Monday, August 07, 2006

Almost there

Today is Monday; on Wednesday morning I will begin another long travel day back to New York. (Aside: I now think that paying a bit more is well worth it, to be in a nice and modern plane like JetBlue that flies nonstop!)

I feel like I've been away from New York for a long time; for too long, actually. This is a first for me, that I'm anxious to get back there, back to my life there.

I've had a fairly good visit here. There has been the schedule juggling and the family juggling, which sucks but appears to be inevitable (that's why I stay back east for the holidays), but I have gotten to play tourist a little. I visited Mt Rainier National Park for a few hours last week, and it was breathtaking. We could see the mountain most of the drive down, but when we got into the park itself, there were trees and smaller mountainous things in the way. We came around a bend and I actually gasped: there was the mountain, in clear splendor, framed by evergreens. Man, it's gorgeous. I took a ton of pictures and I will be posting them soon.

I went back to Pike Place Market a second time last week too, and took more super-close-up pictures (you know, that little flower symbol on the camera) of flowers and fruit. Pretty!

There were several opportunities to see friends that I hadn't seen in a year or more, which was great. I didn't get to see my teammate that lives here...but I'm hoping that she's coming to NYC soon. I wish more friends would! Or even my younger siblings. I've got a great apartment with plenty of space and a comfy airbed.

Perhaps one reason that this two weeks has stretched so long is that it feels like two trips: the first, whirlwind weekend with the Special Someone; and then a week and a half on my own.

Now I have to pack up again, and it feels like moving again, only without a car to stuff crap into. I just shipped off two photo albums and a photo box--twenty-nine bucks via UPS. Then this afternoon I went school-book-shopping at Half Price Books, and will have to media-mail those back to New York. But it will be worth it, both of them. My suitcases will be stuffed with a few extra clothes and souvenirs and little fun things. That will be worth it as well.

I've had a number of dreams involving first days of school, fairly regularly. One of them had me trying to teach math concepts and disciplining and it was terribly stressful.

I'm itching to start making lists of school supplies to buy, and to finally start reading my piles of professional books to crack, and start organizing the first month of lessons and projects and plans. I'm dreading the next few weeks of anxious dreaming and frenzied planning, but I know it will also spur me to work harder to prevent those stresses from coming to life.

The scenery here is absolutely incredible. Unbelievable and gorgeous and amazing. I knew it was beautiful, and I knew I missed it, but seeing it in person is different. It's like I can feel it inside, the beauty, the missing, the living in a brown place during winter. Living in a place with no real greenery--sorry, but the Ramble is NOT a forest, and the Catskills are NOT mountains--does take a toll on me, though I don't think about it much. The day after I arrived, I came to visit my dad. When I turned around and saw the mountain, crystal clear against a pure blue sky above a bed of evergreen valley, tears came to my eyes.

But my life is in New York. And it's not just because I have a boyfriend there now. I really do seem to be settling in and being there. I'm not a transplant anymore; it's not temporary; I live in New York. I want to embrace New York life. From now on I want to focus on really being in the present and enjoying living in such a vibrant city. I want to take advantage of everything that's there, and have some fun and keep learning new things, about the city and about myself.

I want to keep developing myself as a teacher. People always say the third year is the best, because you get to settle in and not be so new and inexperienced. Since I won't be taking any more grad school classes--hallelujah!--I can concentrate more on getting good work out of the kids, and getting quality teaching out of myself. I hope to actually have fun--shock!--teaching, and to be able to say that yes, I do love teaching.

I miss my sweet kids from last year. I'm nervous that the new batch of kids will be more difficult, or not as lovably nerdy. I'm nervous that I won't be able to reach them, that I won't make a difference for them, that I won't be able to motivate them to enjoy school and learning. I'm nervous about my own self, keeping up with the work and the kids and the lessons and the tests...

It's time to get back. It's time to come home.


Nancy said...

Glad you had a great time!
I've started to kick into planning mode as well, so I know the feeling exactly!

Miss Browneyedgirlie said...

Sounds like you had a great trip - and a perfect rejeuvantor for the new school year, too, perhaps?

Though, I don't know what the classroom is like - yet - so I could be way off mark there.

I'm glad you're enjoying the East Coast - it's a great place. I thought of escaping to Seattle to teach, but I don't know if settling into a new place AND the first year of teaching - both stressful and exciting - is such a good idea.

Maybe for year 2?