13 December, 2008

"well, that lasted long"

One thing that I have learned in the last month is that it's great to plan ahead but something crazy will inevitably happen every other day, at least at my school. 
For example:
- the day after the election everyone was so happy. Students had debates about whether or not firing your gun when the results were announced was an appropriate way to celebrate and asked me "How do you say change in Spanish?"
- the day a student who I didn't know came into my class and refused to leave, so he spent 10 minutes screaming in my classroom because I couldn't get any deans on the phone.
-a student saying "you're the only Spanish teacher I've learned from." at the end of a terrible day
- and the latest- 6 fire alarms pulled in one week. Since the new school-wide policy is to re-scan every student from all 3 schools after an alarm is pulled, friday afternoon I spent an hour outside with no coat and several other freezing teachers (and students!), waiting for it to be our school's turn to go through the scanner. No one had coats because the alarm was pulled during our lunch and students can't go to their lockers during a fire drill, so teachers don't go anywhere to grab their coats either. So the rest of lunch and the last period of class were cancelled because by the time our school got inside there were 10 minutes left in the school day. Teachers and students ran around in the cafeteria and classrooms trying to distribute/collect report cards, which actually worked out pretty well. So far, everyone has learned that we should take our coats everywhere. 

So last night after I warmed up from freezing (and having a cold already) for an hour, I went back to East End Temple which is always wonderful. And today I went to the union square holiday shops. Poor choice on a saturday, I spent a solid 5 minutes with a stroller hitting my back repeatedly because some lady thought ramming it into me would move the 300 people in front of me. But, I did buy a ton of jewelry from this guy who doesn't have a website but his email is mycopper@gmail.com. He gave me an extra piece of jewelry because I bought so much! I have seen a lot of jewelry in a lot of places and this stuff is definitely on the top 5 list of most beautiful. So if you are in New York and you still need a gift for someone, you know where to go.
I love holiday shopping. I can't stand the crowds, but I love trying to find gifts for important people that they wouldn't find for themselves. Plus, somehow I'm only 22 and all of the people I love are so spread out that I like to give them things that remind them of me so that they don't forget me in the long periods of time when we don't see each other. 

01 November, 2008

Maybe if I had been a boy scout...

This week I was reminded the importance of being prepared. I am almost always quite prepared for lessons, I always have a backup activity for when a class finishes early or something to do if the day is interrupted by something like senior pictures or a field trip.  And I have the fire drill procedure memorized. 
What I was not prepared for was trying to teach a class while girls came in and out of my classroom yelling about students from the school being victims of gang violence during lunch. That turned into 28 students insisting I let them go to the office (which has 2 phones) all at the same time to call their parents to get a ride home. And at least 10 of my students crying. And at least 4 or 5 running out of the classroom, collecting their friends, and leaving school well before the day was actually over. 
I happen to think that I am pretty good in emergency situations. I haven't been in that many, but I stay calm and make decisions a lot faster than I do generally. But I have never had to deal with keeping 28 other people calm and inside one room because when they are in my class I am responsible for all of them. 

So I called the dean to explain why they couldn't all make calls home at once and to reassure them that the school had extra police in the neighborhood. Then I gave up on my lesson and had them look up vocab words for the unit in the glossary in their textbooks, stood in front of the door and promised to wait with anyone who needed to stay at school waiting for a ride home. I think that was the right choice. And first thing on friday morning I asked someone at the school what the emergency procedure is, because even though no face slashings occurred during lunch, students were running around the hallways yelling and crying, which seems borderline emergency to me. The emergency procedure is that someone from the main office gets on the intercom and tell students and teachers what to do. That never happened on thursday. At the end of the day an administrator came into my room to tell me I should walk all of my students outside at the end of the class period, that was it. 

So while none of the teachers were really too worried, having heard the face slashing rumors every year, all of the students were scared. And on friday 10% of our students came to school.  

