Toni Miller Briegel
  Toni Miller Briegel earned her doctorate at the University of Arkansas in 1989, has written several “scholarly” books (things only a few people want to read) and is currently an associate professor of education at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.  
  Toni graduated from Izmir American High School in 1966, attended Radford Women’s College in Virginia, transferred to Arkansas Tech University, got married and finally graduated for the first time from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Illinois.  Her family moved to Russellville, Arkansas, for the next several years where she taught English at Gardner Junior High School.  When she got her EdD, she accepted a position at Tulane University in New Orleans for two years, and then went to Murray State University for 2 years.    
  After 23 years of marriage and raising one daughter, Christy Allison Sills, Toni moved to Las Vegas and returned to the public school system as a middle school teacher for two years.  (Are we seeing a pattern here?)  Her next six years were spent at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, with her new husband Jim Briegel.  After making tenure and promotion (when most people settle down), Toni and Jim decided to go international and are now living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Living in Turkey so long ago has really helped me here.  I feel as if I sort of understand the system.  I was taking Arabic lessons when the planes hit the Towers on September 11.  When I got back to our apartment, a small crowd had gathered around our television set to be together and share this terrible time.  We wondered how we would be treated in the coming days and weeks.  We all packed bags and gathered together papers and money in preparation for evacuation.  The US embassy was barricaded.  I hadn’t registered yet, and did so immediately.  Had to walk through concrete barricades and through several checkpoints.  It felt pretty weird, but I didn’t feel particularly unsafe.  Most of us stayed.  Only a few—non-working spouses usually—bowed to pressure from families in the States and went home.  The rest of us felt safer here than people seemed to be feeling back home.  We had quite a phone bill for a couple of months.  Having been in Izmir shortly after the Six-Day war, I wasn’t too concerned.  It was pretty much business as usual.  We paid attention to what we were doing and were polite and it all worked out.  I’m surprised that there is anything left of Afghanistan.  In those first few days, I didn’t think the country would be able to contain its rage or even wanted to.  I’ve developed a lot of respect for Bush since then.

My favorite memories of growing up were those I made in Izmir.  I wish I could be there to hug everyone and tell the old stories again.  I hope we really can get a group together to meet in Izmir in a few years.  If anyone is in my neck of the woods—or desert—give us a call (677-2942) and plan to stay for a couple of days.