June 24, 2016

The Eagle Has Landed

I’m not sure if I am losing a day or gaining one. It was Thursday when we left and it is still Thursday. All I know is that I am hitting that jet lag wall. We had an easy flight. I watched- 10 Cloverlane, Concussion and finally saw Inception. Concussion was amazing. What a crazy story?

Hit the ground, rented a car and dropped in on the Dohertys for a quick visit, then burritos and Trader Joes. I think I saw Robin there. She looked like she might have recognized me, she looked familiar to me too, but after 20 years out of Marin everyone looks familiar. If that was you Robin, sorry I didn’t say anything. I was in a jet lagged haze and just wanted to be on a couch in the dark.

Being in your hometown after years away is always such a strange feeling. So many things stay exactly the same. Golden Creme Donuts is still right where I put it, but Pinky’s is now a Chipotle.

We are staying at a little two bedroom place on C street around the corner from my High School house. We are all trying to say awake it gets dark, but not so easy.

Not sure what the next few days will look like. Here is what I know for sure- some time in West Marin and Stinson and still hoping for a Saturday night get together. Now that we are in the same timezone hoping to get a few people saying they are down for a few drinks. How does Terrapin Landing at 8pm sound? Drop a line in the comments if you are coming or what to suggest another place. I am easy. 

June 22, 2016

Shut Eye

Today marked the end of my 16th year of teaching. 2 years in Mozambique. 2 years in The Bronx. 3 years in Kuala Lumpur. 3 years in Doha. 2 years in Jakarta and now 4 years in Singapore. It felt good and comfortable and easy, but I was also kind of numb all day. I was excited to be done but sad to see friends go. I felt tired when I needed to pack my room, but overall I didn’t feel much of anything.

Had a few drinks after school. Tried to stay out of Mairin’s way while she packed. I asked how I could help, but really I ended up taking a pretty long nap. Then we had a few friends over for some wine and the final unwind before we all get on airplanes and head to our summer homes. Most of us will be back next year, but we are saying goodbye to Mike and Rose. Which is weird because they have become like family to us. After nine years and three countries, it feels weird that they are moving so far away.

Sure Facebook and social media make distances feel smaller, and I am sure we will cross paths again in the not too distant feature, at least I am hopeful that we will- but it feels strange to watch them leave our place knowing we will not see then again in August.

We are packed and ready to go. Next stop San Rafael. Home. California. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a burrito first thing, seeing old friends, my moms both biological and Karen Doherty. We will drive and hike and swim and rest and eat and drink and play.

Not sure where I will be in 24 hours, so I hope to write my daily post somewhere in transit. Next time I touch base in this space we will be stateside.

Have a wonderful holiday to all my teacher friends near and far. While my emotions are a bit tepid at the moment, I am looking forward to a more robust sharing of joy in the coming days.

Time for some shut eye. Early flight tomorrow.

June 21, 2016

A Nice Day

Even though it was not officially summer break, and I had to work, it was a good birthday. I had a nice day with my students. They brought me a cake and sang happy birthday. Friends took me out to play darts and unwind on the penultimate day of school. Thanks Mike, Lee, Scott, Scott, Shawn, Luke.

I received so many great birthday wishes from you all, which made me feel loved and appreciated. I also received two great emails from a student and a parent:

Dear Mr. Raisdana,

As tomorrow, without a doubt will probably be one of the most crazy and emotional days of my life, I want to take this time to thank you for everything you have done for me this year.

As a teacher, something I admire about you is the passion that you approach your job with. As your student, I can fully see that you love your job, and give every day your 110%, something that I try and do as well. From the eyes of an 8th grader, passion is one of the most important teaching tools, sometimes more than any amount of knowledge for a topic.

This passion translates into being such a great teacher in the classroom. You connect with all of us, and this makes us feel very engaged and inspired by you, to change the world through writing and reading.

Thank you for always not being afraid to hand us the reigns, as students, for something that you care so much about. In Off Tangent, I was delighted to take a lead, and this is where I learned so much. Very few teachers trust their students to the extent you do, and, I know this is where the real learning happens.

Thank you for pushing me as a student, giving me tools and allowing me to build the house, you showing me the way the whole time. It has been a great experience, one which I will treasure and learn from as I continue in my life.

So, thank you for everything Mr. Raisdana, and a great year. Have a great summer, and let's be sure to keep in touch!

This is why I do what I do. And now the parent email:

Hi Jabiz,

Happy Birthday! I hope you are having a great day so far.

I would like to say a Big Thank You for a fantastic Grade 8! What a way to end Middle School, it couldn't have been better for xxxxxxxx!
xxxxxxxx has grown so much under your mentorship. It has been a great year for him; a big deal of learning, big growth in maturity and thinking, fun experiences and of course a great connection with you thru music. xxxxxxxx has been very fortunate to have a mentor like you who is extremely passionate about so many things(what touched xxxxxxxx and I was the night you took time to come and watch his gig at the Chinatown pub after a long, tiring day at school). You have been very influential and inspirational to xxxxxxxx in his last year in Middle School.
\xxxxxxxx is looking forward to his journey in High School. He definitely takes with him memories of Grade 8 that will be cherished. We as parents are very happy to be part of the UWCSEA community.

The connection doesn't end here, for I'm sure we will keep reading your daily writing blogspot as well as look out for copy of your book as soon as it is out😊.

Heartfelt thanks again!

Happy Holidays and best wishes!


That’s a pretty good day. I love you all very much. Thank you for being here and listening and reading and sharing and liking and keeping me relevant. Forty Two years old and still trucking.