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*Love is… ♥

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Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always remains strong. Love never ends…”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

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♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

*Read This Book: Three Cups of Tea.

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Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, is one of the best books I have read in a long time, and I encourage all of you to read it as well.

The book describes the incredible and completely true, story of how Greg Mortenson, a former mountain climber, turned his failed attempt to climb K2 (the second highest mountain in the world) into a successful quest to, “Promote peace, one school at a time.”

K2 is a mountain in the northern region of Pakistan. On Mortenson’s way back down from K2 he got separated from his guide and wandered into a small village called Korphe, where the inhabitants took care of him until he was strong enough to continue down the mountain. To thank them, he promised to build a school for the children there. Three Cups of Tea tells the story of how he far more than kept that promise.

The book is wonderfully well-written and caused me both to laugh out loud and to be moved to tears. It provides an excellent look into the Islamic world as it is not always shown in the media, as well as providing an interesting perspective in the fight against terrorism.

For more infomation, check out the Three Cups of Tea website here or Central Asia Institute’s website here.

*Skiing at Crystal Mountain!

http://www.skicrystal.com/

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*It’s Been a Few Weeks.

Oh let’s see, as always, it’s been a while since I’ve updated this. January turned out to be a pretty eventful month. As if working two different jobs, being a full-time grad student, doing my teaching practicum, and having to move out of my apartment wasn’t enough, I also experienced running out of gas and having my wallet either lost or stolen (still not sure which). All of this happened during the first two weeks of the year, and the last two things happened within two hours of each other!

Luckily, I was able to get gas with no problem (thanks to AAA) and have pretty much taken care of canceling and replacing all of my cards, etc in my wallet. (I still need to get a new Blockbuster card and SPU ID, but neither of those are of immediate need). Also, the rest of the year since then has been much less exciting!

Work and school have been keeping me busy. I’ve officially been teaching for a year as of tomorrow, which is hard to believe! It’s true that experience is the best teacher. Everything I’ve learned in my TESOL program has been helpful, but being able to actually try out the methods and activities we discuss in class has been invaluable! I’ve definitely learned a lot (and, in my opinion, become a much better teacher) since I first started last February!

Since I came back to Seattle after Christmas I’ve been teaching my same Level 3 Intermediate class that I began with a year ago. I’ve had a fun, diverse group this year, including students from seven countries: Japan, Korea, Italy, Turkey, Kuwait, Libya, and Thailand. Tomorrow, however I’m moving to Level 4: Upper Intermediate. I’m looking forward to the change, although I’m sure a new level will present new challenges. Two of my current Level 3 students (from Turkey and Kuwait) are also moving to Level 4 tomorrow, so I’m sure it will be nice to have some familiar faces in the class.

My practicum has also been going well. I’m currently in the first phase of the two-phase practicum, which means I’m mainly observing the teachers. I do interact from time to time, acting as a teacher assistant of sorts. I’m available to answer questions and check classwork, as well as participating in discussions from time to time. As one of the students put it, they’re getting “two teachers for the price of one.”

Outside of school and work I’ve been busy doing… well, honestly, other than church, not much else. A couple of weeks ago I went skiing with two of the Italians I know here in Seattle (one former and one current student). We had a great time, but it definitely took me a while to get the hang of skiing again. (Thinking about it afterward, this was probably the first time I had gone skiing in eight or so years). I’m going skiing again in a couple of weeks with work as the “chaperone.” Hopefully I won’t embarrass myself too much!

The church I go to here in Seattle, Blue Sky, (which is actually in Bellevue and not Seattle) has been getting bigger lately. In fact, my “small” group has gotten quite big- we’ve had 17 or 18 people coming every week lately. Because we’re so big, we’re going to become two groups in a couple of weeks. Sam (the current leader) will lead one group and Mark (my former roommate Heather’s husband) will be leading the other. I’m still not sure which group I’ll be in, but I am looking forward to being in a small small group again!

Oh yeah, and for anyone interested in the status of my apartment, they finally started fixing it last Monday. I stopped by on Friday afternoon to see how repairs were coming, and was surprised to discover that the ceiling and one of the walls were completely gone! However, I was even more surprised (pleasantly surprised) when I stopped by this afternoon and found that a new ceiling and wall had already been installed, and the three holes in another wall had been patched. Hopefully this is a good sign that progress is being made and I’ll be able to get back in soon!

Alright, I think that’s everything for now; hopefully I’ll have a chance to update again soon.