And I spent all of today planning lessons and projects because even after all of that insanity, I still love my job. 

26 October, 2008

what if you couldn't see the bridge out the window?

I have now had 4 flights in a row be on time in and out of jfk. It's amazing and I can only imagine that I will be stuck there for at least 5 hours on the way home for Christmas as payback for all of these easy trips. 
This weekend I went back to Pittsburgh for homecoming. I stayed in my old apartment and went to all of these familiar places and took a break from being a person with a full time job and retirement account. I was kind of nervous about what it would be like to go back. It is always weird going back to places, which I do every once in a while since I have so much trouble staying in one place. It's weird because you forget that things happen while you aren't there. Different people live in my old apartment, even though some of my old things are still there. I've missed things that have happened and things that have happened to me didn't affect people there.  But this weekend was fun and totally relaxing and I am already sad to not be there and want to go back for a longer weekend sometime, like mid-winter break. Sometimes I really miss it and wish I were still there, and sometimes I am really happy that I'm not in college anymore.  

I think that is also how I feel about my job. I love it a lot, and I talk about it all the time (my college friends are probably happy I couldn't stay longer because I would have never run out of stories about teaching). But I'm not sure that I'm good at it and it's really hard. But I know that next year will be a lot easier since I'm teaching every level of Spanish this year, so I'll have a lot of things already planned for next year. It just seems especially hard because I work all day and then come home and work for at least another hour or two(, or seven on the weekends). I worked pretty hard in college, too, but I didn't have to get up at 6:20 and I never had discipline issues at my old job. 

02 October, 2008

The on the way to school playlist

The instructions for this game are to pick one line from the 1st 30 songs that come up on your iTunes. So I'm doing that with my "on the way to school" playlist. The other part is that whoever reads is supposed to guess what songs they are from. That is because I took the game from myspace. They are the songs that make me feel like I know what I'm doing and have the energy to get through a whole day of school. 
1. I'm so glad that I know more than I knew then
2. draped and displayed would you still love me anyway?
3. please don't slow me down if i'm goin too fast (this by the way is a cover of one of my favorite bands, and it is good)
4. let's get together and feel alright
5. she was bruised like a cherry, ripe as a peach
6. oh that's what you get, oh don't get upset
7. mucho miedo y muchas ganas de poder vivir
8. don't reach too far you will fall over
9. je suis pas les secours, je suis qu'une petite qui se débrouille moi
10. not while walking is still honest
11. maybe because I made her cry when I told her I was down
12.fatter than my wicked wallet
13. hand me your stella and fly
14. way down inside woman
15. who could shimmer and rot at the same time through
16.I run so fast a shotgun blast can't hurt me not one bit
17. but I'm doin pretty good far as geniuses go (every line of this song is genius)
18.I'm so glad to be here tonight and I'm so glad to be home
19.step by step come what may
20.love is strong hearing as loud as gunfire away
21. don't lie, you love 'em
22. or the mountain should crumble to the sea
23. and I'll find a soapbox where I can shout
24. quiero que yo quiero y lo quiero ahora
25. te gusta cuando yo te azoto
26. when you're great it's not murder it's assassinate
27. soap opera says you've got one life to live
28. I've never been this far away from home
29. let's stick up the world and split it 50/50
30.bass for your face, highs for your eyes

01 October, 2008

Why teaching is like being a Cincinnati Bengals fan

As my students' and possibly my own favorite rapper says,  "somet things have just been terrible. Like the Bengals." And this being my first year teaching, I feel that way about my classes at least once a week. 
The first similarity- the preconceptions. Anybody who knows anything, or thinks they know anything, about sports, has an opinion about what Cincinnati will or won't do this year. Because they study the statistics? Maybe, but very often it's just because the name Cincinnati Bengals just makes people think "terrible."  A few weeks working in a high school and anyone will tell you stereotypes are alive and well. The number one phrase I hear every day: "Miss, I'm black, I don't speak Spanish." Despite my protests that anyone can learn Spanish, including the Russian-French Spanish teacher and all of the students in Spanish 5 and the ones who have passed the Regents and are not native Spanish speakers, there is a general feeling of defeat before I even start the lesson. 

