I intended to “close out” our China years long before now. I just couldn’t get motivated, and there were so many “spam” comments (22,000, yeah 22,000) to delete, I couldn’t keep up, so I gave up. Now that we’re about to head out on another “trip of a lifetime” (we’ve had so many more than we ever expected), I thought I would try to post some comments and pictures for my mom.
Here’s a summation of our trip/jobs in China. In the fall of 2012, Judy and I were both mentally fatigued from doing basically the same jobs for over 37/38 years. We spent 25 years teaching in Clovis, New Mexico, and 12 more in Arlington. I taught one early year in Friona, TX, before we moved to New Mexico while Judy finished her degree at WTSU. We enjoyed our careers and had great memories, but were tired of the same grind, and going to work was no longer “fun”.
We realized we were eligible to retire and the challenge of teaching overseas and the allure of travel sounded exciting and reinvigorating. Our two years in Beijing were exactly that, exciting and reinvigorating. Judy loved the challenge of embracing a new curriculum, but making it fit her teaching strengths. She met some wonderful people and has been enjoying keeping up with them through emails and WeChat, since we left.
I developed a deep respect for the Chinese students and teachers I worked with, and also made some great expat friends. I still check in on Josie, the PE teacher at BSHFIC while I was there. She moved back to El Paso, and helps me keep track of some of the teachers and students I had a chance to work with back in China.
In the three and a half years we’ve been back in the US, our lives have continued to evolve. Judy’s had one knee replaced, and I’ve had both knees replaced. We feel great and our health is good. We have found part-time jobs that have kept us involved in music education. Judy works with student teachers for Texas Wesleyan University, and I mentor/consult with band programs at six schools for Fort Worth ISD.
We’ve continued to travel extensively, visiting Israel, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and Australia. We’re about to embark on a six-week trip that includes a 15-night cruise from Rome through the Suez Canal, time in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, over a week in northern India, and two weeks in northern & southern Thailand. The time in southern Thailand will be “beach” time spent with some of Judy’s friends from BISS in Beijing. It’s a bit of a reunion, and we’re looking forward to catching up on everything and everyone.o