A very Happy New Year to all!

Sunflowers in midsummer

Another year, another milestone! I cannot believe what I wrote a year ago this day. At that point in time, I thought I would hang on to my teaching job, but I was wrong. When the term started in January last year, I had thought through several things and decided to retire from the teaching job. I plan to continue teaching as a volunteer. There is a refugee center where I have worked as a volunteer ESL teacher, and I will likely do more of this kind of work. It is less demanding than teaching full time. Meanwhile, I have not retired from my job as an examiner, so this brings in some money and keeps me connected to the ESL world.

One of the things many people do or think about doing is to write about their experiences. Some may decide to write their memoirs or their autobiography. I have been writing anecdotes for a long time and thinking about writing my family history. Once I stopped teaching, I had time to put this idea to work. Adam and Tim helped me to set up a blog within our family website. The blog idea came about because I wanted my siblings to read, comment, discuss, add, and correct any mistakes about dates and events that I write about. The blog format facilitates commenting and responding. I have written seven stories so far, and my youngest sister, Kausar, has read them all and provided generous feedback. Some have joined in and read one or two stories. I am hoping that all my siblings will join in, read, and comment.

Talking about writing family histories, I read a review of a book, Ants among Elephants by Sujatha Gidla, in the New York Times. The review was very good, so I was interested in reading the book. Before I even asked, Tim got me a copy. The book is about an untouchable family living Andhra Pradesh, a state in South India. I have almost finished the book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in India and in writing family histories.

I hope to continue writing my family stories in the coming year while doing my examiner’s job and volunteer teaching.

Wish you all a very happy 2018.






Images: (Top) Our sunflowers at midsummer; (Bottom) Getting feet wet in Dixon Entrance, standing on Graham Island, Haida Gwaii, in September.


Haida Gwaii - near Masset
Text © Meher Shaik 2017