Thursday, August 4, 2011


Hey Everyone,

So sorry to keep creating new blogs every few posts... I started thinking about switching to wordpress a few weeks ago at the tech conference I attended in Memphis but didn't want to deal with the hassle of alerting everyone and resupplying post information. However tonight when I looked at wordpress a little closer I found the import function so all of my former posts (even from Cairo and Chile!) were imported to my new blog... follow then link then follow or email subscribe to keep getting updates. Sorry for the extra steps but this will make it muuuch easier to format and insert photos, videos and a ton of other things I don't even know about yet....

Enter to Learn and to Serve

Today we had our first full faculty meeting at ASB. There was a lovely Indian style welcome ceremony for the new teachers (30% of ASBs faculty are new this year!) followed by intentional time together across all divisions building community and talking about our goals for the coming year. Finally got into my classroom afterwards too-note photo below, i'll be sure to post an after pic once the dust settles-... Due to my fractured radius I'm not allowed to lift much (some of you-especially my principal Joe-are teasing me about wearing a sling to avoid work but actually it's really frustrating to not be able to fully unload and investigate all of the items in the art room myself). My schedule is daunting... and the space issue is much more a problem than I realized... but hey... in one week we'll have kids filling our spaces to the brim.. and that's when th
e magic happens.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Panic vs Arrogance

Today was the last day of new faculty training at ASB. Craig finished our training with an activity set up in a format to many I've done before in team building, RA settings, even teaching...but with a twisted new content completely applicable to my life here and now in the present.

The activity where everyone starts in one single file line, situations are read and you chose to move right or left based on your experiences or beliefs. Our particular spectrum ranged from to the wall Panic, with extreme confidence perhaps confused by arrogance at the other end of the room.

The scenarios related to us as new members of the ASB faculty and gauged our feelings toward our new job, the school, the transition we are currently experiencing, and ASBs role in assisting us thus far.

At one point, he asked us to consider the following and move accordingly: Knowing that school starts in just 5 school days, and what you have done in your rooms thus far (nothing but snoop in boxes for myself) and what you have yet to do, how do you feel thinking about this reality? (Reminder, to the left is extreme arrogance and comfort, to the right is to the wall panic.)

Knowing this is my FIRST year teaching... my FIRST FIRST day of school one week away. My FIRST set of students entirely to myself, my FIRST classroom to set up (though sharing it will be a blessing with assistance in arranging etc)..... If I were anywhere but ASB, I am confident I
would have been to the wall panic. Just weeks ago I was there simply imagining this overwhelming looming responsibility and task ahead of me. ASB is an intimidating school. It's filled with the best and the brightest- students AND teachers (AND support staff I have quickly learned).

If I were anywhere else right now. I would be to the wall panic. But I have been reminded countless times that I am here for a very specific reason, that I fit here, and that I am fully capable of the job in front of me-and capable of carrying it out with optimism and fun.

If I were anywhere else I'd be panicking, but al humdilellah, I'm at ASB... and I took several large steps to the left. to comfort. certainly not enough confidence to be mistaken as arrogance. but a big shift to the left nonetheless.

Next Blog: More Pictures, Less Text, Promise.. I'm taking Copernicus out with me tomorrow.

Blessed Beyond Belief,

ps... Today is (will be in Iowa) my brother's 21st Birthday... And as per tradition started last year, I must announce this via blog post since I always go and run away from the country right before I'm able to celebrate. The family is going to the Hessenhaus tonight in DSM (I think)... Wishing him all the best... Cheers Tom, love and hugs from India!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I love the listening to the rain...

especially at night. I tried to take a picture to give you an idea of how much and how hard it rains here in monsoon season... it resulted in this blurry photo below due to unadjusted camera settings but I actually think it's quite the accurate representation of my experience in India thus far... one big blur.

So many sights, sounds, and people to meet, observe, and interact with every moment of every day.

I'm pretty sure India is on our side and wishing us good luck, and rightfully so. I absolutely love it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Incredible India

I have finally arrived in Mumbai, India... There are so many thoughts in my head right now that I could never possibly maintain your attention for the amy-ramble of a post I have going in my mind at the moment so I'm going to summarize a few highlights...

*Transit: On a plane for over 20 total hours, from DSM to Newark, Brussels and finally Mumbai... there were delays but I was still surprised at how "quickly" we seemed to arrive in India! (ps traveling with a sling is the way to go; discounts on excess baggage, porters helping me around, great new ASB friends watching my back...)

*India: Rain, tuk tuks, honking, umbrellas, COLOR, Poli Market, slippery stone everywhere, movement, saris, accents... (hoping to get out and explore Bandra on foot this weekend with Copernicus, photos to come!!)

*ASB: outlier in education, the right fit, community, inspiring coworkers, helpful staff, accommodating, great welcoming reminder of why we are here and why ASB is the amazing school it is, helped make the transition smooth with set up phones, internet service, stocked fridge, furnished apartment, awesome HP tablets, and drivers picking us up and dropping us off for each part of our orientation...

It still hasn't fully hit me... and I'm still grinning from ear to exhausted ear. Jet lag has hit me though, so I'm going to take a sleeping pill, and head to bed for tomorrows trip to the foreign registry office. Follow this link to watch a YouTube Joe shared with us today that I have watched several times in my anticipation of moving to Incredible India.

Really, truly.. Blessed Beyond Belief.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Someone in India read my blog yesterday!

And that makes me happy. I'm not even there yet... Thank you, whoever you were.

I am not completely satisfied with my ability to blog via my Ipad... but I am praying blogger will get its act together soon and figure out an Ipad friendly app if they know whats good for them.

However. I did notice last night (but haven't played around with yet) the option to add pages. I don't know how long this has been available, but it is a goal of mine to add some of those and spruce this blog up even further.

In the near future. when I have free time. amidst moving to a new country, setting up a new life, and getting ready for my first year of teaching... in the near future :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Testing my iPad blogging skills

My lack of blog posts in the past two weeks is certainly not for lack of updates in my life...but in attempt to be succinct...

Laptop institute.Memphis TN.awesome colleagues and graceland.bought an ipad2. cedar falls send off.sushi with kait.karaoke with family at the hydrant.St. johns prayer support.visits from over 70 good friends.Carlos on Megan's birthday.Christoph arriving from Germany.Harry potter 7.1. Final stages of physical/dentist/arm check up. 2 hour life chat with Niff. Winterset pool. Great night at home with family....

When so much is happening as is currently the case in my life; constantly visiting family, friends, goodbyes, long tea time,
enjoying each of "my last"... I should really have more frequent, short posts but in the whirlwind of everything else in life my blog has gone by the wayside. (especially since I haven't been able to take pics with copernicus the last two weeks)

I am a much better blogger, I swear. I'll focus back in and make the next entry better, promise.

4 days.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad