Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Good Books

My AP kids chose their books for the nonfiction book project and it looks like I'll be having some interesting Spring Break reading:

Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors; Dave Barry, Guide to Life; Albert Einstein, Relativity; Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods; Bill Bryson, I'm a Stranger Here Myself; and Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone

Well, that was a big chunk of money forked over to Amazon. Gosh...

*giggles with glee*

You should read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I'm just finishing it up right now. While it was slow at the beginning and the narrator has a rather erudite-to-the-point-of-annoying quality in places (à la Nick Carraway), it's definitely worth the sexual coming of age story that makes up the second half of the book. I haven't read his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, nor have I seen the movie, but finishing this one does incline me to try it. Eugenides is one heck of a Greek writer dude!

I'm also reading a bunch of stuff about South Korea and teaching ESL over there. But those are of less general interest (god knows why).

Notice that I also figured out how to post my picture over in the right hand side of my blog. AWESOME!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sweet 26...

Not quite as well commemorated as the sweet sixteen, but nice because I'm older and wiser (maybe--that could easily be disputed). Interestingly enough, ten years ago, after this other birthday, was the longest period of time I have spent single since the first Nick (Allen, the one who was probably gay). I expect to be single for a bit of time right now (as my focus is definitely elsewhere), but still interesting that it took me 10 years to get back to the place where I am truly happier being alone than in any of my previous relationships. Nice.

I have a lead on a job in Daegu (the 3rd largest city in Korea, so my Moon Handbook tells me). Another blogger is leaving her job around August and when I inquired about cats living in Korea, she mentioned that it might be a good place for me to check out. I think that would be swell. This Jane person has inspired me to keep the promises I have made to myself about writing more frequently. I will post much of it here as I go through this transition. Enjoy, comment, and be free!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time for a new log of the journey...

Beginnings are usually a time of endings. I will begin this blog of my journeys with the process of the end.

So... I have begun to start making decisions that are just for myself. It only took about 25 years; not too shabby, considering. It has been some time since I have been blogging regularly, but perhaps it is time to begin again. Considering that one of the main reasons for self-censure was fear of it affecting my profession (high school English teacher in the US), the decision I have made recently to leave that profession to teach English as a Second Language abroad in a few (less than 6) months should be enough of a reason to allow me to express myself more freely.

I am going to miss Roosevelt--from the crazy students to the exceptionally awesome (and under appreciated) teachers, this place has been a second home. Hell, considering how often I've moved while I've worked here (due mostly to one very big mistake of a relationship that is ever so thankfully over), it might as well be considered the first home around which all other action has swirled...

Finishing up the senior pages' approval on Friday, I began to get all weepy and sentimental. I will really miss my students from class of 2007. They were my first students ever (since I taught tenth grade in 04-05) and my first AP students last year. They will also be the class I leave with. My kids this year are super-nice, but the intensity of emotions I have surrounding my first year of teaching make my fondness for those students magnified. They taught me how to teach. Teaching taught me how to be (and more importantly to love) myself. Facilitators of my identity equivalent only to junior year, Justin's death , and Brian's problems; however, one of the first such significant experiences marked by more positives than negatives (perhaps more like Romeo and Juliet, then).

I have lived in Maryland all my life but two years I can't remember and a few painful months (twice--once in Poughkeepsie, once in DC) I wish I couldn't.

This will be my first move out of this state made without the consultation of a significant other--there is no one to consult except for myself. And, I must sadly admit, my first visit out of the U.S. I am anxious and excited and terrified and peaceful and delighted all at once. I am making preparations for Princess and for myself--giving away possessions, purchasing more sensible ones, saying goodbyes.

I sometimes wonder if I will come back. I could be a full professor in the Far East having only completed my Master's degree. The hours would be relatively easy and allow a lot of time for writing. I could make a lot of money for travel or retirement or anything. I could learn new languages and cultures. Then again, I could miss "home" too much... But where is home? Most of my friends have moved away or will within a few years. My sister will move away and so will Brian (again). Why wait to be left behind when I could do so much more with this one little life I've been given? I will make a home inside myself and carry it with me.

Maybe that's why I'm getting so fat lately ;-) Just kidding--but I do need to get back to my regular workout schedule.


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