Wow. What a whirlwind of a weekend.
As of Saturday January 30, 2016, I officially have a job teaching high school English in Kuwait! I am SO excited and can’t wait for the new adventures to come!
The Teachers’ Overseas Recruitment Fair was one hell of a weekend. It’s probably fair to say that it was the most mentally and emotionally exhausting weekend I’ve ever experienced. As much as you can prepare for TORF, nothing truly prepares your for the emotional rollercoaster you join the moment you walk into Duncan McArthur Hall on the first day of the fair.
TORF has been overwhelming (understatement!), scary, stressful, emotionally exhausting, exciting, inspiring, and so much more – and it’s an experience I will never forget. [And just as a quick side note, TORF is the recruitment fair that Queen’s hosts every year. Recruiters come from all around the world and interview candidates for open vacancies at their school!]
Some of my most memorable moments of the fair include:
– BOOKING IT out of the B101 Auditorium to get to the gym to secure interview times. I must have looked ridiculous [it was worth it], and a tad bit like this:
– When the first recruiter you approach in the gym asks you if you’re an early riser and proceeds to schedule your interview for 7am.
– Accidentally and very confidently walking into someone else’s interview [actually the most embarrassing moment of that weekend… and I still cringe at it now. I genuinely thought they were both recruiters! My bad!
– Walking with a fast-paced vigour to tell my recruiter I was going to sign the contract, while running past my friend Mackenzie who was coming the opposite way with the same impassioned fast-paced walk, and blurting out “IMSIGNINGWITHKUWAIT”, and to her response:
“CONGRATULATIONS!THATSGREATICAN’TTALKRIGHTNOWBUTI’LLFINDYOULATER!”. [It was later I learned that she was making huge life decisions at that exact moment too!] SO MUCH energy in just a 2 second encounter!
– Calling my parents to tell them I had made up my mind and I was signing with Kuwait [It was only 1 of 50 million phone calls I made to them this weekend, and by far the most gratifying one.]
– When I started to tear up, and then full on cry [out of pure pure happiness] after receiving hugs of comfort. There’s something about getting hugged when you’re crying that only encourages more tears. But I had just accomplished a serious life goal – it felt SO good!
– When my crying made my friend start crying. For a good five minutes we were like this. Just when I thought I was finished, the tears came back, and so started the cycle of tears again.
– Hearing about all the new jobs my friends have! SERIOUSLY BURSTING WITH GENUINE PRIDE HERE!!!
While I have explained at length at how overwhelming the weekend of TORF was, I also think it’s important to highlight the strong feeling of community there was throughout the weekend. The international community of educators is such a passionate and inviting community to be a part of. The Queen’s Faculty of Education superstars who helped that weekend are just incredible. Everyone from professors to academic advisors to TA’s were complete lifesavers.
E v e r y o n e in this new international community is so welcoming, friendly, encouraging, and thoughtful. Truly some of the highest quality people you might ever encounter, and it’s a community I am so excited to be a part of!
While my actual move to Kuwait does not occur until the middle of August, I will be documenting this journey of transition and change throughout the remainder of my time at Queen’s and throughout the summer.
A decision to move across the world, while exciting, does not come without struggles and interesting stories, so naturally I plan to document it all! Writing about this journey is definitely going to help me process it, and if you’re one of the small number of people who actually read this blog regularly, then you’ll get to join me on these travels!