Walgreens. You can get the passport form at the Muscatine County Courthouse. You can also find the paperwork on the Web at: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

Question: Have you ever seen any different kind of animals?
Yes. Keith and Kristin see many different animals on their trips. The animals are different depending on where they are at. But they see lots of chickens and roosters, cows, donkeys, goats, and of course, they saw camels in the desert in Qatar. Kristin says a small monkey once tried to take a microphone right out of Keith’s hand in Cambodia. Both also saw many baboons in Uganda. Both Keith and Kristin have seen armadillos in Texas. Keith and Kristin have also seen a few large snakes and lots and lots of lizards. Kristin doesn’t like snakes and Keith REALLY doesn’t like lizards!

Question: Have you been to the White House?
Yes. Kristin has been inside the White House and Keith took my picture with Kristin outside of the White House when I went to Washington with them.

Question: Have you ever been to a continent?
Yes. Keith and Kristin have been to many continents. Do you know how many continents there are? (Hint…there are seven). Kristin says we actually live on one of the continents. Did you know North America (which includes the United States) is a continent? I had no idea! Keith and Kristin have also visited European, Asian, and African continents.

Question: Do you have fun doing what you do?

Question: What was the favorite place you went to?
Kristin says her favorite place is Paris, France.
Keith says his favorite place is Cape Town, South Africa
(See if you can find these places on the map.)

Finally, there were several questions about Kristin’s trip to Egypt. Kristin doesn’t leave until April 28 and I am going with her! So, check back in a few weeks and hopefully I will have some updates for you about Egypt.

I hope this helps answer your questions.

Until next time…

Monday, April 17, 2006

Home Again

Hi everyone. I am home again from my whirlwind Easter weekend!

Kristin and I got back to Muscatine this afternoon. But, I was able to have some fun in Denver with Eugene and his Dad before we left.

Eugene's dad, Keith, has a HUGE shed behind his house. The shed has space to store cars, lawn tractors and there is a large room called the "wood shop." This morning Eugene and his Dad took me for a tour of the shed.

Here I am pretending to drive Keith's John Deere lawn tractor.

Eugene's dad likes old cars. He has restored one called an MG. I've never heard of this brand but the car is really COOL! It is a convertible and Eugene says the car was in very bad shape and missing parts when Keith bought it. Eugene says it took his dad a long time to make it look like it does today. Eugene's dad must be really smart because I'm not sure I could rebuild a car.

The car is yellow...but Eugene calls it "John Deere" yellow. I was beginning to sense a theme at this point. It seems many things at Eugene's parent's house are John Deere. Here I am with Eugene's Dad and the MG.

And here I am pretending to drive the MG.

After showing me his car, Eugene's dad showed me his "wood shop." This is where he makes lots of different things from wooden blocks. Here you can see me with some of the wood blocks that Eugene's dad is going to turn into pens, bowls, and wooden eggs.

Eugene's dad has LOTS of tools in his shop. My favorite is the saw that cuts the large wood blocks. It is REALLY loud. It also has a very sharp blade and Eugene says I would have to wear what he calls "protective" glasses if I was using the saw. Keith didn't have any special glasses for me but he did let me get a close look at the saw. But, Keith made sure the machine was OFF and he made sure I didn't get too close to the blade. Here you can see me on checking out the saw.

I want to thank Kristin and Eugene for showing me Madison and Denver this weekend. I also want to thank Kristin and Eugene's parents for being very nice and allowing me to spend time with them this Easter.

I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend.

Until next time....

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Greetings from Denver!

Hi everyone!

This morning Kristin told me we were leaving Madison to meet her husband Eugene in Denver. I was wondering how we were going to get to Denver, Colorado in Kristin’s car but it turns out that we were going to Denver, Iowa. Did you know there is a town in Iowa called Denver? I had no idea!

See if you can find Denver, Iowa on the map.

We are here because Eugene’s parents, Keith and Bonnie, live just outside of Denver. They are very nice.

I had fun at Kristin’s parent’s house but Keith and Bonnie’s house is fun too. Keith used to help build John Deere tractors in Waterloo, Iowa. So, he has LOTS of toy tractors. And since I have been really good on this trip, Eugene’s Dad let me play with a few of his tractors.

Tomorrow Kristin says we are headed back to Muscatine.

Until next time….