Amanda Guy

Born in Sweden, Amanda Guy is a high school teacher and college professor who can testify to the incredible adventure life can sometimes hold. A simple opportunity to study abroad in America for her freshman year of high school brought her to the State of Maine and a new culture that she came to love. Currently a resident of the town of Buckfield with her loving husband, John, she still maintains a close connection with her Maine host family. She will be officially sworn in as a United States citizen in September of this year. 

I was born in 1968. I am from a very small village in Sweden south of Örebro, two and a half hours southwest of Stockholm. I have one brother named Paul.
My parents were not very traditional themselves. They were married in 1965 by a female pastor, which was a pretty big deal back then. However, my family was traditional in the sense that we held to family and cultural traditions. My brother and I grew up in a Christian home. We lived out in the country, so it was safe. We went to a very small church. There were not a lot of young people in the congregation, but we also attended camps.
I was bullied in school because of my faith, but my home was so good that everything was all right. My mother was the mail deliverer where we lived, so she knew the families at my school. When I talked about the bullies, she would sometimes try to explain that their homes were not like ours.
When I was a teenager, I felt I definitely needed to get out and do something different to expand my world a bit. I looked into exchange student summer programs first. My best friend decided to go that year too, and she ended up in Ohio. I wanted to go to England for a few weeks, but that would have cost a lot of money for a really short time. The more my family and I talked about it, the more it made sense to spend a year.
In Sweden, 9th grade is an important year. That’s when you apply to high school. I got accepted to the high school I wanted, but then I asked them to hold my place for a year so that I could become an exchange student in the United States. It was up to the school to choose where to send me, and they chose Maine. The climate in Maine is very similar to Sweden, so I was very happy.
My American mom had to fight to get a spot for me at Lisbon High School because it was such a late placement, but she could tell from my profile that I needed to be with her and her family. They had four sons, but no daughter, so I was it.
I had never met them before, but I connected with my host family instantly. We share the same faith. I loved that they had a piano, they took me camping in a motor home, and I just really fit right in. I was very happy with my host family, and we are still very close.
I went to Lisbon High and had heard about the prom. I wanted to go, so a friend from church found me a date, and as they say, the rest is history.
John and I were married in Sweden. In fact, it was my American dad who walked me down the aisle since it’s an American tradition. My father was not interested in it because it’s such a non-Swedish thing to give your daughter away as if she belongs to someone. The Swedish people would not even let their king walk the crown princess down the aisle for that reason.
We moved back to Maine after our first child, Angelika, was born in 1987. Our son Jakob came along in ’89, and I started college in ’90.
I had always wanted to be a teacher. I saw myself teaching math, but the way the major was there, I would have had to study science as well, and that was a no-go. If I had stayed in Sweden, I would have taught Swedish. I was a reader and writer, so English and education majors made sense.
I did all of my college education here in the United States and worked at Shop ‘n Save while going to school half-time. I went to the University of Maine in Augusta and got my Bachelor’s in ’98. I then went to the University of Southern Maine do an Education program for one more year. I went for my Master’s through New England College in New Hampshire.
After college, I started looking for what was open for teaching jobs in the area, and I found one at Lewiston High School for teaching tenth grade English. I started in the year 2000. In 2012, I applied for an opening at Central Maine Community College. I lived in Auburn at the time and the high school was local, so it was good. I teach either College Writing or writing classes for students who might not be ready on average every other year.
Teaching at the college level is my favorite because college students are generally more ready to learn. Also, sometimes I’d get students in college classes that I had in high school. It’s interesting to see them four years later and how they’ve grown.
These days, John and I are empty-nesters. This will be my 20th year teaching at Lewiston High School and my 7th year teaching at Central Maine Community College. John’s a teacher at Edward Little High School, which is funny because Edward Little High and Lewiston High are rivals. We have one grandson who’s two-and-a-half, and he’s an important part of our lives too.
I’m also excited to become a citizen so I can vote and become a more active part of my community. As we begin a new school year and search for answers to both local and national issues, I believe we always need to start by asking ourselves how we can help make a difference.

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