Friday, September 4, 2015

Sharles' Study Abroad Blog: The First Day of School

My very first day at OBS De Klinker was exciting and surprising.  I was warmly greeted by the staff.  The secretary gave me a tour of the building and introduced me to many of the teachers.  Everyone took time to personally welcome me into their school.  I observed that the school was very brightly colored and full of life.

This marks only the second week being in session from their recent break and the teachers already had some students’ work on display in the hallways.  In the morning, I visited some of the classrooms and simply observed their normal routine.  I was surprised to find that there were many components of each classroom that reminded me of American education.

One very prominent aspect of the younger classrooms was the strategy of using music to help students learn. The classroom participated in a song that had the same tune I was used to as an educator in schools in the states.  This goes to show that music is a universal tool.  Also, the young students participated in a circular morning meeting.  Here they discussed things they did over break.  Even though I do not speak the language, I could see that the children were excited to share their experiences.  Later they discussed the current weather, season, date, day of the week, and the month much in the same way that I have observed and taught in American classrooms.

Another aspect of the classrooms was their system of management.  When a student needed to use the restroom, they simply put a clothespin next to their name on a roster before leaving the room quietly.  This strategy was used in all the classrooms that I observed.  This use has positive effects not only for classroom management but also for instruction.  In effect, I observed no classroom interruptions for this cause.  With less interruptions, the students and the teacher are able to focus on the material at hand.  New information can be processed and assimilated with much less frustration.

In conclusion, I found that although I am working in a very different environment, there are certain aspects of the educational teaching experience that remain the same.  No matter what part of the world,  a child must receive a certain amount of care and support in order to grow and prosper in their education.  From my observations in just a single day, I can see that De Klinker follows this example.  The staff strive to guide yet challenge their students in a way much like I hope to reach my future students.  I look forward to learning much more from the staff and students here at De Klinker.

NOTE: This post originally appeared on Sharles' personal blog:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pioneer Center and OU-C partner to present Black Farm Festival

OU-C and the Pioneer Center are partnering to present the “Black Farm Festival” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 12. The historical tribute to the life and time of Charles and Daisy Black will be held at the Ohio University-Chillicothe Charles & Daisy Black Farm, located at 32505 State Route 50, near Londonderry.

The house and farm have a rich history of serving the community. Charles Black used the farm as a location for breeding and training saddle bred horses, and he became well-known for his craft. Also, the house has a long history prior to Charles and Daisy Black purchasing it in 1948. There is an old road which ran behind the house and was traveled by stage coach. Further, during the Civil War period, slaves had a safe haven in the upstairs of the house behind a false wall as they made their journey to Canada. There was a trap door in the kitchen area where they could reach the first floor.

After moving to Chillicothe in 1934, the Blacks purchased the 268-acre horse farm outside of town in 1950 and built the farm’s 20-stall horse barn in 1958.

Daisy Black, Charles’ wife, was one of the founders of the Pioneer School. That relationship blossomed over time, with the Blacks becoming generous supporters of the developmentally disabled community. Charles eventually donated his farm to OU-C for the purpose of having children with disabilities use it for therapeutic riding opportunities.

In 2002, Black donated the horse farm and its riding facilities to Ohio University-Chillicothe. The horse farm continues the Blacks’ heritage of contributing to the community. The facility includes programming for children with disabilities, a passion that Charles and Daisy Black shared.

Among events during the Black Farm Festival are:

Marketplace. Hand-crafted artisan Appalachian crafts and an historical antiquities display.

Lunch. A picnic-style lunch will be available for purchase including pulled pork from the The Pioneer School’s Tiger CafĂ© from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Main Stage. Entertainment by Stephanie Stanley, The Greater Goods (Ashley and Amber Good), Rick Barnes and speakers from the Story Teller’s Festival.

Family Activity Tent. Several fun, family-friendly activities including pony cart rides provided by Stargazey Farms.

Arena. Horse demonstrations will allow an insider’s historical perspective.

Barn. Tours of the barn will highlight the history of the horse barn and Charles’ intention for the farm.

Special Performances. Appalachian music performances during the event.

Auditions, informational meeting slated for upcoming OU-C theater production

OU-C's vibrant theater program adds to campus life.

The Ohio University-Chillicothe theater program will host auditions for the play Almost, Maine, by John Cariani, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 9 in the Bennett Hall auditorium. Area actors, from both the campus and local communities, are welcome to audition. Interested participants can sign up for a 30-minute slot at: Prospective actors do not need to prepare any materials and should arrive 15 minutes early to complete an audition form. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script and some movement exercises.

An informational meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 2 in the auditorium for interested OU-C students. Theater producer/director Dr. Lance Mekeel will share information about theater classes, productions and employment opportunities.

