Category Archives: blog

“I have Hitler in My Bag” and another little story from the first 10 days of the school year

We’re a little less than two weeks into the 2021-2022 academic year and I’m already full of stories but it’s been an exhausting day and I just want to share my favorite two.

  1. Last year, the pandemic year, there were a couple students I taught all year but never actually met face to face. I truly bonded with one of them. On the first day of school, after school, he came to my classroom just to meet me in person. He told me it was really important to him. He told me I was the first teacher he had had ever met that truly cared about him and that he learned more from my class than he had ever learned in all his other classes in school in all his life put together. Well, um, that made me feel pretty good. I don’t really know where to go from there. It was the first day of school. I mean, how do I top that? He has continued to visit me every day after school. He wants to talk about nothing but current events in Afghanistan, what my opinions are, and what I think is going to happen next. I love knowing that I have inspired such immense curiosity in a 16 yo kid.
  2. I teach high school juniors AP world history, high school sophomores world history, and 7th graders cultural studies (social studies). This afternoon one of my 12 year old students walked into my classroom, approached my desk, and very gingerly said “Mrs. Givens, I have something to say” I looked at him and was like, um, okay, and he said “I have Hitler in my bag” and I was sure I must have misheard him so I said excuse me? And he repeated “I have Hitler in my bag”. I had no fucking clue what this kid was talking about and I am sure that was all over my face. I said I don’t know what you’re talking about. He pointed to the wall and I said OH!!!!!!!!!!! So, I have a display of World War II leaders on my wall and Hitler was missing. I hadn’t even noticed. The kid said someone must have been playing a joke on him. He swore to me he did not do it. He got home on Friday afternoon, opened his bag, and found Hitler in it, and had been worried all weekend he was going to be in trouble. Poor kid. I think it’s funny. But I did have to lecture the class. It’s not funny to make him worry all weekend but it was funny for a kid to show up at my desk and tell me he had Hitler in his bag. Kids are funny.

I’m Done.

All my life I have always been told I am the friendliest person anyone has ever met. I smile at people, I talk with strangers, I help people even when it is an inconvenience for me. I go out of my way to make people happy. If I know I can do something to make someone else’s life a little easier I always do it. That’s who I am.

People ask me frequently how/why my Chinese is so good after studying so little and I credit it to my personality. I am super friendly and I speak to pretty much everyone I see. I think this is a main reason that I have many experiences in China that lots of others seem to not have. Also, I have not been working so I did not immediately walk into an English speaking environment and an instant circle of friends. When I moved here I spent my days 100% alone while my husband was at work and my daughter was at school. I did not meet my first English speaker for the first 8 months I was here. I was in a sink or swim situation. I was either going to be depressed and crying at home or fucking go out, learn the language, and make friends. Anyone that knows me knows I would choose option B.

It has not served me well. As of today I give up. I refuse to speak to strangers anymore. I will not go out anymore unless it is with the very few people that I know and trust and if any stranger approaches me I very well may tell them to fuck off. It has taken a long time and a LOT of bad experiences to make me, ME, embittered but I am finally there.

I’m not the super friendly, outgoing, smiley, helpful woman that I was two years ago. I’m just not.

I have experiences here that others seem to not have. I have people not believe me, I have people tell me that China is the safest place in the world for women, I have expat women tell me they have never had such experiences here and you know what? Fucking good for you. I’m happy for you. I can already imagine now all the comments I’m going to get saying nothing like that happens/happened to me in China. I have thoughts on why that is:

Most expats I know live in expat bubbles. They only hang out with other expats and the only Chinese people they know are their co-workers and perhaps their co-workers’ friends. They also speak little to no Chinese so they have no clue what strangers are saying to them most of the time. Their Chinese co-workers speak English and are college educated and they base all Chinese people off them. According to Wikipedia 6% of Chinese people speak English and 17% of Chinese people go to college. So they are basing all Chinese people off the maybe 10-15 people they know from the top, top, top tier of society. Sure, maybe they talk to the parents of the kids they teach. You know, the kids whose school tuition is at least 3 x’s higher than the local minimum wage. That’s like a Chinese person going to America and attending Harvard for one semester then basing all Americans off the friends they made there.

