Hey there!

My name is Vivi Mage and I teach Honors Medical English at Berkeley High School in Berkeley as well as advise our high school yearbook staff! I’ve been in school up until literally TODAY and I am excited to be able to finally put aside brain time to think about how exciting this trip is going to be and to introduce myself to y’all.

In the back alley of Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy. (Dec 2018).

I am hoping that you are looking at this trip the same way I am: as a way to distance yourself from the small things going on in your life and be surrounded by wonderful people who will help you meditate on the bigger things in life and grow. That’s how I approach all my traveling (and I have done a lot in the last 6 years). I didn’t travel at all really until I graduated from college in 2014. Since then I have lived and worked in France, (tried) to live and work in New Zealand and visited Mexico, Germany, England, Scotland, Italy, the Netherlands, Indonesia, and China. After I come back from this trip with y’all, I’ll soon be hitting Vietnam and Maui before school starts up again. I love traveling. That’s why I volunteered to go on this trip with all of you. Why pass up an opportunity to travel and learn at the same time?

My passion is interdisciplinary education; using all subjects to understand everything around us, so I really hit my sweet spot when I nabbed a position at Berkeley High as a teacher of medical English. Two of my students are even going to be on our trip! I’m so excited for you to meet them. I’m sure they will tell you that my personality when I teach is very energetic (I don’t stop moving) and while I am very understanding there are two rules I hold a hard line on: respect and efficiency. When you are in someone else’s space, you respect it. You do not use oppressive language with one another. We uplift each other. We are on time. When you are not on time, you are dishonoring other people’s time. If you respect others, you will honor their time, their skills and their space. Outside of those two things, I am probably most often described by my students as “super chill.” I imagine that while we travel together you will see me constantly trying to connect things we experience with bigger ideas or philosophies because I am a lifelong student. There is ALWAYS something to be learned. Why assume you know anything? Let the people that the world gifts you, gift you with knowledge. Yeah?

I think my students would also tell you that I am a pretty good person to know if you struggle with your mental health. I’ll be your (physical) GG Health Coach on this trip, but I am also here for all of the other kinds of health; emotional, spiritual, mental, I gotchu.

I’m really looking forward to trying new foods and taking TONS of photos. Possibly my two priorities on any trip. This is my first country in South America which I’m really stoked about. I’ll see y’all at the airport!