1) What led you to your vocation as an educator?
As an undergraduate, my focus was on Anthropology/Archaeology, but realized my interests were more far-reaching than a focused field of study. In addition, I have always felt most at home in the middle school classroom. Combining my passion for history, geography, ecology, current events, hands-on learning… led me to becoming a classroom teacher.
2) Why is this course important to you? To our society? To our students?
The Middle East holds a special place in my heart, and I have always held a romantic view of Jordan. Having traveled in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, I have witnessed juxtapositions of the Muslim world. Even within these countries, I was captivated by the diverse politics, societal norms, and environments. Sharing my Middle East travel experiences with middle school students, at local community events, and at Pacific Northwest regional conferences has taken places numerous times since my initial visit to Saudi Arabia in 2007. Adding to the complexities of the Levant to this conversation, furthers students and our communities understand and celebration of diverse Muslim communities.
3) What do you hope to get out of this experience?
Having just revisited Queen Noor’s “Leap of Faith,” I am excited to explore major these regarding gender, environment, and the impact of tourism.