Next is the disparity between the end of one season and the beginning of the next. Or the end of one lesson and the beginning of the next, as the case may be. At the end of every (maybe almost every) season, the Bengals win a few games and everyone thinks they'll start out playing equally well the next season. Something happens in the off season, and they lose their first 6 games. My students do the same thing. At the end of one lesson they understand what I've been teaching, not perfectly, but enough to use it on their own. Then they go home, have a school day without Spanish class because of the scheduling at my school, and can't remember a thing when they walk into my classroom again. I can assign extra homework to help them practice on the in-between days. But I can't fine them when they don't do it and I can't create mandatory extra practices or team meetings. I heard on the radio today Marvin Lewis might lose his job because of the team's slow start this year, so I hope I figure out a way to combat this quickly. 

Finally, like the Cincinnati Bengals front office, we consistently give students more chances than they may deserve. I might kick a student out of class for a day, give them a 0 on an activity, or call their parents to inform them that their child doesn't do his or her classwork, but the next day I let them back in, call on them to answer questions, and sometimes accept late work for no reason. The alternative doesn't really seem fair, and I believe in the right to a free and public education as much as the right to play a game and earn millions of dollars for it. Certainly there are students who earn their suspensions or placements in alternative schools, and no, Chris Henry shouldn't still be in the NFL, but my students give me another chance when I assign work that is too hard or don't explain something clearly and everyone "wants to win," we just aren't sure exactly how to do that yet. 

Now if only I could find the big orange Cincinnati flag that I remember from when I was young to put up next to the flags from Spanish speaking countries I got today. 

27 September, 2008

only 3 weeks?

So may things happen every day that I can't even begin to list all of them. And somehow it's almost the end of the marking period. I have lost my voice from saying "no talking during the quiz" so many times and spending an hour after school one day calling parents. 
I spent a whole day accidentally crip flagging, not the best choice in my school. I've kicked 3 kids out of class (just for the day) and next week I have to start doing cafeteria duty every other day. I haven't actually been in the cafeteria yet. 
The other teachers at the school are really helpful with everything and are mostly pretty young teachers so the teachers' lounge is a fun place. 
And for the 1st time in my life I don't have to skip school to go to the synagogue for the holidays because NYC public schools are closed for Jewish holidays. 
I've had some particularly bad days, but it seems like every day is part great and part horrible which makes it easier to keep working on lessons when I should be sleeping than it might be if every day were all bad. 
And the debate last night? No mention of the fact that the debate was taking place at the University of Mississippi practically on the anniversary of this:


And there's also this.

04 September, 2008

I feel like a babysitter

Today I babysat A+ certification classes and intuitive calculus. I don't know what either of those are. After watching the students do the assignments I still don't understand even a little.  Every different class that I have has at least one student who tries to spend the period telling me how good the school is and how hard they work and at least 5 students who make inappropriate racial or sexual jokes. 
Meanwhile, elsewhere, at the public Exeter an unofficial statistic- 7 freshmen got jumped in attempts to steal their ipods or cellphones, TODAY. This is the 1st school I've spent time in here that doesn't have metal detectors and no one seems to care about enforcing the no electronics during class rule. There are usually security guards around, but I guess in such a large building they can't be everywhere...

In other news, high holidays are approaching. If I had furniture I would have to sell it to pay for tickets. But I have found a synagogue I really like going to, and even met some other teaching fellows there (we are everywhere). And then there's this...

02 September, 2008

Overheard in Brooklyn:

The Principal of one of the top 5 (arguably top 2) public schools in New York saying "I hate teachers" this morning. Reassuring, no? 