I have far more interactions with local people than any of them do. They are at work all day and I’m out talking to people. I talk to 15-20 people a day or more. I stop and have conversations with security guards, I talk to the cashier at the market, I talk to the person next to me on the subway, I talk to the other people that are out walking their dogs while I am walking mine, I talk to the person at the table next me at the coffee shop, I talk to the person in the elevator, I talk to the taxi driver, I talk to the waiter, I talk to the lady doing the awesomely huge cross-stitch I’ve been watching for a year now that sits on the sidewalk every afternoon working on it, I talk to the lady at the cardboard recycling place across the street, I talk to my neighbors. I freakin’ talk to everyone. And my Chinese is pretty decent these days. I can have conversations with these people I speak with.

I have lived in Xi’an, China for 2 years, 3 months, and 7 days. In that time here are a few the experiences I have had:

  1. While standing at a bus stop with my husband a man walked over and groped my ass.
  2. While reaching in my pockets to find money a motorcycle taxi driver grabbed my breast.
  3. While standing in line for a restroom 3 men tried to drag me into a room. Your guess is as good as mine what they planned to do to me in there.
  4. In an elevator a man grabbed my arm with one hand and my breast with his other while pushing me up against the wall.
  5. A man walked straight up to me on a sidewalk and molested my breasts.
  6. While dancing in a club a woman dropped to her knees and began giving me oral sex through my clothes.
  7. A woman jumped on me and began dry humping me and I had to fight her off me.
  8. A woman grabbed my breasts with both hands and refused to let go.
  9. A taxi driver, while I was handing him money through the bars, grabbed my hand and began kissing it while repeatedly begging me to have sex with him.
  10. I have had 6, yes 6, taxi drivers ask me to go to a hotel and have sex with him during his break.

Is ten enough? Naw… let’s just talk about my past 4 days. Friday night I went to a concert at a very small venue. I was there by myself and I was seated on a couch with some people I did not know. I was my normal friendly self and all of a sudden after about half an hour the guy next to me just takes my hand. I was a bit startled and before I could even react he asked me to go home with him. That’s not even where the story ends. When I refused and he left angry his friends seemed shocked I did not take him up on his offer. They told me he was rich, he could do anything he wanted with women, and I should have gone with him. I told them he picked the wrong woman.

Then today, and remember that was Friday and this is Monday, I was feeling a bit lonely because my husband and daughter are in the US for Christmas and I went to a coffee shop. The guy at the table next to me spoke a little English and was thrilled to practice it. My Chinese is way better than his English so we spoke about 75% Chinese 25% English. He was very pleasant and we had a really nice talk. We spoke for about twenty minutes when I told him I was going to go home. That’s when he said…drum roll please… “I can drive you home and we can fuck.” (In English)

And I haven’t even touched on how many people here so frequently call me fat and ugly since I already blogged about that a few months ago. It hasn’t stopped.6055443e0392de0f563187a91882cf92

Am I saying that every single Chinese person I meet is an asshole or a disgusting pig? No. I have met some truly wonderful people here. Am I saying that I have met enough assholes and pigs here to make me, ME, an angry bitter woman that does not even want to talk to people anymore? Yes.

Can these things happen to me anywhere in the world, even the US? Yes! They absolutely could but the fact is they have not. This is my own empirical evidence based on my own personal experiences. I have never had such a high rate of such incidents in my life and I have traveled in over 20 countries. I know it’s not a China and only China problem. I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is these are some of things that have happened to me while living here. Why do I not write more about all the good times I have here? Because none of the good things need to be changed. If we don’t talk about the bad shit that happens in the world how will it ever get better?

Oh! And here’s the best part. I will have more people call me a racist bitch over this blog entry. I wrote about 12 creepy sexual assaults or comments but if I had to come up with a number I would say I have been either assaulted or been told something sexually crude, called fat and told I eat too much, and/or been called ugly somewhere between 300-350 times. And that’s on the low end. I have lived here 827 days. That means that every 2.2 days here I have been assaulted either physically or verbally. I don’t like it here and I am ready to go. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: maybe I’ll hate the next place too! But I sure am ready to give it a try.

Big advantage of the next place: I will be working too! I get the luxury of English speaking all day and the instant friends.

 

 

 

NAFTA, New Balance, TPP, and Trump

I am deeply saddened from all the pro-NAFTA posts I have seen from my otherwise well informed, left leaning friends. Please stop it. You are doing exactly what the other folks do. Just because Trump is against something does not mean you should love it. Life is not that simple.

Absolutely everything out of Trump’s mouth is not wrong. While the things that he says that are wrong are so very, very wrong I could never look past them, some of the stuff he says is alright. Like NAFTA was a bad idea and the TPP is too. Don’t want to trust me? Bernie Sanders is against the TPP as well. So were many of you until all of sudden now when Trump says he is against it many of you have back tracked and are saying maybe TPP isn’t so bad. I mean if Trump is against it then I have to love it, right? WRONG.

