"In terms of selecting books, it's going to be slightly tricky," DeMeo admitted. "Since it's a mostly Muslim school and community, there are certain content related issues we need to be cognizant of. Action and adventure stories tend to work well."
means communications with family back home is limited. Noting that local cellular telephone services are costly and sometimes unreliable, DeMeo said she uses Skype to speak with her parents and siblings every couple of weeks. Having organized some of the school's recreational activities, she's learned that Malaysian teenagers are extremely fond of American films.
The program, which is overseen by the federal Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, places recent college graduates and young professionals in six to 12 month assistant teacher positions in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas.
Feeling stifled by corporate culture, DeMeo stepped Wallet Prada Women
"One of our best drama practices involved a discussion of the class differences between Romeo and Juliet's families and how those differences might be reflected in their respective food stalls in our market setting," she said.
After graduating from Londonderry High School in 2008 and earning degrees in international studies and political science at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, DeMeo spent several years in Washington working in think tanks.
"I've had the opportunity through this program to teach English using those tools," she said.
She applied to the program in late 2012 and learned of her acceptance last spring.
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LONDONDERRY It's been just over four months since Londonderry native Elizabeth DeMeo arrived in Malaysia, and with each day spent teaching in a rustic, rural school on the Southeast Asian island, her world gets a little smaller.
DeMeo said the film "Sepet" late director Yasmin Ahmad's romantic comedy about a modern day Romeo and Juliet living in the Malaysian city of Ipoh inspired the drama project.
Since learning that most of her students have very few books at home, particularly ones written in English, DeMeo also has been organizing a book drive. She's working with her mother, Londonderry High School teacher Amory DeMeo, to start Prada Clutch
away to refocus on her life's path. and get some perspective from across the globe," she said.
Londonderry native was working in D
"While a number of my students are exceedingly well behaved, it can be a struggle in some classes to maintain control and make sure everyone is attending class, sitting down, not talking and ready to learn," DeMeo said. "Having interesting lessons helps, because if the kids are engaged enough, they'll forget to be rowdy."
She's finding that some things are universal including the ongoing challenges that go hand in hand with teaching a classroom full of adolescents.
Disney's "Frozen" is always a crowd pleaser, DeMeo was somewhat surprised to learn.
DeMeo said the English Teaching Assistant program was particularly appealing, as it offered not only the freedom to write and teach but also the opportunity to travel around Southeast Asia during school breaks.
"Although I was lucky enough to have a job that directly related to what I studied as an undergrad, I felt unfulfilled," she recalled.
An after school drama club has proven even more popular, she added, noting that some of her students are currently working on a Malaysian adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet."
a letter writing club matching New Hampshire students with Malaysian pen pals.
DeMeo, 24, a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, arrived in the Malaysian town of Maran in January for a yearlong assignment at SMK Maran 2, a school of 300 students ranging in age from 12 to 17.
DeMeo is hoping to raise a total of $1,000 enough to purchase several hundred books via the Indie Gogo website. As of last week, Books for SMK Maran 2 had raised more than $700.
"I'm not sure why they connect so strongly with an animated film about Scandinavian culture," she laughed. "But I can assure you that I hear 'Let It Go' no less than three times per day."
Sharing her love of reading and her skills in creative writing and Prada Women Bags the arts is DeMeo's favorite part of her job.
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