Entered on 19 August 2004 at 8:59 a.m..


There's nothing like a great political debate or international crisis to put one's life into perspective. Reading my friend's journals over the past few days reminds me of that. Additionally though I have been reminded of how lucky and simple my life has been during my weekling tutoring sessions with Zijada. Zijada is a Bosnia Refugee from Shrebrinizia (the spelling is definitely wrong). She is exactly my age. But instead of growing up in realitive peace and prosperity she first knew communism (where prosperity doesn't enter into the equation), and then political turnoil, war and arguably genocide. Dispite this she seems completely unphased. The only part about her story that makes me sad is that whereas I sit here with a college education and one advanced degree, she has the equivalent of a highschool diploma and no real prospects for doing anything but factory work. It isn't the path she chose; it was just the only one open to her. Since our first meeting, I harbored a secret desire that once she learned enough english from me, she could start taking real English classes until she knew enough English to make her choice of occupation. Until she knew enough of the language to choose her own path.

Well as I went to our weekly session last night I learned that she and her family are moving tomorrow to Rochester, NY where they have better immigrant programs. Zijada's going to get to go to school for english instruction. I'm so excited for her. But I'm also sad knowing that I will probably never know what became of her.

But even more than that, I will miss the weekly perspective she brought to my life.

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