After the Bubble bursts:

Greg Lemoine ’92

Hello Lawrentians! I recently received an email asking if I would share a few words about life after Lawrence. Yes, life is exciting. I am an international elementary teacher in Cambodia, and I have extreme arachnophobia. So, last weekend I traveled from my home in the capital – Phnom Penh – to the inner reaches of the provinces to hunt and eat spiders. That’s a pretty average weekend for international teaching!
So how does Lawrence fit into all this? How did Lawrence prepare me for traveling around the world and teaching kids? I’m not so sure. But let me run through my story and make a few connections as I go.
It all started with a lack of planning. Back in 1992, all I cared about was walking up on stage and getting that diploma. When I did, life became a lot more difficult. I worked at a gas station, bartended, waited on tables, and moved to Minneapolis to live with two fellow graduates. I started working part time for the Warner Brothers store in the Mall of America and put my expensive LU German diploma to good use – not!.
I ended up working full time with Bugs Bunny signing my paychecks. I moved around the states, but I was still working in a “mall job.” It wasn’t exciting because it was retail. It was exciting because cartoons were the focus, and most of my time was spent training staff. I loved showing people how to do the things I had learned. But it was short-lived. I got out of the cartoon retail business and had no plans. It felt like graduation day all over again. What should I do?
I went back to college. For the next four years, I earned a second undergrad diploma. This time it was a major in elementary education and a minor in ESL/ELL, or English as a second language / English language learners. This time around, for my “junior” year, I had a plan. I was going to start looking for a job by March.
Around Christmas time, I was at a cocktail party. Someone told me to look up University of Northern Iowa and sign up for a job fair for international teachers. Wow. I didn’t know the first thing about international teaching. I signed up, put together a resume and a portfolio, and I had four interviews. Believe it or not, by February 2001, I already had my first teaching position. It was in Honduras.
Since July of 2001, I have lived in Honduras, Egypt, Kuwait and Cambodia, and I will be teaching in Venezuela starting this July. All of the schools are international. I teach elementary school in English to kids from all over the world. I think the one thing I take with me from Lawrence is a tolerance of most other cultures. Lawrence gave me friends from all over the world.
If there is one lesson I can pass on to you, it would be planning. If I had looked into my future during junior year instead of graduation, I might have had more time in this career I love so much.
I keep pictures, videos and newsletters about my experiences on my Web site. Feel free to join –
http://itre.us/stsomewherelse/.

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