For six months in New Zealand, I intentionally ignored US news. Some always came seeping through and people inevitably wanted to ask me about Donald Trump and whether I'd vote Sanders or Clinton. But mostly, my break from US insanity was successful. Until my last day in New Zealand, when my hometown (sort of, cause I grew up in the suburbs) of St. Paul made the New Zealand news, with the murder of Philando Castile by a police officer. It was jarring to be reading about St. Paul from a New Zealand perspective and a forceful reminder that I could only avoid US news for so long.
I've been ready to come home, but not ready to face the reality of where the US is at, politically, emotionally, etc. The task in front of us seems so huge, so impossible. It's not new, of course, but I feel energy around it rising. I always think of teaching as my way of fighting for what's right... but beyond that, it's hard to know what to do. And so I'm home, hoping to figure that out. Oh, and maybe make a few friends, get outside this summer, and start to build a life in Minnesota.
Over the past six months, I've realized I don't really like blogging. It was good as a way to share my life in New Zealand with people back home... but since I never really knew who I was sharing with, it was hard to know how to write. Context matters. My teacher friends have very different questions than my mom, who has very different questions from the random facebook friend who happened upon my writing. I tried to just write for me, not worrying who was doing the reading, knowing they could skip it if they weren't interested. But writing for me would have been a very different type of writing-- more details, more gripes, more emotion. Not being able to mention names of students, teachers, or schools, meant that it was hard to tell stories in a way that felt interesting. And looking for a job meant I kept wondering if my future employer was reading this and how they would interpret it, not knowing me.
I'm glad I gave it a shot. But for now, I think personal journaling is where I'm at.
As they say in New Zealand,
Hei konā mai i roto i ngā mihi,