Let me guess… you don’t really, and I mean REALLY, even know what NAFTA is right? Outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement and possibly a middle school level explanation a teacher gave you years ago. It’s okay. No one can see you reading this, even me, so you only have to admit it to yourself.

Let me tell you a little about NAFTA:

Corn farmers in the US get government subsidies. That means the US government pays them to grow corn. Mexican farmers do not get paid to grow corn. That means that in small, local markets all over Mexico corn that was grown in the United States and shipped on trucks all the way to Mexico is still cheaper than the corn Jose right down the road grew on his farm. So Jose goes broke because if you’re a poor Mexican you buy the cheap corn.

NAFTA took land away from the indigenous people’s of Mexico and sold it to US corporations. People that had been living on the land for hundreds, even thousands, of years all of a sudden found themselves kicked off their homesteads with nowhere to go. Men in suits came with papers saying this land belongs to us now, built fences, and bull dozed homes. What were the people to do? (Look into the Zapatista movement)

imagesUS corporations, took the indigenous peoples’ land and built factories on it, told them they could then have jobs paying shit in the factory that was on the land their ancestors had lived on since the beginning, the wages are menial, the products are then shipped back to the US (tariff free) and sold at incredible markup to keep the companies getting ever richer.

When people lose their ancestral homes, or lose their farms due to cheaper US foods coming in they often turn to the only thing they can to keep their families alive: crime. Cartels grow, murders grow, kidnappings grow, theft grows, the gun trade grows and more. These gangs are often formed by families that lost their land and lost their livelihood to NAFTA. Most of the drugs are then shipped to the US to be sold to the very people that took away the only way of life they had ever known. So we, the people of the United States, took what was theirs, called it our own, and now blame them for the crime we created.

Others, the ones that don’t turn to crime, may risk their lives to get to the US. They illegally cross the border, to live in the shadows, bust their asses working long hours and living in shit conditions, under the constant fear of being found out and deported and all the while being harassed by the right just so they can send money home to support the families that they used to support with their farm. Their farm they lost because of NAFTA .

And I haven’t even touched on how NAFTA is responsible for the sad state of Flint, Michigan these days. I haven’t mentioned how over one million US jobs have been lost do to NAFTA. And I won’t. You have Google. Go!

tpp_finalNow the TPP is a plan that will do the same things and have all the same effects but on even more countries. New Balance, as a company, is anti-TransPacific Partnership because of the worldwide negative effects it will have. Donald Trump is also anti TPP. When Matthew LeBretton of New Balance said “The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us, and, frankly, with president-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction.” he was not speaking of hate, he was speaking of keeping factories in America. On this topic I agree with Trump and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am anti-NAFTA and I am anti-TPP. It has been a complete PR disaster for them and we, the left, should stand behind them and show them our support.

I will still wear my New Balance shoes and I will wear them proudly. 960x0

Every gun article I saw in 12 hours of one day.

I’ve lived in China a year and a half now and people still ask me almost every day if I miss America. My answer is not really. It’s not that I think China is all that.  It’s just I don’t really miss America. Sure, I miss a few things like clean public restrooms, conversations with strangers, finding clothes that fit, and coffee shops that open before 11AM. And don’t think I’ve forgotten you, I miss some of my friends too but let’s be real we probably talk more now that I’m in China than we did for the 4 years I lived in the hell called Gainesville.

It’s like the gods wanted to remind me of how much I don’t miss America. Yesterday I saw a record amount of gun related stories stream across my Facebook wall. I collected a list. Here is every story I saw in a 12 hour span of one day, January 3, 2016:

Good Guy With Gun Kills Shoots Teen for Ringing Doorbell

Good Guy With Gun Shoots Child in Car

Responsible Gun Owner Shoots 9 Year-Old during New Year’s celebration. 

Responsible Gun Owner Tries to Use Gun as Alarm Clock

Armed Militia Has Taken Over Federal Building

Road Raging Good Guy With Gun Shoots Woman in Head

Student Crashes Car After Being Shot

Open Carry Nut Fatally Shoots His Own Two Toddlers

Man Fatally Shoots Self While Securing Dog to a Chain

Four Dead From Gun Shot Wounds After Arguing Over Laundry

Responsible Gun Owner Mistakes Gun for Wallet, Shoots Self

Gun Discharges in MRI Machine at VA Hospital

US Cops have already killed more since Christmas Than UK Cops Have Killed in the Past 5 Years

Ammosexual Robbed of His Gun at Gunpoint

Man Dies of Stupidity. Puts Gun to Head While Joking. 

