Friday, July 14, 2017

All Around the World

Hello friends!

I haven't written for a while, and dang, a lot has happened.

First, I had ankle surgery two-and-a-half weeks ago. Yep. I bit the bullet and opted for surgical intervention, as nothing else was working, and my ankle hurt worse than it ever had before. The good news is that the surgeon found a bone spur on the back of my talus -- it wasn't showing up in X-rays, and he's hopeful that getting rid of it (as well as miscellaneous crap that was going on down there) will solve all of the issues.

This was my post-surgery nest -- complete with blankies, pillows, cat(s), and my not-pictured-because-she's-taking-the-picture mama.

This was my other post-surgery nest, complete with blankies, pillows, crutches, and my not-pictured-because-he's-taking-the-picture boyfriend.

And here's the one-week-post-op incision. Upon seeing this for the first time, I literally almost fainted. I can finally look at it now and not want to vomit, so I have that going for me.

I have started walking short distances without the boot, and it's going pretty well. Stairs are a bit difficult, and the more I'm on my feet, the more swollen it gets (duh). I get the stitches out on Wednesday, which will be super exciting. My fingers are crossed that I'll be all better soon.

On a completely different note, I just got back from an incredible conference: the Bridging Cultures Initiative at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. I was one of nine American teachers selected to attend a symposium with 20 teachers from around the world. This was a joint venture through the US Department of Education and the US Department of State, and I am so grateful to have been given this extraordinary opportunity. I learned so much, and I came away with such phenomenal connections, friendships that I know will last a lifetime.

I am standing on the far left -- black dress.

Relatedly, I was recently notified of yet another tremendous opportunity: the Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship, which is also through the US Department of State. I was one of 76 teachers (out of more than 450 qualified applicants). Essentially, I will do three things: 1.) participate in an intensive online course this fall, 2.) travel to Washington, D.C., for a fully-funded three-day symposium in February, and 3.) go on a fully-funded 2-3 week international field experience next summer. I am ecstatic -- and completely floored that I was chosen.

(Fun fact: if you click on the TGC link, the man in the photo at the top of the page is one of my Bridging Cultures colleagues!)

So I've been given the opportunity to meet educators from around the world, and I will soon be traveling around the world myself. Recently, though, I've had a piece of the world delivered to my doorstep through Modern Map Art. Check out the newest addition to my apartment:

Yes, yes, I know that St. Paul is not really "around the world" to me since it's right next to where I live (and where I'll be moving in November), but enough about that. Modern Map Art offers maps from over 500 cities across the globe, everything from Aberdeen to Zurich. I'm especially fond of Des Moines, Omaha, and Minneapolis myself.

Additionally, they offer a number of other types of maps:

Ski Maps

Country Maps

City Skylines

And, there are more than just prints. You can also purchase maps in the following "accessories":

Phone Cases


I am in love with my St. Paul map, y'all, and I have gotten so many compliments on it. First, it's pretty big: 12x18 (although they come in five different sizes). Second, it's on museum quality matte paper with Ultrachrome ink that is rated to last 100 years (or 200 if properly framed and protected). Third, the customer service at the company is unparalleled -- and they offer free shipping in the United States!

If you are interested in your own city/country map, please check out Modern Map Art. I, for one, am excited to add more maps to my art collection.

See you soon, y'all! I hope you're having a super summer so far! :)

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