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World Mag > WM Summer 2020 Resilient > Once a Vampire always a Vampire

Once a Vampire always a Vampire

I write this from a house that I have shared exclusively and constantly with my kids and husband for the past 3 months, distance learning platforms open.
Kirsten Pontius
Kirsten Pontius

I’ve often gone to work with a cold. A cough, a sneeze, I’ve powered through out of a sense of inflated obligation. As an expat, I’ve learned to identify fellow-huggers in order to connect with other touchy-feely types and not annoy the distance greeters. Even a tap on the arm to show understanding is infused into my chemistry.

When my son was nearly a year old I remember him eating cereal bits off the floor of the airplane and thinking, “keep going baby, mama needs a few more minutes of rest”. Germs build your immune system and rest makes me a better person. Win. Win.

All of our lives are infused with nuances and norms that we never expected to come to a crashing halt at the start of 2020. In fact, I write this from a house that I have shared exclusively and constantly with my kids and husband for the past 3 months, distance learning platforms open, and taking shifts with my partner to work and to play with the children, it’s a very different life and work experience than most of our alumni have associated with AISB. It’s hard to not feel the distance. The isolation that continues to drag on  even as things begin to re-open, as everyone remains cautious and careful and distanced. We look to the alumni at times like this, all around the world, who know what it means to be together, apart. Alumni know that you can simultaneously love and link and look to a place and a community, while being far away. They have shown us that, at AISB, we were given the tools we need, empowered with strength and resilience, and cared for as a member of the team. We know from them that, though they moved on, they still remain with us, and they bring some of us with them.

For two years I’ve been listening intently to the stories of the AISB Alumni as the editor of the World Magazine. Of the students who walk out of our buildings to find their way in this world through airports, and adventures. Of the former teachers who continue their days of classrooms, and discussions that drive independent thought and future careers. Of the alumni parents who bring to their new school and country experiences of a place that was safe, supportive, and connected. I have listened as each one draws connections to their time at AISB, to the moments in time when their lives were influenced by a great school, a community, a common tie.

Because our alumni know each moment they thrive or struggle, they grow or adapt, that AISB influenced the person they have become and the choices they now make. They are connected as a Vampire, even when they are not physically here.

The stories in this issue are about just that. About alumni who continue to exhibit the characteristics of a Vampire while in other places. The resilience and support of Alumni in Romania from their offices and internships initiating thousands of Euros in donations and services due to a global pandemic. The Stewart family, which consists of three former students that share stories of an unexpected and amazing international experience from their homes outside of Romania, while their parents help the school navigate an incredibly difficult time. We even have stories of illness, separation and struggle that remind us that we are strong and resilient and still united. This issue is about what it means to move on and away when you are still so linked, and how you live with a piece of everyone who made up your experience at AISB inside of you. We build on this connection and we thank the alumni for the way they exhibit their strength, networking and loyalty though distance, time and struggle.

Kirsten Pontius





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