Texas Businesses Adapt to Open Carry Law

Man Fatally Shot Inside Fast Food Restaurant

Gun Violence Archives

Empathy for strangers does not exist in China

A couple weeks ago my husband and I were walking down the street and there was an old woman lying in the middle of the sidewalk. People were just bustling past her as if they didn’t even see her. We stopped and tried to see what we could do for her but she didn’t understand us and we didn’t understand her. When others saw us helping her they stopped too. Soon someone had called the police to come and help the woman.

Before that I had seen two guys riding a motorbike get hit by a car. They were both thrown off the bike and we left lying in the middle of the road. The cars just drove around them. I headed over there but before I go there they were up and riding off.

3 months ago a tourist fainted on a subway in Beijing and everyone on the train simply ignored him and left him lying there while they exited the train.

1 year ago a woman got her head stuck in a railing. People passed by her all day. Stopping to stare. Taking pictures with their cell phones. She died.

1 year ago a 2 year old little girl was hit by a car. A security camera shows over 15 people walking past the child lying in the road. Eventually a 2nd car hit her body and killed her.

The stories go on and on. Why is this? How can people be so cruel?  Those are shocking stories but there are the tiny almost mundane ones too like if a little old lady drops her bag of groceries in a crowd not one person will stop to help her gather them (but me).

I’ve been researching this for a few days now and it seems to stem from Taoism.  Apparently Laozi’s utopia was described as “Let your community be small, with only a few people. He said that “to do nothing is actually to do everything.”Laozi_002

So there we go. They have a 3,000 year old tradition of not caring for their neighbor. Only have a few people in your community and don’t ever help anyone with anything. It’s tribalism to the extreme.

In the lobby of my friend’s apartment building there is a sign that reads:

Look on and Do Nothing.

That about sums up life here.

It’s not as if Chinese people are not capable of empathy. They are very friendly to people they consider part of their group as in their family and their small circle of friends but anyone outside of that may as well not exist. It’s as if in Chinese culture there are two distinct, completely separate castes: my circle and the untouchables. They don’t separate themselves by class or rank or anything like that it’s just me, my family, my friends, and then the untouchables.

Then everyone lives in their little worlds like that. There are millions and millions of microcosms in China. Millions of groups of 20 or so people that are wonderfully sweet and helpful to each other that never intermingle with other groups and wouldn’t lift a finger to help the other even if a life were at stake.

For anyone interested there is a Chinese professor at UCLA writing a book on the topic. I have emailed him to learn more.

 

 

That’s it for me and the Catholic Church.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I was raised Catholic. I attended Catholic Schools through the 9th grade and I have nothing negative to say about it. In fact I have always spoken quite highly of the Catholic church I attended. I know they are not all as wonderful as mine was but I had an excellent experience with the church and I have always held them in high regard.

My schools taught me to think critically and to always question. Perhaps they taught me too well. I actually credit my excellent education to why I’m an atheist today! Score one for Catholic schools!

As of this week everything has changed between me and the Catholic Church.

In case you don’t know the Vatican is standing before the United Nation’s Convention Against Torture in Geneva this week. Cardinal Tomasi, the spokesperson for the Pope claimed yesterday that child rape is not torture and that the Vatican should not be held responsible for what every priest does around the world.  The pope says the priests should be dealt with by local law enforcement and not by the Vatican. Full opening statement by Tomasi can be found here.

His statements damn near sent me running to the bathroom to throw up. Child rape not torture? What planet do these people come from? Even more disgusting to me is that the Vatican says priests raping children is not their problem. The local police should deal with it.

     “The Declaration elaborates more precisely the Holy See’s position, in which the teaching of the Catholic Church clearly articulates its opposition to acts of violence and torture.”

So if the pope’s position is that the Church is against acts of violence then WHY THE FUCK is child rape not your goddamn problem? Seemingly everything else that is the church’s position is their problem.

The Catholic Church wants total, TOTAL control over every aspect of it’s “sheep’s” lives. Pre-marital sex? No communion for you. Vote Democrat? In many churches, no communion for you. Divorce? Ex-communication. Nuns in America suggesting maybe-just maybe- women should be given a little more respect in the Church? Get scolded by the Pope. Be a priest that rapes a child? Oh! That’s not their problem. Call local law enforcement for that.