While at my old school which I miss dearly...

01 September, 2008

The 1st day of school?

By virtue of my missing a phone call from a principal but having a phone with functioning voicemail for once, I have to call first thing in the morning about going in for an interview. Apparently there are still schools looking for teachers even though tomorrow is the first day of school.  I hope that myself and the many many (I've heard as many as half of the math fellows alone) Teaching Fellows without jobs yet find places at these schools soon. There is a lot of unhappiness among the unemployed teaching fellows who feel that the program and the DOE accepted too many people this year. For me this means that I will probably have competition at this interview tomorrow, quite possibly from a more experienced teacher. However it also means less time at the school where I am a sub, which is a great thing. 

Aside from the DOE and New York State government, there are plenty of other people who do not have the best interests of public school students in mind. Here is one of them, doing a sportscast in 1988, courtesy of my favorite website deadspin.com. 

31 August, 2008

August is such a nothing month

Very quick, Laurel-style, summary of August: my fantastic performance at Pianos (part of that may have been in july), the sexual fantasy conversation in chinatown, the episode at Virgin Mega, surgery/massive credit card debt (but hot doctors!), Olympics (swimming of course, President Bush slapping Misty May's ass, King James), countless interviews, psychic powers, Jersey, DRAMA, way too much talking on the phone, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and of course, the beginning of football. Oh, and I bought a plane ticket to visit Pittsburgh which I am already excited about, what could be better than my bffs and the turquoise couch and a reenactment of one of the top 5 most ridiculous weekends of Senior Year. 
Anyway, as far as school, I have nothing to say as I am still unemployed (but I have a teaching job for next year... and a new career plan picked out just in case).  Apparently people actually read this, so here is something of substance.

07 August, 2008

This is why I like the Giants, not the Jets

Further proof that everyone in New York comes from either Brooklyn or the midwest- Brett Favre replaces Chad Freaking Pennington on the Jets (West Virginia is midwest, right?). Brett Favre has played football almost as long as I've been alive. And then...he retired. About 6 months ago. He may have forgotten, but I haven't, because it was all over the news. And not just ESPN, the news that people who don't care about sports watch every day to find out about politics and economics. He gave press conferences and morning show interviews about how much thought had gone into his decision to leave football. 
And now he's back. Wearing the same color jersey, but in my media market. And this moves him to the #2 spot on the list of people I strongly dislike this week. Right below the everyone at the NYU medical Center and just above Governor Patterson (and much of the New York State legislature). 
Those other 2 people are personal things though. I imagine many of the other NYC Teaching Fellows and recent graduates with degrees in education are feeling the budget cuts as well.  And the City Council, etc, are working with schools, but way too much money is missing from the budget. Teachers who already have jobs are looking at cuts in supply money (as in not enough copy paper to make handouts for classes that already don't have textbooks). And I imagine my summer school students who were hoping to take saturday school so they could graduate on time will be pretty unhappy. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should try listening to "justify my thug" or "public service announcement" instead of "Mother I made it." 

And in regards to the election, if my mind hadn't already been made up about who to vote for, I would most likely be doing some serious research on the candidates' health care policies, having already spent $1200 and preparing to spend another $5000 or so on tests and a surgery that takes about 30 minutes and doesn't require an overnight stay. Wait until my DOE insurance takes effect in September? Absolutely not, I'd rather make credit card payments for 3 years than miss a week of school in my first month. That is, if I can get a job by September. 

One good thing about this week- the purchase of Duffy's cd "rockferry." She is, in my opinion, an updated Carole King, which is one of the best things a singer could be. 

29 July, 2008

"Why are you just a teacher?"

Yesterday was a perfect stereotypical day in a "high-need" school in the city. 
I forced myself to go in to student teaching despite having been in the hospital all weekend so I was planning on just observing the whole day. 
5 minutes into 1st period half of the girls in class jumped out of their seats screaming because a dead mouse fell out of the wall. I am not sure what to do in the face of a dead mouse, so I went in the hall and dragged in the assistant principal from the social studies department. 

The teacher I'm working with never arrived so I started making up a lesson with the material we would need to play a Spanish version of MASH. No one came to inform me that the teacher wouldn't be coming to school so I had to leave the class alone to go find out. A sub came after the 2 hour 1st period ended. The regular teacher had left no work to do and the sub knew no Spanish so I was on my own for the entire morning, trying not to get sick or have my students running all over the building. These first 2 hours, by the way, were illegal since I am not yet certified to teach. 

Lack of communication and support for teachers (and inexperienced student teachers!) is a huge problem in a lot of schools here. Sometimes it can be helpful to have the freedom that comes with a principal who doesn't monitor you too much. But when all kinds of things are happening and you have no idea what to do, it is distressing to say the least. The mice? Gross and probably a health hazard, especially in the non-air-conditioned building in summer heat. But also pretty common in schools (in Brooklyn at least).  There was a shooting about 2 blocks from the school, involving an 18 year-old, over the weekend, so mice probably don't seem like a big problem. 

I wanted to cry for pretty much the entire time I was teaching yesterday. But I survived, in one piece, and things went well in class today, so whatever I did yesterday didn't do any permanent damage. And at the end of the day (today at least) I love the students I work with, I love the language I'm teaching, and I love the city I live in. I can't fix all of the problems at my school. I'm ok with not saving the world, which is not something I ever expected to say. But there are things I can do and after 7 weeks of training I'm figuring out what they are. 

21 July, 2008

bad person? maybe. good teacher?

After the weekend I had (minus the amazing Santogold performance in the park sunday) I was expecting to have a horrible time during my evaluation this morning. But somehow it was the best lesson I have ever taught- my students remembered things we learned last week (maybe they studied for the first time this summer) and even the one who dislikes me so much that she usually leaves the room when I teach volunteered to share answers with the class. 
Even after 3 weeks of actually teaching I realize that everyone is right when they say that you can't spend all of your time trying to change the world. I am happy if I can get everyone to write one complete, correct sentence by the end of the 2 hour class period every day. 

12 July, 2008

me lo ha dicho el viento

This week I needed some pictures from newspapers or magazines for an activity for my students.  I used the papers and magazines I had in my apartment which may have been part of the problem. The problem being that I wanted to pick out pictures of different types of people (age, occupation, race, etc etc). I could only find pictures of wealthy white people and Barack Obama (who, by the way wants your kids to learn Spanish). For the next activity, my kids have requested Raven Simone (or however you might spell that). 

The Spanish certification test actually included something from that lit class in Spain which con H, Greg and I spent looking at inappropriate newspaper ads in the back row and trading museli. And something from the class in which my group once answered "This poem means: red bull gives you wings." Luckily I pay some attention and I think I may have actually passed. 

After the test I went to Central Park to write lesson plans on the back of a receipt from Shakespeare & Co, which I went to to finally replace my bookmark and buy some things as I'm reentering my beat writer phase, and to hear Julieta Venegas. Hear, not see, because summerstage was packed. But she sang my favorite songs of hers and everyone watching was happy. Partly of course because they weren't in line for the Bon Jovi concert for 10 hours where umbrellas, bags, and coolers were all prohibited.  

I am once again too tired to do all of the things I should be doing, and managed to fall into the courtyard trying to carry my laundry basket to the other building. Every day of class someone comes in on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Although maybe if we hadn't spend 2 hours eating lunch friday we would be less stressed this weekend. 

Aussi, bonne quatorze juillet! This weekend last year was so much fun, minus walking home from the Eiffel Tower and being woken up by the kids playing soccer in the hallway. 

