Meet the Contributor: Jeenah Park

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Family: Met my husband 10 years ago in Baltimore, been married to him for 7 years, have 3 young kids (4.5 yo boy, 3 yo daughter, 1 yo boy).
Job: I have spent the last 10 years teaching biology at the high school level first and then at the collegiate level. Currently, I’m in the middle of a career change – trying to be more present with my family while working part-time with high school or college students remotely.
What brought you to Flagstaff: My husband’s job. He wanted to practice rural medicine by working for the Indian Health Service. We liked Flagstaff when we visited 3 years ago. We appreciated how friendly everyone was and we also liked the slower, less pretentious way of life (we were living in the Bay Area before moving here). Even though we don’t have any family here, we decided to try a new city and build our lives in Flagstaff.
Early Bird or Night Owl: Definitely a night owl. I have a hard time stopping work and going to bed.
Hobbies: I’m not sure if I have time for hobbies anymore. Chasing after 3 young kids (especially in the middle of the pandemic) is a full time job on its own. If I somehow am able to carve out time for myself, I like reading The New Yorker. I also enjoy working on home improvement projects (currently building a paver patio in the backyard!).
Favorite thing to do with your Family: Riding our bikes on the urban trail. Sharing donuts from Tourist Home.
Kids Age Difference: The oldest child is 21 months older than the middle child who is 20 months older than the youngest child.
Coffee or Tea: Tea. I’m weird in that I don’t like the taste or the smell of coffee.
Favorite Household chore: Collecting eggs in the chicken coop.
Least Favorite Household chore: Cleaning the bathroom. Is there anybody who actually likes cleaning the bathroom?
Going back in time, one thing you would tell yourself right before you became a mother: Be kind to yourself even if you’re not a perfect mom.
Something you are looking forward to: Traveling without car seats and diapers. Not worrying about diaper explosions when you don’t have spare clothes. Not changing diapers in a cramped airplane bathroom or the floor of a bathroom at a restaurant that doesn’t have a changing table.
Favorite Thing to do in Flagstaff with kids: Pre-COVID, going to Aquaplex and gymnastics. Mid-COVID, swimming at the ditch pool while practicing social distancing.
Best Mom Hack: Biking around Flagstaff with two kids in tow. This is how I got around town before we bought a second car right before the snow storm hit.
Favorite thing about being a Mom: The random I love you‘s and hugs. The ability to make my kid’s pain go away with a kiss. The joy I see in my kids when they eat dessert. The way they snuggle with me when we read books. The unconditional love they have for me.
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Originally from Orange County, CA, Jeenah came to Flagstaff in the summer of 2018. She has been a SAT math teacher, fitness instructor, high school biology teacher, and college professor. She met her husband while taking Scientific Foundations of Medicine course as a first year Ph.D. student in Baltimore. She loves everything genetic and she tries to find time to read The New Yorker. She lives with her husband, three children and five chickens.

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