A Month of Milestones...
Because of the timing of our trip to Roswell for a wedding, I was able to celebrate my 27th birthday (albeit a few days early) with my family and a batch of Mom's homemade cinnamon rolls. I most certainly ate 2 of them! Amar and I continued our tradition of celebrating birthdays Foodie style, and we went for a tasting at Journeyman Restaurant in Somerville with friends. Finding the place is an exciting experience in itself: after wandering up and down Washington Street for a few minutes and catching a tempting whiff of some Indian fare nearby, we turned down a large driveway. Just past a dumpster and a delivery van, we were faced with a partially-open garage door to our left and a solid black stage door to the right. I confess we seriously considered that ducking under the garage door might be the correct option. Once inside the restaurant, the novelty kicked in and it felt quite special to be tucked away in a place that is so difficult to find. Despite a rough start to the tasting menu with a fish-food-flavored cracker amuse-bouche that made me wonder what the chef was thinking, we had a delightful meal! Turning 27 doesn't seem like much of a milestone necessarily, except that I feel quite settled, which, after several years of graduating, graduating again, starting a job, getting married, moving to a new city, searching for jobs, and working at three different schools in two years, is a welcome milestone for me!
June 18th marked the end of my fourth year in my teaching career and my first full year at AB. It was strange feeling like a first year teacher again--and working about the same hours--as I adjusted to the new curriculum, and yet reminding myself that I already had 3 years experience behind me. I asked a lot of questions that I really already knew the answers to, looking to feel secure in a new school culture. Overall, it was a fantastic year with fantastic students. They were so eager to learn and discover, and that made teaching them an exciting task. They loved the books we read, or they loved to hate them (which is, in a way, the next best thing), they practically cheered about learning new vocabulary words, and they wrote some of the most beautiful personal narratives I've ever read from a group of students. At the end of the year, they just sort of floated away into summer, as if they'd be back next week, except for a group of students from 7th period. I couldn't help but laugh as these three boys came up to shake my hand in honor of a good year--such a fourty-year-old gesture from boys who are still so-fourteen. I'm both excited and nervous for next year, hoping that my students from the Classes of 2016 and '17 weren't anomalies!
Back to Roswell for the start of Mission Trip 2014, and I was blessed to spend part of the afternoon visiting with my grandparents on their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary! How much they've lived and loved through together, and I'm just at the very beginning of that journey!
At the end of June, I participated in my 10th STA Mission Trip to Whitesville, WV. Since my first trip 13 years ago, I've built a wheelchair ramp that allowed a newly wheelchair-bound man touch grass with his toes, repaired porches that were rotting away, replaced walls, windows, and floors, and installed air conditioners for a woman who couldn't keep her house warm in the winter or cool in the summer. I've met people who have tremendous faith and generous spirits, and I've seen how powerful love can be in transforming people's lives. I'm honored to have spent ten summers serving on this trip!
I returned from Mission Trip to spend my first night in our second home in Boston. Amar and his parents (and some unnaturally strong movers, from what I hear), had moved our belongings from our first apartment on Gardner Street into another charming apartment in Auburndale. My first contribution to the new house: hanging a Welcome sign that a friend in Whitesville made for me years ago--I've just never had anywhere to put it! For the next few weeks, we'll be unpacking and settling into the new place!