April 24 – U – Universidad Nacional del Litoral
Our journey to Argentina came to be because UNL was interested in Cristian – my hubby extraordinaire math geek – doing research here in Santa Fe, his hometown, and the University where he studied before moving to the USA to pursue his PD.D.. Given that Cristian had a sabbatical (once every six years) from his teaching position at the University of Calgary, it seemed that the stars were aligning! I took my leave of absence, we rented our home, we packed up, and came to Santa Fe for this journey.
Cristian has been enjoying working with the incredibly inspiring and intelligent math team here at UNL. He is working hard on his research, on teaching an advanced level course, and in participating in collegial professional development. He works at the IMAL – Institute of Mathematics – and CONICET (Science and Tech research) in a newly constructed building by the coast. UNL is a university with various building locations all across the city; he happens to be across the bridge, near the coast. He is very much enjoying this opportunity.
Being with the university has connected us with the elementary school for the kids. I think it is similar to the idea of Charter schools, like the one I work for in Alberta. It is a public school, but the students are the kids of employees of the University. It is located at a downtown location in a building they’ve modernized and are continuing to add to as they are growing each year – now having a Grade 8 group. It is different in that school is from 8-3 (rather than 7:30-12:30 like regular schools), and it offers hot lunches, guitar class, music, art, plus two hours a day the students study English. So although my kids are struggling with Spanish, the experience has been wonderful!
Also, being part of the university, the kids experience physical education for four hours, once a week, at PREDIO, which is a fitness centre for the University. It is at a different location than the school, so they are bussed, which is another adventure for the kids.
All in all, my family owes many thanks to the UNL for such a wonderful experience and opportunity while we’ve been here.