I don't know why I haven't posted this earlier!! Maybe because I wasn't too certain of what my future would hold and where I wanted to go with it, the reactions of some people back home, or I was freakin busy with school prep!! Anyways I've been thinking a LOT about the future, where I want to be in 5 years, and what are my options!! Yes I just started at Woodstock, but let me tell you 3 years goes a LOT faster than one would think!! I mean if I was on a 2 year contract with Woodstock I would already have to think about renewing it next Fall already!! So thinking ahead 5 years is probably the best thing to do right now!! As I've been thinking I've also been seeing!! Seeing the effects short term teacher's at Woodstock have on the students!! Not only emotionally but psychologically as well!! Basically trust with a teacher, through a student's eyes, is non-existent at Woodstock and that's really really depressing to see!! You almost have to be there 10+ years to finally gain some trust!! But honestly I would be the same way if I was a student there and my teacher's left every 2 years for another teaching job!! I was talking to one of my classes at the end of last semester about teacher's leaving and I told them I have every intention of staying the 3 years!! What did I get in response, to my surprise BLANK STARES!! Thinking about it now, why would they be happy?! I'm not even done with 1 year, and they don't know if something will change in the next 1 or 2 years!! For example a PE teacher last year who I think had every intention in coming back to Woodstock after they left for summer, never came back the next year!! That was a single year with the students!! So again, when I briefly mentioned I was planning on staying my entire contract length (3 years) and their response was no emotion, I am not too shocked by that as this point!! Which brings me to the MAIN point of this entire blog!! Like I was mentioning in the beginning I have been thinking a LOT about the future and what it holds for me, and what I want to see out of it!! Well for those in Shako Tennis please don't kill me when I say this next bit, I plan on staying at Woodstock the 3 years PLUS 2 more (minimum)!! .................... Okay calmed down yet?!?!:) So yes that would put me for sure at 5 years minimum at Woodstock School, Mussoorie, INDIA!!! Now it's just not me saying oh I'm staying 5 years for the heck of it!! There are a PLETHORA of reasons!! Here are the top 5!!
Reason #1: STUDENTS/STAFF!! They desperately need staff retention, and even if a couple staff stay on for at least a couple years past their original 3 year contract that can bring some of the trust between teacher's and students back!! And the student's at Woodstock are AMAZING!!:) Why would you want to leave them after a short 1-2 years!!? Granted some may not have a choice, which is completely understandable!! Woodstock doesn't have the greatest paycheck, BUT if you're debt free and single it's the perfect place!!;) Thanks Dad and Mom, well for the debt free part not so much the single!!:) Also, from a PE perspective, we just built this INCREDIBLE gym and a re-building program with that, and since I LOVE being part of building a program (Shako Tennis:)) it's kinda my calling from God I believe to stay and help re-establish it with Ajay and see the kids grow with a growing PE program and curriculum!!! Lastly, the diversity at Woodstock is a reason in itself to stay!! I've learned so much just from talking to my student's about their home country, or city if they're from India!! The stories of travels makes me extremely jealous a 6th grader has traveled around the world more than I have, but still fun to hear!!:) And the cool words you get to learn from different languages!! I'm not even going to attempt to spell any of the Korean words I've learned!!;) Plus the staff is such a close FAMILY it is amazing!!! In the first 2 weeks, all the new staff seemed to gel and become this tight closed family instantly!! AWESOME!!:) The enthusiasm for activity here is mind-blowing from a PE teacher's perspective!! So enthused to organize staff vs. staff games or staff vs. student games, go on hikes, or work out in the fitness room!!!:)
Reason #2: TRAVELING!!! I won't lie, but the cheap traveling opportunities from India to any country, besides the US and Australia, is amazing!! For example, like I said earlier I'm flying to Finland this summer for HALF the price it would if I was flying from Minneapolis!! And it's almost 1/3 the price traveling to Asia then from the US!! Not to mention traveling internally, INDIA, is the cheapest of all!! From Mussoorie to the southern most tip of India would only be $150-200 flying!! Probably $100 by train/bus!!:) And it's only $25 from Mussoorie to the HIMALAYA'S!! Now you cannot tell me that's not awesome in itself right there!! A MAJOR mountain range, with the HIGHEST peak in the world, can be traveled to for under $50!! Yeah, eat your heart out Martha Stewart!! Oh and I'm SINGLE!! No lame boring wife to drag around from country to country or try and negotiate a country to visit over break!!:) And with that comment I aint getting married anytime soon!!;)
Reason #3: EXPERIENCE!!! Teaching in a foreign country with a culture you are not familiar with at all when you arrive can be overwhelming for some!! BUT once you get settled, in a routine, and used to monkey's crawling all over the place free ranged the experiences you gain from teaching at Woodstock is PRICELESS!!! Going on hiking adventures with the students, eating dinner with them sometimes down at dorms, building close relationships with the students and staff you would NEVER be able to do in public schools back in the states!! Take that Janet Reno!! Also, being in such a unique school, in relation to a perfect location for hiking, the outdoor experience alone will be life changing!!:) I can go a mile and already be engulfed in a freakin jungle!! It's awesome!!
Reason #4: FAMILY/FRIENDS BACK HOME!!! Yes, you guys are definitely a reason I am staying an additional 2+ years!! Without you guys being so understanding and patient has made this entire adventure so much easier!! I've heard stories from other staff members who's family is not taking it so well that their son or daughter is in India!! Been very very blessed with VERY VERY understanding and open minded parents!! AND bonus I made them very jealous when I told them I got a job in India and get to see the world!!:) In your face!! Love you guys!!:) Also, being competitive with the sister in traveling and seeing the world, she can't have all the fun always getting to go to these countries!! I need to stay ahead of her!!:) And added bonus get to rub in her face of my pictures of the Himalayas and the hikes!! HA!! POINT BIG BROTHER!! In addition, when I first got here I was thinking oh man I'm going to miss so much with my friends not being home!! BUT, then I really thought about it and realized, HEY, they're moving on too!! They always won't be a phone call away!! Some move to North Carolina for college, Rhode Island for a job, across the seas for patriotic duty, etc!! Then I'd be sitting at home jealous of all you guys thinking MAN how sweet that would be to travel the world!! Now granted some also are settling down and would be a phone call away, which is very nice to know that when I get back you'll be right there back in that phone call distance away and we can catch up!!:) So with that being said, it's all YOUR fault I'm staying an extra couple of years!!;) Just kidding, but seriously without family and friends (you guys) back home being so amazing and understanding this would not have been such an easy decision to make!!
REASON #5: SINGLE!!!!!!! This is an advanced warning that in no way am I bashing those who got married during/right after college!! With that being said, it is AWESOME BEING SINGLE AFTER COLLEGE!! The world is basically your oyster and you are the pearl!! I don't know if that's a real saying or not, BUT it is now!!:) I loved when I left that 95% of you said this exact phrase, "You're single, now's the perfect time to do it!" Haha and it's so TRUE!! Being in a serious relationship after college would have DEFINITELY made this decision harder, and if I was married even harder cause we both would have had to get jobs at the same school!! I guess though, since we're looking for a female PE teacher, that if I would have married one we both could have gotten a job!! Even though that may have been wife overload!! Yeah definitely not getting married now with that comment for another 10 years!! No rush!!!:) So being single now and seeing NO relationships developing in the future (since I'm not looking/trying to start one) the choice of staying at least 5 years has no effect on my significant other!! And I'm assuming if I do find someone over here that she'll also love to travel!! COUNT IT!!!:)
With all that being said, obviously that is IF Woodstock even keeps me on after my 3 years are up, nothing is certain in that aspect!! I just hope they decide to extend my contract!! That would be amazing!!!:) But yes those are my 5 top main reasons why I am definitely going to stay 5 years, maybe more, at Woodstock!! Granted if I have the choice of staying!!:) And don't get me wrong God is definitely a factor here, but it's kinda the obvious one that can go without saying!! Besides the big man knows he's #1!! These are my next 5 main reasons!! For those that figured I would do a quick 3 and out and punt myself home, ummmm yeah sorry this isn't football anymore!! We have gone cricket!! And if you know cricket those games last FOREVER!!:) Literally one cricket game can last for 2 days!! YEAH 2 WHOLE DAYS!!! It's crazy!! There you have it, my inner most thoughts about the future and my decisions made so far!!! Miss you all back in Minnesota, WE ARE ONLY 320 DAYS AWAY BABY!!!!!!:) GET THOSE MEATBALLS AND POTATOES READY!!!!! Have a SPECTACULAR WEEKEND EVERYONE!!!
The rest of the reasons (short version):
-staying active is extremely easy here
-marathons grow on trees over here and are very inexpensive to do
-skype/internet allows keeping in touch so much easier than 10 years ago would have been
-mail, being away from home half way across the world for some reason inspires people to send mail often!!
-sending postcards from half way across the world is fun!
-away from TV AND MOVIES AND BEING LAZY!!
-new/old staff at Woodstock are awesome and have similar interests in life!!:)
-makes going home every 18 months very special and makes you appreciate family and friends that much more!!
-fun to tell friends/people who are complaining about life in the states "HEY!! Live in India and then complain about your life!!"
-it's fun to confuse friends when you say "I MAKE 20,000Rs a month!!!" Then follow that up by saying that's about $400!!:)