Last spring I visited several School Connectivity Project schools
in Romania, Albania, Montenegro, and Kosovo, and I met with many
of you. Although I am now back in Pittsburgh, somehow I still feel
a close connection to many of you. Students and teachers. I can
still see your faces in my mind’s eye, and I will never forget
your warm reception and gracious hospitality that was expressed
in so many ways.
Students, my first reaction was that in terms of fashion and hair
styles, you look and talk exactly like American teenagers. But it
would be just as accurate to say that teenagers all over the world
look like you! I was impressed with your fluency in English and
your advanced skills with computers and the Internet. Your comments
made me realize how much young people are tuned into the Internet,
which is this wonderful secret that your parents and teachers haven’t
quite figured out yet! In fact, your teachers freely admit that
many of you have better computer skills than they do, and in this
you are very much like American teenagers.
I enjoyed seeing your SCP projects and hearing about your experiences.
You want more projects of this type, and you want more contacts
with the international community. You want to reach out to others,
but you also want to think for yourselves. Of all the wonderful
T-shirts that I saw, my favorite was the one that said “WE
ARE NOT FOLLOWERS.” At the same time, you aren’t completely
rejecting authority because you expressed great appreciation for
your hardworking teachers.
you are truly the heroes of society, and you have my total respect.
You have one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but in spite
of all the obstacles, you have gained the high esteem of your students.
Many of your concerns are the same as those of teachers in the United
States, and in that we share a common bond.
check out the photographs of yourselves, your schools, and your
countries, starting at the Southeast Europe
My very best wishes,