For more information about Almost, Maine, to obtain a perusal script or gain insights about the theater program, contact Mekeel at or visit the web site

Upcoming session to discuss emotional intelligence strategies to help people jump-start their lives and careers

A session to help people understand how to unlock their emotional intelligence will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Ohio University-Chillicothe Technology and Business Development Center. The focus of the session is “Do you have what it takes to jump-start your brain for business and personal success?”

Marcia Harris will help participants understand how to develop a strategy to get off of the emotional roller coaster and jump-start their lives and careers as well as make an impact on others.

Cost is $149, with an early-bird special of $100 for those who register by Sept. 10. Registration deadline is Sept. 18.

The session is sponsored by the OU-C Office of Continuing Education and Workshop Development. Registration for the non-credit course is available online at or by contacting Janet Fink at (740) 774-7226 or

According to Harris, “Your success in life depends largely on your emotional intelligence. How you respond to life’s situations determines how far you will go in life as you use your positive emotions to diffuse, understand and create working relationships that lead to win-win situations for all involved.”

“This upcoming session focuses on a whole brain strategy, leading to increased energy as you learn to understand your greatest resource, the brain.”

Harris, the keynote speaker, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in community counseling. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the National Speakers Association. Harris is experienced as a facilitator of “YOUnique whole-brain life skills seminars.” She also has more than 20 years of experience as a youth program director and is the executive director of Time Out for Me, Inc. youth personal development.

Free storytelling festival tickets available to Ohio University members

Thanks to a grant, festival organizers are able to offer two free weekend festival passes to Ohio University students, faculty and staff members to attend the 13th annual Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival in Chillicothe on Sept. 11-12.  To take advantage of this offer, fill out the online coupon at Enter “Ohio” in the “Coupon Code” field.  For those who sign up quickly, tickets will be mailed.  However, since tickets can be held at the gate, this offer is valid through the end of the school day on Sept. 10.

The festival begins with an event the evening of Sept. 10 and continues through the weekend at the Pump House Center for the Arts. Some of the storytellers will also perform from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Black Farm Festival on Sept. 12. The complete schedule for the weekend is available at

Committee assignments posted for 2015-16 academic year

Campus committee assignments for the 2015-16 academic year have been posted. They can be found on the campus’ web site under the faculty/staff portal on the front page, then clicking on the ‘Faculty Links’ and then ‘Campus Committees.’

Committee chairs have been named, and the next step is for committee chairs to soon call initial committee meetings.

Chillicothe Campus students share what they did during their summer vacations

We regularly speak with our students to gain their take on campus life. With the fall semester just beginning, we asked that ageless question, “What did you do over summer vacation?”

Kirsten Harper, a junior who is majoring in nursing, had an eventful summer. “I showed quarter-horses at shows in Ohio,” she said. “I also hung out with friends a lot and went on a couple of weekend trips.” Harper is a Miami Trace High School graduate.

“I saw my brother in Cincinnati a lot and, since, I was in the area, also went to Kings Island a bunch.
I also went to the Jamboree in the Hills country concert,” said Kaylee Hawes, a freshman who is majoring in nursing. The Peebles resident was home-schooled in high school.

“I went to some (Cincinnati) Reds games and went kayaking on Paint Creek a lot. I also worked at Krogers,” said Kaitlyn Thornsberry, a freshman psychology major from Eastern Pike High School.

“I went on a vacation to the beach in North Carolina and did a lot of golfing in addition to working a lot at McDonald’s,” said Matthew Decamp, a freshman from Unioto High School is majoring in computer science.

Donovan Hall, a freshman computer science major from Valley High School, enjoyed life in the fast lane, “I went to a NASCAR race in Kentucky and hung out with friends, plus spent time lounging around the pool. In addition, he earned money doing landscaping and yardwork.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sharles' Study Abroad Blog: Arrival in The Netherlands


My arrival in The Netherlands was one that could be described as lovely and picturesque.  I landed on a Friday morning so this left the whole weekend to get acquainted with the country and its people.  As I rode the train from Schiphol airport to Rotterdam to meet my host, I couldn’t help but to take in the scenes that were passing by so quickly outside the fast train windows.  One moment I was just outside the capital city and the next I was flowing by enormous fields of rich green color and large modern windmills could be seen in the distance. With the coming days, my host introduced me to famous sights and historic monuments such as Villa Augustus, Noah’s Ark (built to biblical measurements), the Kinderdijk World Heritage site, and the vintage city of Dordrecht.  I also had the opportunity to see the Rotterdam skyline during the day and even the night.  She also introduced me to exciting local extravaganzas on the mini island of Oud-Beijerland.  We browsed the local shops as I was caught by the welcoming aroma of the town.

NOTE: This post originally appeared on Sharles' personal blog: