Personal Update: 4th Year in Vietnam
Wow! Hard to believe it’s been three full years already, and at the same, I feel like I’ve been in Saigon even longer than that as I’ve gone through so many changes, both professionally and personally, since we moved here in August 2012.
I’m now printing the fifth iteration of my business card, this time as Deputy Head of School. This is the first year I’m on a full-time administrative contract instead of a teaching contract. Doing that Principal licensure program during my maternity leave with Arianne definitely paid off!
A Deputy Head plays a role similar to an Assistant Principal in US schools. I focus mainly on school logistics, data management, and teaching & learning. Some of my favorite things to work on are planning teacher professional development, organizing our whole-school field trip program, and coordinating the dual enrollment program for university credit with Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA).
We are the first and only school in Vietnam to offer SUPA, and last year we were the first school in Vietnam to trek with students to Hang En Cave, the third largest cave in the world. Some initiatives for this year included bringing in Dr. Janell Catlin from Teachers College at Columbia University to work with our Science Department and hosting John Miller from Agile Classrooms to lead a workshop focused on using Agile for 21st Century Learning.
I love that my job here has allowed me to be creative and innovative, and that I’ve been involved in so many “firsts.” At the same time, I’ve served as a Syracuse University adjunct instructor for the introductory Academic Writing and Creative Nonfiction Writing courses. This has allowed me to continue spending time in the classroom, engaging in meaningful conversation with exceptionally bright and motivated Vietnamese students.
I moved to Vietnam in 2012 as part of a teaching couple with one child, then 18 months old. I’ve since had my second child here in Vietnam, and more than a year ago, separated from their father and started the divorce process. Since then, I’ve been living alone as a single mom with two young children. Their dad is still in Saigon and still involved in their lives, but both kids live with me full time. Thankfully, I have two trustworthy nannies so I’m able to keep up with my career and continue to travel for work and sometimes for fun.
Being single in Saigon is not something I had ever planned on. After being with my ex-husband for eight and a half years, I was totally out of the loop with the current dating scene. Big thanks to Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance for filling me in! It’s been interesting and amusing to say the least. I still need someone to explain to me the significance of weird cat photos in online dating profiles. If you are in the know, email me. Seriously.
Now that my kids are a bit older, I’m trying to spend more time getting back into old hobbies like playing bass, horseback riding, hiking/trekking, and Latin dancing. I feel like I never have enough time, hence why I haven’t been posting much on this site. I’ve been focusing more on photography than writing, but then never taking time to post. I’ll try to get better with that this year. No promises though. Best way to follow me nowadays is on Facebook. If you add me and we’ve never met in person, just send me a quick message that you found me via the blog. I get a lot of questionable friend requests. Sometimes with cat photos.
So here’s to creativity, freedom, and balance for my fourth year in Saigon!