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November 2011. The suspense was finally at an end. Team Jacob had lost. A fairy tale dance in the woods leaving him doe-eyed, worse for wear; wounds blistering beneath a statuesque surface. Bella and Edward, forever and for eternity. For better or for worse.

"Mile after mile after mile of malls after malls. Many, many malls. Major malls and mini malls. They put the mini malls in between the major malls, and in between the mini malls they put the mini marts."
- George Carlin

I am a teacher. Not the title I want on my gravestone but a teacher nonetheless. It’s a job, a means to an end, my meager money-making profession of choice. To narrow it down farther, I’m an international quasi-ESL classroom teacher following the American Common Core curriculum, instructing in English, expected to assess ESL learners according to a rather rigorous Westernized standard.

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.” – Pericles

Will our isolation increase through the infinite freedom of information and ubiquity of the Internet? Longer summers and lesser days / school year are the remains of the US agrarian economy, when planting picking and harvesting took place in a greater number of homesteads than today. US schools continue to have fewer days... and if well charted and scheduled, this freedom fosters creativity.

(Editor's Note - This article was written prior to the holidays - we are late in publishing it. That being said - it is great advice for any time of year)

I live in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia which makes it really easy to travel to most of the Middle Eastern countries. When I get vacation time in Saudi Arabia, I love to head to the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. In fact, I actually prefer Abu Dhabi over Dubai. That’s all about preference though and what you are really looking for in a vacation.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea...why did I even want to go? Did I just support an evil rogue regime with a horrendous human rights record? Or was I just trying to be “special” and put it on my list of places I’ve traveled to? No…Yes…perhaps…maybe…well, I honestly don’t know.

Running can be one of the most freeing and liberating sports of all. Running gives a person the ability to be in a group or on their own. Running gives a person the advantage to hide away from the world while feeding themselves the endorphins needed to keep away depression, stress, overeating, smoking and so many other issues.

The holiday season is a time to enjoy family, food and friends. We spend time driving to and from our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and other family and friends to help enjoy the US holiday of Thanksgiving. Each year people travel by train, plane and car to see their families and eat all the food. Compare the newspaper ads to find the best deals for Black Friday.

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