November Round Up

This is how I spent my Thanksgiving day!

This is how I spent my Thanksgiving day!

Like I mentioned in my “Exciting Times” post at the beginning of the month, November is when the international school hiring season really starts.  This month I was very focused on getting all of my ducks in a row, applying directly to schools, and considering whether or not I needed to go to a job fair.

Then, after many interviews and even more applications, I narrowed down my choices to a school in Indonesia that I loved but was in a very remote location and Riffa Views in Bahrain which I’ve been eyeing for the past couple of years.  I decided to pass up the incredible package in Indonesia for a great lifestyle and school in Bahrain! I wrote Bahrain Bound to give a little background info about Bahrain for the many people who’ve never heard of it!

Around the Web:

I’ve spent 5 days in Chiang Mai, Thailand about seven years ago, but I would love to go back there one day.  It is an excellent, laid-back place to travel, and many people relocate there for a location independent lifestyle or for retirement.  Jodi at Legal Nomads wrote up a fantastic travel guide for this amazing city, so if you find yourself in the area, be sure to check it out.

Fidel Castro died, which will hopefully usher in new changes in Cuba.

Barbara Kingsolver summarized many of my feelings about the election in an essay for The Guardian.

Music:

I’ve been doing dance workout for the past several weeks and one song that my students keep asking me to play is “Closer” by the Chainsmokers.  Now it is totally stuck in my head too!

My salsa academy is making us perform in the spring so I’ve been listening to some of my favorite Timba music so I can find a good song to perform too, and I think “Para Bailar Casino” by Aldaberto Alvarez would be perfect.  Any other suggestions?

Books:

I’m currently reading the newest book in the Percy Jackson world (though he is just a peripheral character at this point), called “The Hidden Oracle” by Rick Riordan.  Some of my high-level readers are just salivating at the opportunity to read this one so try to find it if you can.  I am seriously laughing out loud the whole time I am reading it.  Riordan just does sarcasm right!

If your tastes run a little more high-brow, you might want to check out “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. This novel is unlike anything that I’ve ever read. The protagonist is a double agent during the Vietnam War. I don’t really know much about this war so it was eye-opening for me to read this piece of historical fiction. I have always loved a good spy novel, but I really appreciate the other layers of this book. I feel like it shone some light on the life of immigrants to the US. For me, the ending was pretty tough to get through due to the intense torture scenes, but it was worth it overall. I highly recommend this book to history lovers, spy novel readers, and people interested in hearing a fresh voice.

Movies:

It seems like there were many weeks that have gone by before I found a good movie.  This month I’ve seen “The Accountant” and “Dr. Strange“.  Both movies were fun and full of action. Perfect for the end of the quarter craziness.  Actually seeing Dr. Strange was a big milestone for me because it was the first time that I’ve ever been to see a movie at a movie theater in  Venezuela! Can you believe it? Nearly five years without going to a movie theater?

TV:

I tried to avoid it, but I’ve become sucked into Westworld! I didn’t think I would be into a sci-fi western series, but it happened.  The idea of artificial intelligence is always appealing as a storyline and this series is actually kind of terrifying for me! The idea that a robot is evolving beyond its storyline/programming is not new, but to have it mixed with a western theme and for it to be so very well acted, that is very appealing.

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