When Carolyn and I left Sulaimani in June 2010, we thought it would be forever. We sold what few things we had purchased here to make life a little easier, things like lamps, coffee maker, etc. We said our goodbyes to students and AUIS staff and faculty. Having been away from our home for 9 months, we were anxious to get home and re-establish life there as retirees. And indeed we headed home and relished the warm, long days and short nights of late June.
But a funny thing happened for me as the summer weeks passed. I began to miss the students who were a part of our lives here. In early August, we flew to New York City to be with a number of our students who had the privilege of coming to the US on a summer leadership program and enjoyed being with them once again. Shortly after this, I learned of a possible opening teaching English composition, something I had done many years ago in my teaching years at Manchester College. I suggested that I would be willing to return for the fall term, never expecting to be called upon because the university prefers to issue full year contracts, not half year contracts. But about 3 weeks after making my offer, I was asked to come back. Carolyn is not with me as she was already committed to a number of activities in Anderson.
I left Anderson on the evening of October 1, arrived in Suli in the wee hours of the morning of October 3, and am now settled into an apartment in an apartment building near the block that Carolyn and I lived in last year. I find myself having to purchase some of the very items we sold in June. Oh well.
Classes begin here on October 10, so I am attempting to get syllabi ready. This will be a busy term with four classes to prepare for and lots of grading as part of the bargain. It has been good to meet with students who are already beginning to come to campus to get books and schedules.
Carolyn and I do not enjoy the separation, but it will be only for a short time. (The fall term ends in late February and has a lengthy winter break that will allow me to travel home for Christmas with my family.) So as to distinguish between this blog, written mostly with Carolyn's involvement, and future posts when I will be sending on my own, I will create a new blog called "Living in Iraq, Part 2." It can be found at http://carlhoward12.blogspot.com/ . I do not anticipate as many posts as are on this blog, but will attempt to write when the spirit leads.
Thanks for your faithful reading of this blog.