Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Islam and America

I have now moved to a program with a very high number of Arab students. We have far more than what I have been previously teaching. I have always been concerned that the relationship with the Islamic world would be too tense in America. I feel like an exception because I have lived in and loved an Islamic country, Albania. With that said, Kelly Zirker, posted this article on her blog,
It turns out that right now, Muslims in America are more satisified with their life than other Americans.
Thank you America for realizing that extremism and terrorism are not a necessary part of Islam. I really do believe that America can be a wonderful mix of cultures and an inviting space for those who choose to come here and contribute to this great country. I absolutely love living in my bubble that I call teaching ESL in America. It is so rich with culture and curiosity!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our transition

We officially moved to AZ on Sunday August 14th. We were sad to go but ready for our new adventure. Skyler and I were both wearing University of Texas- Austin T-shirts to celebrate our moved out of state.

Since then we have been
1. organizing our stuff at Skyler's parents house. We bought big tupperware boxes at Wal-mart which we hope to use in our future garage for storage, but for now they are our expansive clothes organization system.
2. getting really good at inflating and deflating my mom's queen aerobed. We inflate it as part of Eliza's bedtime routine. Our sheets just stay on it , so we don't have to redo our bed everyday. Eliza has been sleeping quite well on some blankets. Who knew we didn't need a pack 'n play or crib? In the morning, we deflate the airmattress and make room for Rylee to use her school room.
3. weaning Eliza off the bottle. It is official. She doesn't take a bottle anymore. She is definitely a BIG girl now!
4. fixing the car. Skyler and his dad have been working hard to make sure that we can drive our car. The windshield was replaced this week and it is amazing how clear and easy it is to see everything without the cracks and dirt. Pretty soon we will pass our inspection, get our salvage title, and then get our check from USAA. YEAH!
5. driving around a lot. Especially during the first week, the whole family was in the car A LOT!!! The sticker books have been really great!
6. following up on jobs. Skyler has had two interviews since our arrival and one job offer. We are waiting to hear details about it, but it isn’t a good time to find a job in recreation management. One job already decided not to hire anyone.
7. navigating the highways. I have been driving on my own with different freeways and commuting about an hour each way. I am a big girl because I can find a lot of places, but particularly ASU and MCC.
8. teaching new classes. I am teaching a level 4 grammar class at MCC and a reading & writing class at ASU. It is definitely busy to get into the groove of those classes all at once. MCC’s department is really laid back. ASU’s department is definitely more structured. There is one shared faculty room at MCC. It has been pretty empty when I have used it. ASU gave me ½ of a ½ desk. Yes that equal ¼ of a desk. It is a little cramped, but my desk buddy and I are trying to figure out our schedules better so that we don’t crowd each other out.
9. living the dream! That is our phrase for this phase of life.

Monday, August 15, 2011

We made it!

It definitely feels like we are on vacation since we have visited so many times in the last month... but I think that in a week when reality hits, we will realize that we actually MOVED to AZ.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feeling like Nephi

I might have mentioned this before, but I have been feeling like Nephi for a couple months for various reasons related to our move to AZ. Recently, Skyler and I have been reading 1 Nephi because it has been very inspiring. For example, Nephi saw "many eafflictions ... nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God... Right now it feels like we have many afflictions but are also blessed as well. I love how Nephi says that he is telling this history to show "that the tender cmercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of ddeliverance." We have definitely gotten a lot of tender mercies recently. I will have to write a post about that someday, probably in AZ.

Also, we are moving to Phoenix early Sunday morning. That means we are leaving Provo, where I have lived for almost 10 years. It is interesting how a place is so much things all wrapped up and full of emotion. I am definitely in complete denial, excited, sad, and EVERYTHING else.

One of my students from Colombia talks about how she is never 'satisified' because when she is in the US, a part of her yearns to be in Colombia and vice versa. I think when we die we end up with so many different "homes" really. It is weird to call Provo "home" but it really has been. Eliza Lane will never remember it, but it has been our family's home for almost 3 years. We were going to have a goodbye party... but with the accident, a totalled car, injuries and the stomach flu we decided not to.

Sunday, August 7, 2011