My days in America are numbered.
On Friday, Aug. 17, I’ll begin a three-flight journey plus a short train ride to Bratislava, Slovakia, to teach Intro to English Lit and English classes at a bilingual Lutheran high school. My volunteer teaching contract is for 10 months through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
I will teach two classes of third-year students English and one class of first-year students English. Books on the materials list include The Great Gatsby, The Alchemist, and The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (all of which happen to be personal favorites of mine).
The ELCA is providing me an apartment in the city with Internet, and I will spend my first week at a new teacher orientation.
Since my last day working as a reporter at The Winchester Sun, a small semi-daily paper in Winchester, Ky. (a town about 20 miles east of Lexington, Ky.), I have been living in Columbus, Ohio, spending time with family and friends. The time home has been great, especially being able to see so much of my family and to rediscover a city I love. It will be hard to say goodbye.
Now that my departure is less than two weeks away, my to-do list — from errands to people to see — seems to keep growing.
Today, I visited a teaching supply store where I proceeded to find way too many things that I “needed” for my classroom. I went in for a grade book and some pens, and I came out with that plus eight other items. Sounds like a trip to Target, right?
As far as packing goes, I’m limiting myself to two large checked suitcases (although I’m really shooting for just one, but we’ll see), a carry-on backpack and a purse. Packing for a year — especially since I’ll be teaching — is a daunting task.
I have tried to not think too hard about the adventure I’m about to begin to limit stress. Now that it’s approaching so soon, though, I sometimes find myself in a panic. But, as my mom has repeatedly told me, I seem to do best in situations where I’m out of my comfort zone.
(This is the first post of what I hope to be many in my online journal of my teaching adventure in Slovakia. I am aiming to post at least one entry per week, so stay tuned and I hope you’ll comment.)