Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy thanksgiving...

Yeah, there's no thanksgiving in Greenland. Here's a sampler of what I spent my day doing instead of eating good food and doing nothing:

Today I had to teach, of course, as normal. We're reading a story in my 8th grade class (which only has 6 people) that is not exactly going well. We came across the word "grin" today - I KNOW they know this word, we learned it a few days ago. So we read a section, and I ask if they have any questions about any words (names changed to protect the guilty):

Student #1: What does "grin" mean?
Me: ...Well, we learned it a few days ago. Does any one remember?
[blank stares]
Me: Ok. It means the same thing as "smile". Do you all know what "smile" means? Does everyone understand?
[series of nods and demonstrative smiles]
Me: Good. Remember: "grin" means "smile". Ok. So, Student #2, what does "grin" mean?
#2: [blank stare]
Me: I just told you. What does "grin" mean?
#2: I don't remember.


Or this ever-popular exchange:

Student #1: What does "pillow" mean?
Me: When you go to sleep in your bed, it's what you put your head on. Does everyone understand?
[Series of "yes"s]
Student #2: What does "pillow" mean?

I could go on, but I don't think that would be very professional. I will admit - from my attempts to explain Thanksgiving to some of the older students, I actually did get a "Happy Thanksgiving Day!" from one of the brightest ones. It was somehow comforting.

I had imagined something slightly bitter for this Thanksgiving day post, as I realize I am indeed going a little nuts and being reminded of the particular comforts of home on this not going well. But, against my natural attitude, I've decided to acknowledge that there is an ENORMOUS lot of things I have to be thankful for, and I can get through these times knowing that there are promising days ahead.

It does sometimes blow my mind that I've been involved with more international projects before the age of 23 than most people are in a lifetime. I love the fact that I've done work in so many different fields. And my position now really is not so bad. I'd like to summarize my general emotions towards this place as somewhat unhappy but extremely very appreciative. It's a stunning area in regards to my project (visually and culturally) and I'm rarely the type to let a few discomforts bother me significantly. I can say that I'm looking forward to taking a break for Christmas, seeing some familiar faces and getting back to normal for a little, then powering through the second half of this year adventure.

Then facing the terrfying question of "what am I going to do next".


This is an old photo from my time in Kunming, China (Yunnan Province) in 2005, but I want a photo with sunshine and green, and this photo always makes me laugh:

I'm 6'3" (1.91m) - I don't really fit in ANYWHERE.

Happy thanksgiving, sincerely.


Anonymous said...

You certainly will always fit in with us!! We counted our blessings on T-Day to have an amazing 6'3" daughter like you!
Love, from your strappingly-hugh sized family (sorry, you don't get to pick 'em!).

sam said...

Hooray tall people not fitting in anywhere!