Archive for June, 2014

June 25, 2014

What an amazing last 30 hours…..we left Detroit in the middle of a monsoon, and flew to Frankfort, Germany (Luftnasia is my new favorite airline….individual movies and edible food). We landed and had to immediately board the next flight to Warsaw. On the flights, I watched Anchorman 2, some spy movie starring Kevin Costner and re-watched the pilot of the 1990 classic 90210. The plane was packed, so working on my dissertation could not happen….but we made it. When we arrived, we got dropped off at our hotel about 9 am…..unfortunately, our rooms were not ready until 3. We stopped in at a coffee shop. I signed up for European data through Verizon, but it wasn’t added yet….so I walked around Warsaw….went to the bank and found a Polish falafel vendor……which was both excellent and unique…..I also took some pictures…My new camera bag is big and bulky….so its great for the bus to sites…but really bulky walking around site seeing….I will be keeping my eyes out tomorrow for a smaller one……

After we got in our rooms (and took a quick 3 hour power nap)…we did a walking tour of Old Town, Warsaw…the oldest center city. One interesting thing was that this entire section of reconstructed buildings were destroyed in World War II….and were reproduced and rebuilt exactly as they were….I am including some pictures……Now it is time to crash…big day ahead tomorrow….


So what do you do when you leave the states for a month on your last weekend…..well…..I had hoped to work in the studio a little…but yesterday’s high wind weather made me decide to unplug it so nothing happened to it (10,000 Toledo residents lost power). So I spent all day working with the bank….which seemed to be way harder than it needed to be, set up my bills to automatically come out of my bank for a month, went to Jimmie John’s for lunch, got a haircut, and finished Orange is the new Black, watched The Book Thief, and watched most of the new season of Game of Thrones……you know important stuff…..I also went shopping…..I had to get a new hard drive, camera bag, and extra memory card. I went into work and downloaded my holocaust unit so that I can work on it for the Fulbright, I spent a few hours grading, and treated myself to Nagoya in Perrysburg (a restaurant so expensive…..I can only go once or twice a year). I also traveled to Tiffin and Bellevue to visit family members and celebrate a birthday.

With all of this exciting stuff (lol), I did continue researching notgeld and ghetto money. I learned last week that the Germans had anti-Semitic money way before Hitler. During the period after World War I, the Germans had to pay reparations to the allies. The German government did this by printing large amounts of money…this made German money worthless (hyperinflation). In order to survive, local governments printed notgeld so that there was some type of currency for business. This money was printed locally and unregulated by the government. Some of this money was very anti-Semetic (see picture).

Another money related thing I did not know was that the German government printed money to be used in the ghetto. 

This money was made to look very nice to help hide what was going on from the International community. 

The last thing I did was pack….very light…the idea is to blend in…not look American…..and put a month’s worth of clothes in a carry on.

The black bag is all camera/ laptop stuff….the green is clothes….hope I can get through security…..Off to Detroit now….my next blog should be much more exciting….Warsaw here I come……

Video Comparison

So I need to figure out what camera to take to Europe…here are two live songs recorded with a Nikon 5100 and a Canon Rebel…which one is better?

I did manually adjust the Canon’s volume because it overloaded on automatic….I am thinking the Nikon has better video and I need to manually adjust the volume on it since it is a little hot….thoughts?

Friday June 20, 2014

The last day of preparation before we leave. Today we worked on lesson plan ideas. I started working with Gloria Wu on a comparison genocide unit for world history/ world issues. We decided to work on a google site and start collecting sources and ideas. Our new website address is If you would like to check it out. I shared some German Notgeld with everyone (inflation money from the twenties) and Alicia Booker shared her extensive holocaust book collection. I finally got a falafel sandwich from South Side 6, even though I got soaked going to get it. We were filmed for a documentary (individual interviews). After lunch, we discussed final preparations for the trip and shared our ideas for lesson plans. I am heading home to change now because this evening we will be witnessing new Cantor being installed at the Temple Shomer Emunim during Shabbat service.

Learning a new camera….microphone and Premiere


Two Holocaust Survivors

Welcome to my blog. I am going to use this site to document my experiences in the Walking Witness Project.

Here is the website for the project:

This is day five of the six day pre travel experience. On the first day, we viewed the Bearing Witness: The Voices of Our Survivors documentary On Monday, we learned how to frame pictures, use the Canon Rebel T3i camera, and use video during the morning. One of the best things I learned was using the grid and the rule of thirds.  After lunch, we traveled to the B’nai Israel Synagogue.  At the synagogue, we were introduced to Jewish services and got to meet and talk with Cantor Ivor Lichterman. The Cantor is an a cappella singer that leads the service. He shared the Byzantine sheet music and explained how to read and perform it. His father was the last Cantor in Warsaw before the war.


We also met Joel Marcovitch the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo CEO who shared current issues in the Jewish community. David Weinberg lectured us on the history of anti semitism.

On Tuesday, David Weinberg presented a brief history of the holocaust.  Then we met our guide for Greece, Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos. She introduced us to the holocaust in Greece. I was not familiar with Greece’s experience in the holocaust which happened late in the war after the Italians were defeated.

Holy Trinity

In the afternoon, we traveled to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio. Rev. Hadgigeorge discussed differences in the different ways to practice Judaism and showed us the beautiful cathedral. Then we went to the archive room in the Toledo Public library and learned about research from Donna Christian. We finished the day with a Greek meal downtown at Mano’s.

rail car

On Wednesday, we visited the Holocaust Memorial in Farmington Hills Michigan. Here, we met and talked with two holocaust survivors. We also toured the museum which includes an actual German railcar. We met with Guy Stern and Feiga Weiss learning how to research survivors and thoughts on educating students about the holocaust. Some of the interesting things at this museum was the seedling from the tree Anne Frank looked at in her book and money used in the ghetto.

On Thursday, we spent the morning talking about lesson planning and reflecting on what we have learned so far. After lunch, we learned about Theatre for Social Change from Aimee Reid. This presentation opened up some new lesson plan ideas for my students where they will create tableau scenes.


Aimee Reid

We finished the day discussing lesson plan ideas and cross curricular communication.