Thursday, May 31, 2007

um, help?

I can't decide if I need more advice or less. Maybe more advice from different people. I love Lawrence, everyone there is really nice and they seem to have the best interest of the students in mind. The students who I did meet were nice kids- normal, slightly immature 9th graders for the most part. Working there I would definitely be making a difference, really convincing kids that they have options, a future, that math is worth learning. Lawrence very much reminds me of Holyoke, it is post-industrial, large percentage of hispanic and low income students. Lots of Holyoke was great, it feels comfortable, but, there were also things in Holyoke that were difficult. Teaching 35 students by myself was nearly impossible. And I just found out that the classes in Lawrence can have as many as 45 students. That doesn't last very long because people drop out, get sent to night school and end up on a variety of paths that don't include math class. However, the fact that I could ever be faced with 45 9th graders is seriously intimidating. It also isn't helping that my father is worried. He doesn't think that I should be going into teaching to begin with, so its hard to decide when he's worth listening to, but even if I decide to ignore him, its still frustrating to know that I'm doing something he thinks is below me. When did teaching get to be such a lowly profession? Sure, the fact that the appartment I'm looking at is in a gated community doesn't exactly sing praises of the neighborhood, but I wonder whether that is a security blanket for people who drive through the older parts of Lawrence and get scared. Someday I'll have enough common sense to be scared too, but for right now, driving through 'bad' neighborhoods doesn't bother me at all. I'm just excited for the brand new high school being built, the beautiful yet affordable appartments 2 minutes away and the hiking trails and pond that lie in between. I have until Monday to decide, do I accept this job? Or else there's the job in Lexington, which reminds me far too much of Stepford Wives.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

life overload

I'm no longer a student, but an alum.

Laurel parade was absolutely beautiful. Alums are adorable and I'm so thrilled to be one. Canoe sing went perfectly, no one ended up in the lake and all the songs were stuck in my head for days. Graduation itself was nice, but kind of anti-climatic. I wore shorts and a sports bra under my gown because it was so hot out. It was a smart thing to do, but posing for a photo showing off my outfit was not so smart- one of the professional photographers snapped a few shots too! Hopefully that won't end up somewhere embarassing.

I am currently sitting on the porch at home, surrounded by a mountain of my belongings. I have no idea where to put it all- there's no point in unpacking everything just to pack it again in 3 weeks, but there isn't sufficient storage space here to have boxes. I have to go to Boston at least 3 more times, probably lots more, to find a job. Then once I have a job I need an appartment. And then a car. I might want furniture, cooking supplies and any other things that are necessary for independent living. All this has to be done before September, and there are 5 weeks in June/July that I'm scheduled 24-7 for camp. No problem?

Friday, May 25, 2007


After one last drive into Boston on the 12th we flew to Atlanta for 10 days of pretending school didn't exist. Atlanta offered barbecues, parks, friends of a friend and an amazing aquarium. It also provided the vehicle which transported us to Florida for beach vacation: walking the beach every morning, eating great food and enjoying the sun (but feeling guilty that the skies were so clear while forest fires burned nearby). Return to the north promised another drive to Eastern MA to re-visit Lawrence and check out Lexington. Lexington is super normal- like home, but up a notch in uniformity.

The rest of the week was spent preparing for this weekend. I am now an accomplished synchronized canoer. I also learned (from professors) that play is more important than work, all jobs are dead end jobs and we should trust strangers. Don't tell the parents we got that advice though, its a secret!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

job...find job...

I went to Lawrence Thursday. It reminds me a lot of Holyoke, in fact I was sure that I had somehow teleported back to Holyoke when I crossed the bridge and turned onto canal street. I arrived early for my interview so I was able to give myself a driving tour of the city. Its post-industrial but in the recovery stage and is maintaining the character of the city as they refurbish. Everyone I spoke with at the school was super friendly and welcoming. I think having a good group of co-workers is so much more important than anything else. The principal hinted I have a good chance of getting this job, but he still has a few more interviews.

Bennington, VT was Friday's trip. So much driving this week! Its a beautiful area, people seemed nice, but its really rural. I'm not worried about not having stuff to do (I mean, how often do I really go out and do something only available in cities?). I am concerned about the lack of people. They seem super desperate for a math teacher. I had the interview, got the tour, met half the teachers and got pressured to come back to teach a class immediately.

I like Lawrence best of everything. Its big enough that there are plenty of people and things to do, but not so big that its full of traffic and chaos. Its near Boston, with the commuter rail giving easy access, so I could visit everyone living there. Plus, I get to connect math with theater and fine arts, how cool is that??

Monday, May 07, 2007


I had an interview in Revere this morning. Barring everything surrounding the interview, it went well. The school is very well organized, aware of the needs of their population and has adjusted the program to benefit all students. The woman who I spoke with was nice and she speaks highly of the math department. I think I could be quite happy there.

I got in my car at 7:30 am and did not get home until 1:30. I determined everything above in a 30 minute conversation- the rest of the time I was driving. $11 in tolls, $25 in gas, $8 for a half decent sandwich, endless driving on an endless highway and getting lost in the insanity of one way streets, rotaries, and combination street/rotary (there was a light in the middle of a rotary... seriously?): this all adds up to a headache. One thing I am totally certain of- I will live as close as possible to wherever I work, I hate driving.

Tonight was a ceremonial dinner of sorts with student teachers and our mentors. I don't feel done. I've managed to build up a substantial bubble to live in; I can plan for next year, pack and be done with everything MHC without really realizing it. I'm afraid of what will happen when my bubble gets a leak, I predict a huge flood.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

the end

End of relationship.
End of student teaching.
End of normal weekends on campus.
End of assignments, reflection papers and school work in general.
End of mono?

Beginning of allergy season.
Beginning of job search.
Beginning of packing and moving at least 4 times in 3 months.
Beginning of an effort to use the phone, ever.

Graduation 2 weeks from today.