Hey, my name is Sonya. I am a half-time EC resource teacher at Green Valley Elementary School. I am also a full-time graduate student at Appalachian State University studying Reading Education. Needless to say, I like learning and I like school. As much as I find pleasure in the academic side of school, I also like learning in structure-less environments.
One of my favorites is traveling. I love traveling! I have my whole life. Whether it’s a bus ride, train ride, subway, ferry, or airplane; I will always be up for the adventure. I love having a plan when I travel because then I can see as much as I can in so little time. I also love not having a plan and just going with the flow and seeing what treasures I stumble upon. The saying “not all who wander are lost” is a great phrase; if we are honest though when you are traveling with a purpose and get lost that is often where the best stories come from because of the treasures and people you meet along the way.
Above: A picture of my friends and I who visited me at home in the Middle East. My parents were the tour guides. We had a general plan for each day and had a blast visiting so many historic sites.
Below: A picture of me in Brussels, Belgium. After our trip in the Middle East, my friends and I adventured around Belgium with no plan at all. We came across so many beautiful buildings like this one behind me.
Below: My friends and I in South East Asia driving a Tuk Tuk.
Most people hate flights that are in the middle of the night, but I eagerly anticipate my alarm going off, so I hardly sleep and then the adrenaline rush kicks in as soon as it is time for me to get moving. I had a passport before I could even hold my head up, so you could say it is in my blood. I learned about cultures as I grew up and now have a mix of cultures that make me who I am. So don’t be alarmed if you see me take my shoes off at the door, never take ice with my drinks, or accidentally try to kiss you on the cheek as I greet you!
I love running. I am not your avid marathon runner; I just enjoy running. I have run with my father three days a week since I was eleven years old. Because of that, I have continued to run in my adult years. I love running in the summer. The sunshine on my face, looking at the lush green trees, and taking in the fresh air. The winter makes running fun. I get all bundled up to take on the wind, the rain, and pray there is no ice!
*Disclaimer: I do not run in Chacos. I was trying to catch up with the group during a hike because I explored an alternate path.
I prefer running long distance because it allows my mind to wander. I love getting into my pace and keeping it consistent. I have run a couple half marathons to push myself here and there, and I love it the whole time.
The first time I ran a half marathon, I wanted to see if I could do it. It was new and a difficult task. Which brings me to the fact that I absolutely love trying new things. Whether it is learning a new skill, tasting a new food, or pushing myself to to something harder; I thrive on gaining more life experiences. A new skill I am working on right now is quilting. I am making one for my mom because she loves quilts. I have learned about cutting the material into strips, sewing them together, then getting the edges and backing to finally quilt it together.
Strange foods I have had is python, goats brain, and crickets. I am always up for trying something new. I think it is pretty cool continually being able to learn from other people and adding to my repertoire of experiences.
Above: My friend Luke speared a rat in South East Asia. Lucky us we got to have it for dinner!!
Below: This is not too unusual. This is a blue pumpkin. It is delicious!
Something else I love is seeing other people pursue their passions. When I ask people what they do or what they are passionate about and they say, “I am passionate about…” I could sit their for hours listening to them talk about everything they know and how it works, etc.
Their faces beam with radiating energy and there is so much joy within them. It truly is a gift. I love seeing how they were created and what has been given to them to contribute to this world. It is something that can be used eternally and that makes it special.
Usually people describe me as having a calming personality. I’d say I have to agree. I think who people are in and of themselves is beautiful and so I am always willing to be a listening ear and will not react harshly or abruptly in any situation. I am not one to get super stressed and I take life as it comes.
I am an optimist. It’s true. I will find joy in the midst of trials. I will celebrate the victories! I often will get other people on board to stay optimistic too because a lot of times you don’t have control over the situation and it makes it worse if your down about it. I laugh a lot and will make what looks like a terrible situation into a “what a great story this already is”. Like the time my dad got a flat tire five times in the last two months I lived at home I said, “I’ll know what to for sure when I go off to college”.
I would also describe myself as being honest and caring. I genuinely care for people and will be real with them. I only like small talk for so long and then I want to get deeper. I love hearing about where people came from and what their families are like, even if they are strangers. I want to help people in any way I can. One time a group of my friends and I went to New Orleans (where I had crawdads for the first time), with the purpose of meeting people in town. We walked the streets and talked to people we never would have met otherwise. One guy in particular was named Michael. He lived off what people gave him and treasured each item. We gave him a gift with a note in it, and he treasured it so.
Things that I don’t like…
This is a hard one for me. I don’t like injustice. I don’t like lies. I don’t like being sick. And, I don’t like it when the toilet paper roll is backwards. Some of these are super serious to me and others goofy. Let’s start with injustice. It makes me ill to think about how people can treat another human with nothing, but with their own gain in mind. What makes it more horrible is that the recipients of the injustice are in a vulnerable and low state usually where they can do little about it. I think it is something worth speaking up about.
I don’t like lies. I think that goes without saying much. It may be hard, but telling the truth brings a lot more clarity and trust between people.
I don’t like being sick. Having the smallest sore throat or being sick on the couch makes you feel awful. When my friends and I start seeing that we are getting sick from exhaustion we jokingly will yell, “SELF CARE” at each other as a reminder to care for ourselves too. It is important to rest, eat well, and exercise daily.
I don’t like it when the toilet paper roll is backwards. It’s a pet peeve. The roll needs to come from the top side where it is easier to grab and it looks better.
What do I look like? I wonder what you would have pictured in mind had there not already been pictures of me.
I have blue eyes and depending on what I wear they become a deep blue and sometimes even gray.
I have a dimple in my chin. It is pretty big, but I love it. It adds character to my face. There have been multiple times where someone will tell me I have dirt on my chin and it turns out to be a shadow from my dimple.
My feet have high arches. Going back to how I love running, I am picky about my shoes because I need a lot of support.
I am your average athletic build. You may see me in a dress or teacher clothes, but more often that not I am in athletic shorts and a t-shirt. I like to be comfortable and ready to go on any adventure.
Lastly, something you should know about me is that my favorite flower is the one that smells good. You are probably thinking that a lot of flowers smell good. You’re right, and it’s my favorite.
I am pretty open-minded and find beauty in almost anything. Different people, different places, different things. The more I learn about it, the more I’ll love it. Life will be richer if you learn and love, because then you will truly live it.