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Sandra Rivas-Cole.

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Hi there!  Welcome to this slice of JFMF heaven.  I will be your travel host, Mrs. Sandra Rivas-Cole, art teacher from Lake Howell High School in Orlando, FL.  I guess you should know a little about me before I explain the site...

     Like I stated, I am an art teacher from Orlando, FL who was chosen to be a part of the Japanese Fulbright Memorial Fund Program.  I have been at my school since 1998 and I have pretty much taught every class in my department - Art 2D, Art 3D, Painting 1&2, Drawing 1&2, Photography, Cinematography, Stage Craft, Humanities, Advanced Placement Art History, and Advanced Placement Studio Art are just a few.  I also am the Junior Class Sponsor and have sponsored several groups on campus including the LH Cheerleaders (but that was years ago and I'm glad that phase is over).  I am happily married to Justin and we own a very fat cat named Simone. 

This would be ME...  Yes, the red head in the corner over there.  Can't you see how happy I am that I am a part of this great program?  You can wish you were me.  It's ok.

Oh, why the dragon? Only my family and friends really know why...

     This website will be updated daily (or whenever I can get to a phone jack) while I am in Japan.  Please check back to read new things every day.

     Why a website?  Well, as part of my follow-on project, I decided that my students, friends, family, co-workers, and those in the community should be able to see and read what I will be going through.  I wanted them to "be there with me" so to speak.  With a website, I can update it from Japan almost daily so that no one could miss out on the adventure. 
     My main vision is that with this site, I can write, add links, lesson plans, pictures, videos, and  other goodies that everyone can use.  On each page, with the exception of the blog, I will add common knowledge information about Japan.  I will then add my own observations on the subject(s).  I know that this site is dedicated to Japan but, as teachers know, we always take information and tailor it to what we are teaching.  Feel free to take and use my ideas and words but please, do not use the pictures or videos without my consent.  Please email me - more than likely there won't be a problem but I would like to know how you plan to use the photos and videos.

      I hope that everything on this site can be of some use to you.  If you have ideas or would like to ask any questions, please feel free to email me.  There are little icons on the left menu - click there.  Again, thank you for your time!

I would like to thank the following people for their support during this time...  Without these guys, I would have been a "hot mess".

Justin, my wonderful husband - He is amazing (he cooks me dinner!!!) and without him, I would have never eaten sushi.  Oh, and I can't forget Dusty who won't allow me to sleep in late if her little kitty life depended on it.
Diane, Kathy, & Po - The lovely ladies at the county office who not only gave me the knowledge and the know how to use technology properly and effectively in class but they also are my Harry Potter Support Group.  Thanks ladies!
Paul & Ed - The tech guys at school who patiently answered all my questions and helped me start my first website.  They also fixed my computer every time I would do something to make it "go crazy".  Thanks!
Sandra B. - Look at me, I'm Sandra B.!  I found her because someone told me that she had gone on the JFMF trip in 2003.  She has been nothing but a blessing and I wish she was going on this trip with me.  Thanks Sandy... wait - am I thanking myself here?
The Japanese Fulbright Memorial Fund Program - Thank you for the opportunity that you havve given me.  This can only lead to bigger and better things for me, my students, and those around me.  I am so excited that I can barely stand it. 
Domo arigato gozaimasu!

Oh, and they probably think I forgot them but thanks to my family and friends for their support.  I know I've been crazy lately but you'll still love me. :)