the day before


— Washington, DC

  • hair cut (check)
  • 1984 lesson plans done (almost)
  • assessments completed (yep)
  • enough long skirts and dresses (yep)
  • talked to my family (not yet)
  • sent every conceivable email possible to be sure my responsibilities are covered? (i think so)
  • packed (nope)
  • student playlist done (yep)
  • mentally ready to leave (yasssssss)
  • a little anxious about forgetting something important even though you made a to-do list (yes.)
  • create student video (compiled videos, but need to do the do)
  • Career Panel folks solidified (yes)


Today marks 24 hours before we leave for Morocco and there’s still so much I need to knock off my list. The only thing keeping me calm is that the list always gets done, always, no matter what’s on it.

Last week, my students asked me if I was scared about going and if it was unsafe there.

“No,” I replied with the quickness. I’m excited and curious, a bit anxious like I feel about every trip I take. Expectant is the better word. As a teacher, excitement greets every trip I take because there’s a world I can connect my students to. With 90-something students, I never travel alone. This go ’round, though we —Salah, the host teacher, and Christa, my teaching partner and I — are making arrangements for our students to chat with each other while I’m abroad.

The list above details what’s most urgent right now, but you know what’s most important for me to do before I leave?

  1. Pray. Prayer centers me in a way that nothing else can. Usually, my prayers are a mix between listening to God, asking the creator to help me maintain my peace and to see everyone as God sees them. This one will add safety in there since about six students asked me to be safe. The youth be knowing.
  2. Talk with my Grandma. She’s a part of my peace. At 90, she’s lived a life, you hear, and it’s a blessing just to listen to her drop wisdom here, laugh at a life decision there, and chide me to get on with the business of living.
  3. Clean up. My parents were always big on leaving a clean house when we took family vacations. Let me tell you, one time when I got grown and was living on my own, I left the house looking a mess. Bad decision. That mess was waiting on me when I returned after a red eye flight home. And, at 6 o’clock in the morning, I was up cleaning instead of in bed where I wanted to be.
  4. Get the mascot. If the Elmo doll on my desk at school was small enough, ya’ll I’d surely take Elmo with me, but he’s too big to walk around with. So, I’m going to take another mascot from our class. Stay tuned to see what I snag!

I hope you all stay tuned to this space and feel free to ask questions, give feedback, and just see what we’re up to on the tip northern Africa. Here we go!


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