Last year at this time, I was celebrating my 27th birthday with these adorable Thai kids who brought me a cake and told me I was old:
Those of you who know me aren’t surprised that I still get carded buying alcohol in the States, or that I got asked twice while snowboarding at Steamboat Springs if I was on my high school spring break. Not so long ago, I got carded for the purchase of a rated ‘R’ movie ticket, though I think the ticket boy was a 16-year-old on a power trip.
Yesterday, I turned 28.
The last year was amazing. I kicked it off with six weeks in India before returning to my beloved Thailand for some quality time with the kids above, while intermittently squeezing in weeks of time to write on my favorite beach. When I returned home in May, I worked hard to continue accomplishing my goals. First obtaining residency in Colorado, then road tripping from Bend to Fort Collins via Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
When school started, I worked my butt off to be a good student while juggling what seemed an unrelenting workload (after a few years on Easy Street) with multiple jobs aimed at getting my foot in the door of U.S. higher education. In January, I applied (yet again) for a teaching position at CSU, and just a few weeks ago, they offered me the job!
I was supposed to keep it a secret since the process isn’t yet finished (they do a second round of hiring if incoming students choose other schools), but I can’t hold it in any longer, and I know you aren’t telling!
I’m beyond excited. It seems my excursions of teaching English abroad, coupled with all my teaching-related endeavors in my first year of graduate school have finally paid off. Not only am I stoked to gain the experience of teaching freshmen composition (a required course for all incoming freshmen — oh the power to mold young, writerly minds!) and eager to enter a new struggle of managing my own thesis writing and homework with teaching and grading lengthy papers — but most importantly, this position delivers the best birthday present of all: FREE TUITION!
Now that’s a gift that will keep on giving.
So here’s a toast to the Thailand that taught me to love teaching (chon gaew!), a raised glass to my university students in China who helped me hone my skills and narrow down my preferred grade level (gambei!), and to the wonderful folks at Colorado State for recognizing my potential (cheers!). I enter into my 28th year with new and higher goals to reach, and I look forward to looking back again at 29 to see how far I’ve come. Thank you all for your continued support. Despite all of this boasting, I’m humbled.