From Sentinel Source: SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL SCHOOLS: INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR
Weinerschnitzel, “The Sound of Music” and yodeling the day away —
these images often pop into foreigners’ minds when thinking of Austria.
But as a group of Austrian exchange students sought to prove
during a recent presentation at Keene State College, there’s a lot more
to the country than those general stereotypes.
And while they’re at it, Austrians only wear the
traditional lederhosen or dirndl for special events, like some of the
female students in the group demonstrated during their visit to Keene
For most of the 20 teenage students, the trip to the
Granite State was their first time in the United States. But their
hometown of Salzburg draws enough international visitors that they know
the views others around the world have of them.
The group’s leader, Fritz Baier, and Keene State
German instructor Alison Pantesco paired up to start the exchange
program with students from Akademiches Gymnasium Salzburg 15 years ago,
when Pantesco was a teacher at Conval Regional High School.
The Austrian students live with families, attend some
classes at Conval and visit different areas of the state. This year,
they visited the Seacoast and were in Keene for the Pumpkin Festival.
The students come to the U.S. looking to practice
their English and learn about the culture. And it’s the little things
that have stood out since they arrived: Everything is bigger and cheaper
here, all the food is heavily flavored, shops are open on Sundays.
There’s also an educational focus to the trip to give
students the chance to compare the school systems in the two countries,
and that’s why they visit Conval, Keene State and Harvard University.
“For most of them, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Baier said.
Even if the Austrian students return to America in
the future, it will likely be as tourists who don’t get this inside
perspective of the average Granite Stater’s everyday life, he said.
While at Keene State, the Austrian students
participated in two of Pantesco’s German language classes, telling the
American college students about their home country and splitting up into
pairs to help the Americans practice their German.
“It’s a wonderful experience to be part of this kind
of exchange,” Pantesco said. “To have your foreign language students
actually speaking with people for whom this is their first language is
really thrilling, I think. That’s what it’s all about.”
Ten early childhood teachers from China visited the
region last month and participated in a panel discussion focusing on
early childhood literacy with teachers from Wheelock School, Wells
Memorial School and the Child Development Center at Keene State.
The Chinese visitors, representing six different
kindergarten classes, participated in professional development workshops
at Keene State.
This trip, along with a delegation of Keene State
representatives who traveled to China earlier this year, is the result
of a collaboration started in 2011 between the college and several
Auditions for the Children’s Stage Adventures
production of “The Fisherman and His Wife” are scheduled for Monday at 3
p.m. at Marlborough Elementary School.
About 50 kids in kindergarten through 8th-grade will
be cast in the show. Students who receive roles need to be registered
for the Marl-Harris Before and After School Program this week to
participate in daily afternoon rehearsals.
No advanced preparation is necessary to audition for a
role and participation is open to all students in Marlborough,
including homeschooled students or students who attend private school.
Performances are scheduled for Friday at 1:15 and 6 p.m.
Children’s Stage Adventures is a nonprofit organization based in Sullivan that travels around the Northeast putting on plays.
Franklin Pierce University’s dining services team
took home top honors in the Localvore Cooking Challenge, in which
colleges and universities compete to create the best meal out of locally
Franklin Pierce Executive Chef Charles Salmond
created a combination bacon cheeseburger, macaroni and cheese, and
grilled cheese sandwich. The Rindge university competed against 12 other
New England institutions, including Keene State. Teams were judged on
marketing, culinary innovation and guest interaction at the competition
hosted at Plymouth State University.
Monadnock Regional High School is hosting a career
and college night for parents of students in grade 11 on Thursday. The
event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.
A nationwide Geography Awareness Week takes places
the third week of November each year with the aim of promoting an
understanding of the world’s geography and how today’s global world is
To start the week, the New Hampshire Geographic
Alliance partnered with the Keene Public Library to host a kickoff party
on Saturday. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Keene library
and includes free training sessions focusing on teaching geography.
There also will be a giant map of Africa in Heberton
Hall beginning Saturday and continuing throughout the week. The map,
which is the size of a basketball court, illustrates oceans, rivers,
mountains, countries and capitals, and includes games and activities.
For more information or to sign up for the training session, visit www.nhga.net.