International Trips I have taken

I was looking thorugh my passport collection and cataloged all the trips. I found 81 - some of the entries were hard to read so I might be off by 1 or 2. And I think there might a few Canadian ones with no passport entries.

My first trip was a solo trip to London and Paris in 1964. About 8 days in each with various side trips. In London I stayed in hotel near Trafalger Square that no longer exists and had a pub on the first floor where I often hung out. In Paris I stayed at Hotel Des Deux Continents on Rue Jacob which still exists. There were lots of young people there and we'd usually meet at breakfast and plan an outing and dinner location.

My second trip was in 1966 to Colombia and Ecuador with my new wife (marriage lasted about 4 years - we are still friends).

Some of these trips were work trips - quite a few to Paris since I was working for Bull, the French Computer Company ( I say the since it was the nationalized company that was affiliated with Honeywell where I was employed and eventually bought the Honeywell computer business. Also trips to Germany, Italy, Sweden (these three to present technical papers I wrote), and Tokyo. I remember one that was Paris and then Calgary. We had an affiliate spin-off group from Calgary University. I always took a few days after the trip to enjoy myself; on several of them Robert rsc came and joined me after the work trip.

I think I've been to Paris 12 times - not all work trips. I love Paris and all the nearby places you can go to. A few years I read a book: Paris to the Past by Ina Caro which talked about renting an apartment in Paris and taking train trips to nearby places. So we did that.

There is a small village in central France: Conques that I have been to 4 times. I want to go again. A picture I took is is my desktop picture.

Some of the trips were dance trips (Contra or English Country dance): Costa Rica, Greek Islands, Western Ireland, Florence, Loire Valley.

We heard about a person, Ken McFarland, who was a trip organizer - dance and non-dance trips. We went on one of his and were hooked so went on 13 more of his trips - (some were sequences so only counted as 1 trip). Machu Picchu twice, the upper Amazon and Colca Canyon in Peru plus Easter Island and the Galapagos. Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, Egypt and Tanzania. Florence, Loire Valley, Western Ireland, and Greek Islands were dance trips. Most of the other travelers were dancers and on several non-dance trips we did a bit of dancing: in Myanmar, on Easter Island, on a boat in the Amazon, Tanzania,.... Sadly Ken died last year.

We have taken a lot of winter trips to the Caribbean. We tried St Vincent and the Grenadines (Young Island and Palm Island), Tobago, and Bermuda (not in the Caribbean) but found this wonderful resort: Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands; we have been there 24 times. It is a small private island with at most 30 guests, beaches, hills, iguanas, easy hiking, excellent food, nice other guests...]. Expensive but wonderful.

Other side of the world: Japan twice, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Austrailia, New Zealand.
Africa: Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
South and Central America: Chili, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Belize, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Mexico.
Europe: Ireland, England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina now), Georgia, Armenia. I have stood with a foot on each side of the equator and arctic circle. Sadly an August dance trip to Finland organized by a pair of people who went on many Ken trips has been cancelled.

Another instigator of trips is soc.motss - originally a Usenet news group for LGBTQ people and allies - has had a yearly gathering - called a con and several were international: Toronto, Vancouver, Utrecht, Stockholm, and Montreal. This year's is supposed to be in Ireland in September, but probably won't happen.
moi 1946

My report card from when I was 4 1/2 years old

117 East 93rd Street

Name: John Gintell
Group: Four Year Old
Report for School Year ending: May 28, 1943

1) Social Adjustment: A leader, but needs to accept others suggestions. Hard to reason with. Not always generous about sharing play materials. Makes friends easily.

2) Emotional Adjustment: Rather high strung, No apparent fears. A boaster.

3) Habits of Work: Concentration good, Improved in ability to use hands. Intellectually inclined.

4) Ability in Physical activities: Good. Very active. Coordination good, No fears.

