Hi there! My name is Aya and I’m the human behind the posts here at Traveling Flaneuse. When reading other blogs, I know I always want to know more about the history of the author, so here’s a little bit more about me. [If this is your first time visiting, make sure to see my first post here for more info about what this blog is about!]
Born and raised in the Bay Area, California is my home. However, with all of my extended family in Japan, childhood summers were spent somewhere in the island country, so traveling and experiencing different cultures were always a part of my life (although I wasn’t always so excited about traveling. I apparently slept through my first plane ride to Japan as a baby, and the people sitting next to my mom marveled at the magical, quiet, infant).
For college, I decided to stay close to home and went to Stanford where I ended up majoring in two subjects I didn’t think I would end up with: French and Music. Halfway through Freshman year, I felt that campus life was a little stifling and decided I wanted to study abroad in my second year. I applied to go to Paris, happily got in and spent the first six months of sophomore year in the City of Lights. I immediately felt at home à Paris, and thus began what I suspect will be a life-long relationship with the city. In some weird way, I felt like France was the cultural “in between” of the US/Japan that I had been looking for throughout my young life.
After returning to campus, I eventually realized I wanted to explore the field of education as a possible career path. I was grappling with the disconcerting contrast in my own educational experiences – I went from a near-bankrupt public school district where even the “best” high school had yearly principal turnover and few counselors/resources, to a super elite university where there was funding available for almost everything you could imagine. I am so thankful for the opportunities I had at Stanford, but it was unsettling to see how different my K-12 and higher ed worlds were. Anyway, since thinking about this and deciding to go the Education route, I’ve done various things to try to figure out where, in the large, large field of Education, I might do the best work. I’m still working on this “figuring out” part.
After college, I decided to explore teaching by going back to the city I loved so much and lived in an all-women’s dormitory in the 13th arrondissement de Paris (near Chinatown/Viettown – a necessity for my grocery shopping needs). I taught English to approximately 200 delightful elementary schoolers in Argenteuil (a suburb to the West of Paris) and absolutely loved every day of work. While teaching with TAPIF (a government partnership between France and the US/other English speaking countries), I applied for grad schools in the US, hoping to learn more about education from a theoretical and practical (research) perspective. I applied to three schools, got rejected from two and luckily got accepted to the one I liked most: PennGSE!
In Philly, I had a wonderful time taking classes in the Grad School of Ed and the Sociology department, working with professors, interning at Research for Action, exploring the city and meeting new people. I took advantage of the East Coast life and visited New York a few times and took a trip to French Canada during Thanksgiving 2016.
Currently, I’m back in the Bay Area figuring out life (trying to establish my career) and reconnecting with people and activities that I haven’t been in touch with for a while. I’ve also been writing a few blog posts as an intern for the lovely Epifania Magazine. I am often observed with my camera in hand.
[A note on Ads: I’ll be trying out AdSense, so you’ll see some ads floating around the blog! They should be obvious, though, in the form of banners and the like. Those are the only ads that I’m using at the moment 🙂 Any links to outside websites are simply provided for your convenience!]
Have any questions? Contact me below or write a comment on one of my posts! 🙂