Sunday, August 3, 2014

You're going where

August 3, 2014

               Welcome one and all to my little corner of the World Wide Web, otherwise known as Musings From Mongolia.  Personally, I wanted to go with Meharg’s Mongolia Musings or 3M for short, but I didn't feel like getting sued for copyright infringement, curse you Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation.  My blog will be about the little country nestled between Russia and China in Northern Asia.  If the title didn't clue you in, I’m talking about Mongolia, the land of the Big Blue Sky and the home of Genghis Khan.  (Oh and any other countries I happen to visit.)

               Anyway for those of you who don’t know me, I am a middle school and high school science teacher from the shores of New Jersey, with its unique blend of drinking water.  I gained my teaching legs after leaving medical school for the more interesting and exciting life as a professional educator.  I spent three years teaching 7th grade biology, before taking some time off to earn my master’s in education.  This past year I made the jump to teaching high school student’s biology and chemistry.  So all told between student teaching, subbing, and full time teaching I’ve covered every grade from 6th to 11th.  Now for the question that you’ve all been wondering why Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

               The simple answer is, well watch the video below.

               Ok, now for the long answer and yes I like anime.  I attended several classes at Monmouth University taught by Professor Paul Ristow who spent the majority of his career teaching for the DODEA, otherwise known at the Department of Defense Education Activity.  This is the branch of the US government that runs all of the overseas schools for the children of US government workers living overseas.  Over 90% of his examples, stories, or lessons all related to his time teaching in schools all over the world.  The depth of his knowledge and experience really struck a chord with me and his ability to relate to students of many different backgrounds.  He also focused on the real world application of educational theory and how to deal with the multitude of student situations than can occur.  He is without a doubt the best Professor the Monmouth University School of Education has to offer.  If I can become half the teacher he is, then I will be a very happy educator.  The ability to see and experience a multitude of different cultures first hand doesn't hurt either.

               One of the more common question I’ve been asked is why Mongolia?  Why would you move 6,300 some miles away from home?  Well, Mongolia was the first one to offer me a position and it looks like an interesting place.   6,300 miles is a bit further than the local moving company is willing to go, so I now have to pack my entire apartment into a couple of suitcases.  Not the easiest thing in the world as I’ve come to discover even with the extra moving allowance as you can see.

               Packing your entire life into 2 large suitcases, a large hiking backpack, a rolling duffel bag carry on, and a briefcase is not the easiest thing in the world.  All I can say is thank goodness for vacuum bags, and eBooks, without those this would have been impossible.  Warm clothing, bedding, clothing for work, warm clothing, electronics, casual clothing, random necessities, electronics, oh and more warm clothing.  For anyone who doesn't know Ulaanbaatar is the coldest national capital in the world with an average January temperature at -28 degrees Fahrenheit.  For any of you thinking why I just don’t ship some of it over, only DHL and the US post office deliver to Mongolia.  It also costs 125$ to ship 25 lbs or I can take 200 lbs in my luggage for 60$ after moving allowances.  So much for getting some cookies from home I guess.

               I hope you enjoyed the first post and I think I will end it here for tonight with the words of Porky Pig. 

Next week Otakon and then Mongolia