I bet if priests all of a sudden started handing out condoms or paying for abortions the “Holy See” would find it the Vatican’s problem really fast. What if a priest fell in love and got married? I bet the Vatican would find it their problem. 

Hitler got the Catholic Church’s blessings, Napalm over Vietnam got the Church’s blessing, the rape of countless children is not their problem but birth control oh yeah! That’s their problem. They’re all over that shit.

I can’t believe I’ve actually defended this new pope. I fell for his bull shit and I thought he was a good guy. 

All they had to do was stand before the UN, admit they messed up big time, and list all the things they’re doing to try and make things right but nope! Child rape isn’t torture and it’s not their problem anyway.

I hope MASSIVE numbers of people leave the church over this. I know if I were still a believer this would have been my last day ever as a Catholic. I know there are good people out there that go to church every Sunday but how can you continue to go when your LEADERS say this stuff???? LEAVE!!! Get out! Nothing will happen to you but the lifting of weight off your shoulders. You can still be a good person. You’ll even have an extra hour every Sunday to do community service!

Anyone interested in leaving the church Recovering from Religion is an excellent source for help.

Guest Speaker on Campus

So earlier today I was sitting in the study area of a building at school when a nicely dressed middle aged man walked up and two students greeted him. He was a guest speaker for their class at 3:00. They were sitting right next to me and I’m a fairly curious person so I couldn’t help but listen to them.

I asked him what he was speaking about and he told me The Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War. By now I’m really interested. I asked him with what authority he was speaking like is he from the government and he told me he’s from Syria. I said great! Then he said he’s also the president of the local Arab community club and he owns 15 Little Caesars Pizzas in the area. I asked him for his business card but he didn’t have one.

I asked the students if they thought their teacher would mind if I sat in on the talk and they said they were sure he wouldn’t mind. I followed them in the room and told the teacher I was interested in hearing the talk. It turns out it was a Global Issues class so I was really happy!

Wow. Was I in for one heck of a talk.

He moved here in 1985 with $1100 in his pocket and he’s made it well for himself and I applaud him for that. Although he said some pretty wacky things and I was shocked this man was brought in to a Global Issues class as a guest speaker.

1. He kept repeating over and over again that America is heaven.

While it is true that I am moving to Vietnam it’s not as if I hate America. I just want to see the world and I want my daughter to have a worldly education. Yep, the USA is a pretty sweet place to live but heaven? Heaven? I can’t say I agree with that.

2.  He kept talking about how the leaders of Middle Eastern countries are insane. His examples were:

  • The king of Saudi Arabia paid to have houses built for every Saudi citizen.

I can’t find anything online anywhere saying this is true. What I do find is several references to the king pumping $35billion of his own dollars into government funds to help Saudi citizens get loans to build houses, open businesses, and get married. He also released people from debtors prisons. Plus he gave 15% raise for government employees, better state aid, and one year of unemployment pay for youths.

While I am sure living in Saudi Arabia would suck for me as a woman and I could write a 20 page paper and what’s wrong with the Saudi government I can’t call the king insane. Especially since it doesn’t appear that he paid for houses for every Saudi citizen. He only made it possible for Saudi citizens to take out loans. While this is a far cry from women’s rights it’s not insanity. In fact it’s down right wonderful.

  • He also called the King of Kuwait crazy. (His words not mine. Saudi king insane, Kuwaiti king crazy) Why is this man crazy you may ask? He forgave all debts and called everyone even.

True! Awesome! How sweet would it be if the US president were to forgive all debt and let us all start over again? I can hear the nation wide sigh of relief in my head. I could go on and on but I won’t. Once again I’m not saying I think Kuwait is a model country as it’s far from it but forgiving the debts of it’s citizens does not seem crazy to me it actually seems nice.

  • I can’t remember if this was Saudi Arabia, Syria or Kuwait but he said he prepaid for $5 worth of gas but the pump didn’t shut off and he got more gas than he had paid for. He went in to pay for the rest and the attendant said don’t worry about it, it was our mistake. Guess what he said about the attendant? He was crazy. He was crazy because he didn’t make him pay for the gas he got. But it was a mistake and the attendant admitted to the mistake and said don’t worry about it. How does that make him crazy? In my mind it makes him nice. I think this guy is so obsessed with capitalism and money that he can’t even imagine someone being nice. Nice=crazy to him.

3. He said that he does not believe that Obama or the United States had anything to do with the death of Osama bin Laden. He thinks Osama bin Laden died of liver problems and it was all a huge publicity stunt for Obama.

WTF??