29 June, 2008

It's baaack

The long awaited return of the soccer liveblog. 
Pregame: Well, Enrique's song was pretty awful, much worse than whatever dance was on before that. 
I'm happy to know that Sergio Ramos hasn't gotten a haircut since the World Cup. 
espn.com is featuring an article about how the stadium where this game is being played was a site for medical experiments on Jews and other prisoners during the Holocaust. 
Michael Ballack, who has gotten a haircut, is leading Germany in their anthem, which is the same melody as my University of Pittsburgh Alma Mater. Not weird at all. 
Espn deportes is not showing the game, so I am watching in English.
1st half- the announcers remind us that Spain hasn't won this since before most of the players on the team were born and Franco was ruling Spain. So, will they perform like the Red Sox a few years ago or the Pirates every single year? 
3:08- Sergio Ramos breaks out the arms up in the air "I didn't do it!" made popular by every member of the Duke basketball team. He really didn't do it though. 
7:07- Per Mertesacker runs really fast, but Sergio's hair and "i didn't do it" leg stop him before he can get a good shot off. 
9:31- This is tricky without DVR. But Podolski just did something to Sergio Ramos that isn't even allowed in Ultimate Fighting, which pretty much has no rules. 
11:10- Torres has gotten 4 years younger since the last time I saw him play soccer. 
12:21- Casillas has a better windmill than Michael Beasley (go see Gunnin for that #1 Spot).
14:03- Distracted by the announcer's pronunciation of Xavi's name, I missed most of that play, which looked close. Xavi followed up by kicking the ball into a group of 5 german players. 
18:29- It's hot in Austria, shocking. Marchena, who I've never heard of, doesn't agree with the ref. Soccer players are great actors.
19:04- Torres' ankle just did about 4 360 degree spins.
22:07- A fantastic display of both soccer skills and what you should do if someone is shooting at you. 
25:00-  I took a facebook break. Nothing remarkable has happened. In other news, the Strand Annex is closing in August. Everything is on sale. Today I came home with Tender is the Night, a book about Jackie Robinson, and Americus by Ferlinghetti. 
27:13- Germany has committed only 2 more fouls than Spain. But the fouls they commit involve remarkable choreography. 
29:29- The announcer is criticizing the players' begging for fouls. The phrase man up comes to mind. 
32:00- Torrrrrrrrrres! Puyol, who is old enough to be Torres' great- grandfather gives him a hug. The announcer just said something vaguely sexual. I need espn deportes. 
33:00- Espn deportes is now en vivo at the game. I can't understand the announcers as well so I can't tell when they say awful things. 
34:00- The Mets are pounding the Yankees again (that is vaguely sexual I guess). I live in a Mets neighborhood.  Some German player is napping on the field. Play continues elsewhere. 
36:7- It's Mertesacker I think. oddly the stats are in English on EspnD, but the scrolling stats on the bottom are in Spanish. Magglio Ordoñez, my favorite baseball player, is on the DL.  Ballack appears to have been strangled, there are lines of blood up his neck. Unlike a baseball player, he comes back into the game. 
41:35- Fabregas does some beautiful ballet. Which results in a pile-up and confrontation.  The  ref with the cards is wearing a masculine turquoise shirt. Iker Casillas got a yellow card for whatever just happened. 
43:34- The Yankees are mounting a comeback. I am contemplating going to a bar for the rest of the game. 
45:00 The announcer says something to the effect of this- Spain is playing more like their present than their past. I am headed to Nevada Smith's because soccer is better with Carlsberg. Check out deadspin  for updates by someone who actually understands soccer. 

21 June, 2008

It's a marathon, not a sprint

I survived my first week of training! The first 2 weeks are a semester long class compressed into 9 days so it is pretty intense. Most of the stuff we are learning is interesting, and the work is challenging. If there is anything I will spend 8 hours a day taking notes on and talking about, this is it. When I was going in to the city on my second day of training I heard a woman ranting about her daughter's teacher, who she not-so-affectionately named "Big Bird." There are plenty of other reminders that what I'm about to do is as close to impossible as I can get, but after the first week I feel inspired more than discouraged. 
My field training site for July is out in Canarsie, by where they filmed Half Nelson, so it should be a really interesting summer school to observe. 
Some other things to note: 
We used some videos from this site in class last week and some of them are very interesting. 
2,200 children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation every year in New York City. 

