Discovering New Places and Connecting with Amazing People

Kate Heaton, Fulbright ETA at the Lycée Albert Schweitzer in Mulhouse

Before the Christmas vacation I went on a weeklong trip to England with 4 teachers and 54 students from my lycée. This trip provided me with the ideal occasion to share my passion for multi-media art journaling with the students. Each student created a carnet de voyage or a travel journal. The students incorporated many elements in their journal including drawings, photos, and paintings. The students also added travel objects in their journals such as receipts, ticket stubs, and maps. Creating the art journals allowed me to bond with my students. The students and I worked on our journals throughout the trip during lunch breaks and in between activities. The journals also provided a space for reflection for the students. After the trip I enjoyed looking through the students journals. Each student’s journal is different and that is exactly why the journal is an interesting tool of communication. The students captured their unique experience – what they learned, saw, and ate. The journals shared similar experiences such as the tiring bus ride and  the excitement of going to the store Primark. I am looking forward to showcasing the students journals at the lycée.

Before and after the trip to England I got to experience how magical Alsace is during Christmas time. I immersed myself in the Christmas culture by visiting Christmas markets in the region with friends and teachers from my school. Ribeauvillé’s medieval christmas market was one of my favorites. I enjoyed the typical christmas treats including pain d’épices and vin chaud.

During the holiday my nineteen year old sister, Julia, visited me. It was a joy having my sister here and sharing my life in Alsace with her. Julia met my students and helped me teach lessons about Martin Luther King Jr. and Obama’s Farewell speech. Julia and I were also welcomed to some teacher’s homes for dinner. She experienced a few typical French dinners that lasted until midnight with French cheese, wine, and of course politics. I also had the opportunity to meet Alex Gonzalez, the ETA who was at my host high school last year.

Alex Gonzalez created the collaborative Radio LAS with Catherine Wimmer. Thanks to the Fulbright program, the radio project benefited from the skills of a real student journalist.

Alex did a special radio show with the students during his short stay in Mulhouse. This was my first time participating in a radio show and seeing how recording live works.

During these last few months I have enjoyed discovering new places and connecting with people.

Note: The radio and art journaling are part of la Nouvelle Communauté du Lycée Albert Schweitzer in Mulhouse founded in 2014 by Catherine Wimmer and Philippe Provence.


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