Tag Archives: Malaysia

Leaving on a Jet Plane

On Thursday, Mitch and I will begin our adventure to Malaysia. Never in a million years did I think I’d be heading there, of all places. When I first learned about the job in Malaysia, I had to find the country on a map. That’s embarrassing because I teach Global History. I knew it was in Southeast Asia and I knew it was near Thailand. I didn’t know part of Malaysia shares islands with Indonesia. Now I do. And now we’re going.

Fittingly, I think, this is last post on my Journey Through 365 Photos blog. I started blogging in May 2012 as a way to cope with uncertainty and change. I kept it going because I learned that I really liked photography and I really liked writing for eyes other than my own.

Since those activities are still a lot of fun, I’m going to continue this blog in a new format. In the next day or so, I will change my blog’s title, theme, and URL. (At least, I plan to change the URL. We’ll see if it works.) Hopefully you’ll join me and Mitch on our upcoming adventures!

THANK YOU to those who have followed my 365 Photos adventure, and to those who continued to follow my regular life once that year ended. It has been a pleasure sharing my thoughts, photos, and days with you. See you on the other side of the world by way of a newly-formatted WordPress blog.

Over and out.

Musings While Shoveling Snow

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about time. There are only a few months until I move for my new job and there are so many things I want to do before I leave! Five months is definitely not enough time to do all of them, but I’ll be back. This is home, after all.

There’s also a lot that I’m going to miss when I’m gone. I don’t really know what I’m walking into all the way around the world (honestly, why couldn’t I just get a job halfway around the world?) but I do know that it’s nothing like what I have here. It’s probably easier if I make a list of what I won’t miss:

Things I Will Not Miss When I Move
-Shoveling snow (the act of which led me to brainstorm and write this post)
-Bitter cold winds
-Weather that goes from beautiful (yesterday) to trapped inside because of a blizzard (today)

I honestly think I’m going to miss everything else. Someone remind me, why am I going?

To teach at an international school. Right. Got it.

Things I Will Miss When I Move
Anything not on the first list including, but not limited to, the following:
-My books
-Having a roommate (Shay, Mary, Emilia, it’s been pretty great)
-Shabbat dinners with my family
-My family
-Living in a 1920s house with stained glass windows (at which I am currently staring), a window seat (on which I am currently sitting), and a front porch (on which I wish I were sitting)
-All four seasons (though not the windy, shoveling parts)
-Being anywhere in town in 20 minutes or less
-The Genesee River and Erie Canal
-My current jobs
-Friends who are close by
-Friends who are not close by but will be even farther away once I move
-Cute winter clothes and boots

I could go on, but I think you get the point. I don’t know yet what I’m going to have or have access to abroad, so I guess I shouldn’t pontificate about what I’ll miss; for all I know, there are more similarities than differences.

Something tells me I’m wrong about that. But I also know that I’m going on an adventure. No one says I have to stay forever. I’ll be gone two years and four months, and then I’ll either come home or go somewhere else. I’m 24 years old, my family is grudgingly supportive, and my boyfriend is actively job seeking. A friend mentioned that stars don’t align by accident.

I really hope she’s right.

Malaysia, Pomegranates, and an IEP

As we stared out the window last night watching a foot of snow fall, two topics of discussion and one fruity experience took center stage.

Map of Malaysia (Map from Lonely Planet)

Earlier yesterday evening, I had a final job interview for a social studies teaching position at a school that is just starting up in Malaysia. Suffice to say, I believe it went quite well. I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for an email from either of the administrators who interviewed me . . . and I’m bad at waiting. Wish me luck!

 (Delicious fruit from here)

My roommate, E, and I debriefed about the interview over dinner. We talked about when I might move (hopefully August), what my responsibilities would be (to be determined), and what we know about Malaysia (not much). Then E decided she wanted to have pomegranate seeds for dessert. We’ve both been trying to expand our food options because we’re bored of what we usually eat, which presented a problem: E didn’t know how to obtain said seeds from said pomegranate.

The first time I had pomegranate seeds was in middle school. A family for whom my sister babysat sent her home with a pomegranate one night. My mum looked up how to get the seeds out, and we’ve been playing in warm water and banging wooden spoons ever since.

And so E and I cut open the pomegranate, obtained the seed, and had our dessert. There’s something about pomegranates that always make me smile because they’re so pretty to look at and so sweet. They always remind me of being in Israel where pomegranates grow like apples do here. As in, on trees. Everywhere.

(You can see more pictures from my time in Israel here)

I’m going to make the grandiose assumption that most people do not spend their evenings discussing special education policy while doing the dishes and cutting pomegranates, but E and I did. I’m going to miss that when I move wherever I’m lucky enough to get a job. E is involved in a local adult literacy program and told me that the student she tutors, who is our age, had an IEP in high school. E asked me to explain the difference between an IEP and a 504 (used my Master’s degree today – CHECK!). Simply put, there are 13 categories of disabilities for which students may receive an IEP, which provides access to special education services, certain accommodations, and certain curricular modifications. A 504, however, is for students who do NOT fall into one of those 13 disability categories but does have a disability; these students do not need special education services or curricular modifications but may need some accommodations in the classroom.

Perhaps that wasn’t so simple. (For example, you may be wondering what I mean by special education, accommodation, and modification. If so, I apologize for my poor explanation and encourage you to look here for a PDF from the Disability Rights Center, which may help.)

Anyway, I’m rambling so I’ll stop now. Like I said, bad at waiting. Have a great day!