August 3, 2009

Following Lewis and Clark....only backwards...

Mom and Dad with Corey on opening night!
Nearly a month has passed since last I wrote and every single day has passed by in a torrent of activity, sort of like watching a river flow by, while walking in the opposite direction of the current, trying not to get sea sick because of that weird optical uncomfortableness that happens when something is moving next to you but the horizon isn't. To be quite frank- I have been hella busy.
Here's the big news/headlines-
*I survived Institute- no, this is not my ghost typing posthumously...though at times it felt that the lack of sleep and constant pressure was going to make my eyes pop out of my head, my teeth grind each other to dust, and my shoulders fall off. The kids were great and worth it, but I will never voluntarily sign up to be a slave to constant achievement again. I had forgotten what it was like to feel relaxed until I went home. In short, I did not really enjoy myself outside of the classroom. I still haven't heard whether my students passed the CRCT or not: think good thoughts :-)
*I have a job!!! Through several confusing mishaps that I won't bother to bore you with, I was placed at Busch AAA Middle School, teaching 6th grade Communication Arts (English, for those of you not from Missouri). I love the school- it's in a good neighborhood and has about 200 kids. I even have a classroom which I am SOOO excited to set up. One of my big projects this year is to have every single one of my students become published authors, but more on that later.
While it used to be magnet school for athletics (Athletics and Academic Academy is what the AAA stands for. Not a training camp for beer drinking insurance salesmen as I first thought...) it no longer has the funding to go bowling, rock climbing, ice skating and the like, but it is one of the only schools in the entire city to still have gym everyday. Woohoo! Get that energy out elsewhere- heck yes!


The start of the big trek, going much faster than Lewis and Clark
If you look closely you can see Mount Rushmore in my sunglasses
*I drove across the country in 3 days- after packing up my room at my parents house for the last time, I went out to see the US of A from a jam-packed car riding shockingly low to the ground. It was lovely to spend time with my older sister Caitlin (who was an angel for coming out to help me move), but after 36 hours in a car I went a little loopy. If you've ever seen me loopy- well, it's either very funny or extremely disturbing. Probably a mixture of both. (I still can't believe I fit all my stuff in my car)

*I moved into my beautiful home, bought furniture and have food in my pantry! My hierarchy of needs has been met. Now all I need is a paycheck.


*Corey was the star of Peter Pan- the role she was born to play, and my goodness, seeing her fly up there on stage gave me goosebumps every time (even the time when her shin was slammed into sharp edge of the poop deck on the Pirate ship- though those weren't good goosebumps). She was magical and amazing and I am so glad I got to see her perform, especially watching the little kids come to her for fairy dust afterwords- let's just say she has a fan club.
*I met the neighbors and have started job training- but not at the same time. Today's orientation was, well, interesting...and long...and I'm sure I have more wonderful information filled sessions to attend. I'll just have to put on my 'happy face!' ('Strictly Ballroom' quote for anybody who's seen that movie).

On the other hand, I'm very happy with my street- I'll try to paint a picture in your mind....imagine a wide road, bordered by huge maples and oaks that cover the street and the cars with shade and bird poop. The houses reside behind the neatly arranged forest, and are made of the same red brick that is ALL over St. Louis (it was the first thing I noticed about the city by the way), but each one has a unique design. The front porches are prime sitting spots to watch the neighborhood wander through the day, and I truly enjoy sitting on my porch swing (yes- a porch swing!) watching people walking their dogs in the afternoon, the fireflys giving off their short bursts of light in the evening, the kids racing each other down the sidewalks on bikes and scooters, all the while being eaten alive by freaking mosquitoes. I truly love the Midwest.

My room is a sea of green- the pale calming type- and while I am currently sleeping on an air mattress while I wait till I can afford an actual mattress, I feel so comfortable in my room and in the whole house. It truly is spectacular and gorgeous and way beyond anything I expected.
In other words, I have officially transitioned to St. Louis: it's my new home. Weird to say (or write) that. I'm in a very good place right now. My next entry will be somewhere in between the training abyss and freak out land near the first day of school, which isn't too far away...I just had the strangest mixture of joy, fear, anticipation, and a random memory of my first day in kindergarten. I feel just like a five year old getting ready to start the big kid stuff, with my backpack and my shoes tied, but without a clue as to what awaits me when the big yellow bus comes to take me away from home and happiness and nap time. Big adult world, here I come!



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