Remember this man was brought in as a guest speaker on a university campus.

4. He said that the war in Syria is not a civil war at all. He said the people that started the war against the government and the rebels that are fighting now are Chechen.

I looked into this as well. Yes. There are people from Chechnya fighting in the Syrian Civil war but there are also people from China, Bosnia, and several other Arab states and the Chechens most certainly did not start the war.

5. A student asked him if there were any comparisons between the US and the Middle East and he said none at all. It’s completely impossible to compare the two.

I was a guest so I didn’t say anything but someone else spoke up and asked about corruption in the government and he refused to admit that there is any corruption in the US government because once again the US is heaven. He spoke of democracy and how wonderful it is that we can all vote and how all of our votes matter. If you know me at all you know that I think that is a beautiful idea but anyone that believes our nation is truly run like that is naive. If you are rich you matter and if you are not rich you are fodder for the rich. That’s how our country was started and not much has changed since. I don’t believe we live in the heavenly democracy this guy thinks we live in.

6. As if he hadn’t jumped the shark already he also mentioned the Malaysian plane and how “the government” knows where it is they’re just not telling us.

This guy struck me as nothing but a right wing, Tea Party nut job. I’m glad he’s made it well for himself. It’s a difficult thing to do and he succeeded. Good for him! And I mean that but wow did he come off as crazy to me. Well ya know the converts make the best zealots. He’s an American convert so he’s going to love our capitalist system more than many.

I am very disappointed that he was brought in as a speaker for a Global Issues class. Young college kids (and many not so young people) are very impressionable and they believe anything a man in a suit in the front of the room tells them. This guy stood up and told 30 college kids flat out lies. The death of bin Laden was a publicity ploy for the president? Chechens started the Syrian Civil War? The Saudi king bought a house for every citizen? These are lies.  This man belongs in the nuthouse and not speaking on a university campus as if he’s an official of some sort.

Oh yeah! There was also some anti-Christianity and anti-Semitism thrown in there but I’m always down for some anti religion talk so I won’t dwell on that part.

By the way: he didn’t talk about the Arab Spring at all and the only thing he said about Syria was that Chechens started it.

I would totally expect someone like this to speak at something like last week’s Tea Party rally in town but not on a university campus. Well…. maybe Liberty University but not a state run school. Vietnam here I come!

What I learned from his talk:

  • Nothing should ever be free.
  • USA=heaven
  • No one should ever be generous to anyone else. Ever. No matter what.
  • USA=heaven
  • The US had nothing to do with the death of bin Laden
  • USA=heaven
  • The war in Syria was started by Chechens and it’s not really a civil war at all
  • USA=heaven
  • The Malaysian plane is not really lost
  • USA=heaven

 

 

To clear some things up

You may have heard by now that I’m moving to Vietnam. My husband got an amazing job there and I am so excited I can hardly wait. Classes are almost impossible to concentrate in and if I could leave right this minute I would.

There’s one thing I would like to clear up. I have been asked the same questions over and over again and they go like this:

So what about your education? You’re just expected to give up everything for your husband and follow him?

The first time it caught me off guard? Give up everything? WHAT????

So let me explain this to everyone clearly:

My BIGGEST DESIRE in life is travel.

My second biggest desire in life is adventure.

Yes, education is very important to me and yes I have been quite obsessed with neuroscience for over a decade and yes I was planning to get a PhD in neuroscience. BUT that was only because we were not traveling and adventuring. As long as I was stuck in one place for more or less the rest of my life I wanted to continue my education in the world of science and research.

I dropped out of school the first time around and I’ve had a fun life and much to many adults in my life’s chagrin I have not really regretted it. I met a wonderful man that encouraged me to quit my hourly paid job, go back to school, and study the things that fascinate me and I did it! I’ve loved being in school but I assure you the thing I want to do the most in my life is travel!

I want to see every country and experience every culture. Since it didn’t look as if that was going to happen I was happily settling for 9 years of school and hopefully finding a job in academia for life. I could easily see myself doing brain research for the rest of my life and being happy with it.

Yay!!! That’s not the life I’m going to live after all! I get to travel! I get to see the world! I get the adventure I’ve always wanted and I get to do it with my family! I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful, adventurous daughter!!

I am SO VERY, VERY excited for this next phase of my life.

As far as education goes: my husband had to convince me that since I’m so close to a degree now I should continue taking online classes. Heck, I was ready to throw it all to the dust! I’m sure he’s right. Maybe in a few more years we’ll be in Europe long enough for me to finish a PhD program there.