In non teacher news, I am sick, and am dealing with another aspect of moving- finding a doctor/dealing with insurance/not having my mom to make me chicken soup (that's been a fact for 4 years but I think it continues to be troubling forever).
Yesterday I saw Get Smart which was funny. Not hilarious, but about what I expected. And Anne Hathaway did a really good job, I hate to admit. Some guy in front of me in the theater said she was perfect. I wouldn't go that far, but his judgement was questionable as he actually answered a cell phone call during the movie. 

16 June, 2008

Public Opinion

When people find out what I'm doing with my life (which is hard to avoid since I talk about it a lot), they say one of two things. I appreciate both and I think both are meant to be helpful, but redundancy is no fun. What are these things I always hear? 
1. "They're going to call you white bitch and stab you in the bathroom." or,
2. "As long as you help one kid..."

My grad classes start tomorrow morning and maybe after that I'll have some sort of appropriate response to those things. Today I thought about all of the stuff in the "experience" column of my resume. They are all things that were a few hours a week or part time at the most. I always put 100% into them, came home exhausted and they had such an impact on me. I can't imagine what full-time teaching will be like. 
(I have big plans for things like cooking healthy food and going to the gym (to take boxing class!) to cancel out all of the side-effects.)

Also, in unrelated news, I finally did the research on the net gun which no one needs but I think would be endlessly entertaining.  My financial/nutritional advisor, Whitney, and I have decided that it is far to expensive for someone with my job in New York. 

15 June, 2008


Tomorrow is the beginning of the Teaching Fellows program. We start at Lincoln Center where presumably someone will say something inspirational (to cancel out all of the discouragement that comes from family/friends/strangers?) and we get to meet all of the other fellows.  Hopefully this week I will be hearing back from some of the schools I spoke to last week about setting up interviews. Although I have spent most of my weekend doing the assignments we need to have completed before training instead of preparing a demo lesson for interviews. 
This morning I went to the fledgling Brooklyn Flea to find some graduation gifts. I ended up with a rolling pin and Glacier State Park drinking glass (my Cola Cao tastes better when it comes from a glass with pictures of Montana on it), and some great vintage fabric for my cousin who is about to start earning a degree in fashion design.  
Brooklyn has some of the small town characteristics that Pittsburgh is known for, so it feels very much like home to me. Also in Brooklyn- I saw a tiny old woman chasing after a cockroach with her cane, and met a guy in Brooklyn Bridge park who explained to me that I probably like hanging out down their because it is the part of the city that most resembles Pittsburgh. 
Now, back to the pile of work on my desk in an attempt to not start out training being really far behind. 

14 June, 2008

"Welcome to Brooklyn"

I think everyone who moves to New York in their twenties is required to start a blog, so I'm following the rules. Training for NYCTeaching Fellows starts monday and I am incredibly nervous and excited. Everyone I meet keeps reminding me that I have chosen an impossible job in an impossible city. I don't believe them, but it gets tiring to listen to. 
So far I love living in Brooklyn, and the idea of living in Brooklyn. I can get everywhere pretty easily, it takes the same amount of time for me to get to the upper west side as it does to get to the beach at Coney Island, and I am having fun exploring and going back to my old favorite places. My next challenges are to start meeting people and to find a school to teach at. I have always been able to move places where I didn't know anyone, so I'm not too worried about that (maybe I should worry more and put some effort into it though). The school thing requires a lot of interviews which I conveniently have a few hours for because of training. 
So, that's enough until I actually have something to say, other than that I saw a Karate Kid tattoo on the subway today.