If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?
Being a teacher, I could NEVER cheat! That’s because when I catch students doing it, it just infuriates me. It’s like when I used to be a banker, I couldn’t stand deadbeats that didn’t pay their debts. When you have to deal with the consequences associated with cheating or not meeting your responsibilities, the ugly reality turns you off totally.
The thing that’s interesting about cheating, especially looking at someone else’s paper, is that you have no idea if that person knows the right answers. I have caught my students openly looking at each other’s papers, and when I collected the papers, I found that they had all the same WRONG answers! That’s a sure sign of cheating. And stupidity. Why would they trust someone else rather than themselves? They would have been better off with a 50% than a big fat 0!!
Since adolescence, in what three-year period do you feel you experienced the most personal growth and change?
In the 3 year period from April 2009 to now. In this time I had to face the hard reality that, even though I spent 2 tough years and $30,000 getting my Master’s degree in International Commerce & Policy, no one was going to hire me in a new field at my age, especially after being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years! By April of 2009, nearly 11 months after graduating with my M.A., I had applied for 250 jobs in international development! The only job I could get was teaching ESL in Korea, which isn’t even related to my Master’s! So I left my home and family and went to Korea for a year. It was the first time I’d ever lived and worked abroad and the first time I ever felt totally alone. But in that time, I have come to love the life of teaching abroad, traveling, writing, and photography and I have learned to savor being alone. I have also learned I can be independent, free-spirited, and confident, one thing I never knew before!!
If you could change one thing about your home, what would you like to change?
If we’re talking about my home in Oakton, Virginia, I would build a screened-in porch off the kitchen. My home here in Oman is temporary, and I like it quite a lot. The only thing I would do is put an air-conditioner in the kitchen. For some bizarre reason, Omani homes don’t have A/C in the kitchens. What’s that all about anyway??
If you were given a yacht today, what would you name it?
I have 3 ideas for names: Passionate Nomad, the name I always fall back on. This is the title of a biography of Freya Stark, an Englishwoman who traveled all over Arabia between the two World Wars. Her biography, among other things, inspired my interest in Arabia.
The second would be: Bohemian Gypsy! Haha, I just thought of that off the top of my head. I’m nowhere near a Bohemian, but I’d like to become one!
Last would be Lucie, which is the name of one of the four main characters in my written but yet-to-be-revised 480-page novel.
Since it’s unlikely I will be given a yacht today, or ever, I don’t think I’ll need to make a choice any time soon!