5) Ability and Interest in Art, Woodwork, Rhythms: Interest in all activities,. Musical. Gained control in Rhythms,. Dramatic, & has good imagination.

6) Achievement in Reading, Writing , Arithmetic Spelling, French: Johnny is very advanced for his age, although physically small. Since he doesn’t tire easily, and has an excellent mind, it might be wise for him to be in First Grade next season, He is very much interested in the approaches to First Grade work, and shows considerable ability. It might calm him a bit to have more mental stimulation and since he is so capable, & such a boss, it would be good for him to be with children slightly older than himself.

Elizabeth Kelsey
June 19 1943

Imbabala Safari Lodge on the Zambezi River

We stayed two nights at the Imbabala Safari Lodge . It is on the Zambezi River about 70km from Victoria Falls. It had many thatched roofed cabins with one room each. They are scattered about on a large campus with no fencing to keep animals out. At night they have armed guards to escort you from the main house to your cabin and if you want to leave your cabin you summon one. There are lots of safari opportunities nearby and we went on several. We were there on a Road Scholar tour but if you go there on your own they arrange trips.

There were some other guests there. Especially at night.


An interview of me from 1961

From the March 1961 Dalton Bulletin.
Dalton is a private school in New York City and I taught 7th and 8th grade science there in 1960-1961, I went there 1st through 8th grade, the high school was girls only then, now co-ed.

“The children are the tyrants, not servants of their households. They contradict their parents, gobble up dainties at the table and tyrannize over their teachers.” That could have been said by Dr. Conant, Emily Post, or a member of the PTA. But it wasn’t. It was Socrates. I was curious whether our youngest teacher, John Gintell, age twenty-two, Seventh and Eight Grade Science, found this condition to obtain at Dalton.

“I can sympathize with Socrates –and Mrs. Socrates, too, even though I seem to recall she was somewhat of a tyrant herself. Yes, children go off on tangents sometimes, but Science interests them, and they are catching the spirit of discovery. They love the atom and the space theories – you should hear the turbulence in the class when we argue about the expanding universe and the cosmic egg.”

“I’m not trying to make scientists of everybody, but I want them to understand the basic concepts and not just memorize a collection of facts. And as these children grow, they need scientific knowledge to be solid citizens – even to read intelligently.”

“Now that you’re working toward your doctorate,” I asked Mr. Gintell, “ how do you feel about pure research opposed to teaching?”

“I’m glad you asked me, because there is growing recognition of the conflict between research and teaching. In the universities, the Nobel laureates in science only want to work in the rarefied atmosphere of the graduate school, and continue their own work in the laboratory. It may even be questionable whether they do make the best teachers. Ordinary teachers are expected to make their contributions to research and publishing or risk losing their jobs. The values seem to have become confused.”

“Last year I was graduated from M.I.T., and the work I did there helps me every day in bringing science to life for my students. But now, in graduate school at Columbia, I find that we are getting away from people and into the realm of the totally abstract. It’s interesting, - Dr. Glaser, who just won the Nobel prize for Physics is switching to bio-physics, which has to do with heredity, because he wants to get back to people again.”

“Another thing that is stimulating about teaching the young ones is showing the difference of what is scientific and what is science. We were discussing astronomy, and astrology was brought up. I tried to show them that in astrology, although one may start from an invalid assumption (that the positions of the stars determine our lives), the rest of the computation is scientific. I want to teach them that ‘accuracy’ is relative. Math is accurate; and if they get a sold grounding in that department, they’ll be about to understand the difference.”

“What do your friends think about your being a teacher?” I wanted to know.

“Well my parents are delighted - they’re glad I’m going on to get my doctorate in Physics. None of my friends seem think of me as ‘something less than all of a man’ because I like children and can work with them. I was a counselor at Camp Killooleet last summer, and that was a wonderful experience. I think, too, that if more really qualified young scientists go into teaching we can make Science a part of the humanities, and scientists seem more human.”