Monday, May 26, 2008

A New Place

I sit tonight in my empty apartment in Lexington after a day of vaccuuming, scrubbing, and magic erasering myself to death. I blog with numbed fingertips to the fresh scent of Pine-Sol. Chud is in Louisville at the new place getting things all put together and cleaned up and we call each other every couple of hours to update each other on our progress - it's almost like a contest!

But now that it's nighttime - now that the blinds are closed, the doors are locked, the lamp's turned on and the air is so quiet - I'm already starting to get homesick. I've been in Lexington for NINE YEARS. When I moved here, I was a freshman in college and it was impossible to NOT make new friends. In fact, I made too many new friends and now I am left with the handful of people who I deeply care about and who care deeply about me. If you told me nine years ago that these are the people I would love so much, I would have thought you were crazy - mostly because I didn't meet some of them until the end of my college career or after I started teaching. Anyway, the point is - I'm really going to miss these people! Louisville is wonderful and I'm SO happy to be closer to my brother, who might be the second most important person in my life. It's not that far away, either, which is nice, of course, but I'm so scared to approach 5:00 on a Friday night when I would be making my usual round of phone calls to plan the evening with my Lexington friends. So, best case scenario, I make some new friends in Louisville who will want to hang out with us on a Friday night. In that case, I'm scared to be left at the whimsy of people who know where they are and where they're going. Meanwhile, I'll be "the girl from Lexington" who can't find her way out of a Highlands coffee shop to save her life! I like being in charge, or at least taking part in the decision making of what happens on the weekends, so to be the one who says, "I have no idea where I am or what place you're talking about," is scary - yet exciting at the same time. In fact, I feel a bit like Little Red Riding Hood as she walks through the woods:

"And he showed me things/Many beautiful things,/That I hadn't thought to explore./They were off my path,/ So I never had dared./I had been so careful,/I never had cared./And he made me feel excited-Well, excited and scared."

This feeling brings me back to those times where I've wandered to other places just to push the edges of my comfort zone and feel that excited and scared feeling to remind myself I'm really alive. I went to Colorado and worked at a camp for an entire summer without ever meeting a single person I worked for, other than the secretary who interviewed me on the phone. I went off to England to do my student teaching in a school where I was the only American, and lived in a dorm where I was the only person from Kentucky in a sea of Pennsylvanian student teachers! I even jaunted over to France all by myself just to see if could do it, and you know what? I did. And it was awesome.

That's how I'll approach this Louisville situation. It's an adventure. It's a new beginning. It's a new life and a new start and yes, it's freaking scary as all get out, but darn it - that's how I know I'm alive. And the best part is, this time I don't have to do the adjusting by myself. I have a husband who loves me and knows me and will discover things with me as we both start our new lives together.

At least I can still go to Lexington whenever I want. The "old" life isn't that far away at all!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gainful Employment!

Well, I've been putting of my blogging all week because I wanted to wait until I had Derby Day pictures, but alas, I have big news! (For Derby Day Shenanigans, you can checkout Laura's blog). Tuesday evening, around 4:30, I got a phone call from the secretary at Engelhard Elementary in Lousiville, asking if I could come in for an interview on Wednesday. Of course I said I could, because I didn't think I'd be hearing from schools in Louisville for quite some time, and on top of that, Engelhard was one of the nine schools I had on my "list" of schools where I actually wanted to teach. So, I took a half day off work on Wednesday so I could go home, get some folders together full of impressive goodies to give to the interviewers, take a shower, and get myself all gussied up for the interview. I left with plenty of time to get there and I was SUPER nervous as I waited for the principal to call me into the little room.

Once I got there, though, I was totally fine. The nerves were gone, and I answered the questions as best I knew how. When I left, I thought I did really well and I was very pleased, but on the hour and a half drive home (the one my husband does every day), I couldn't help but overthink all of my answers and all of their reactions, and by the time I got home I had decided that it was the worst interview I'd ever been a part of! So, this morning during my planning period at school, I sat down at my computer to email the principal and thank her for the interview while asking her when she thought I might hear something about the positions. As SOON as I opened my email, my cell phone rang.

It was a lady from Jefferson County Public Schools calling to inform me that I was being reccommended for the FOURTH GRADE position at Engelhard Elementary!!! I could NOT believe it, 9:30 in the morning and I was already getting a phone call! Of course, I graciously accepted and carried on through the rest of my day with a bit a chip on my shoulder - I was pretty darn proud of myself.

So, it looks like I have a home next year. Engelhard is a great school in a rough neighborhood, and I'm definately up for the challenge. As a very smart teacher at my current school said, "Every teacher should have the chance to teach at a disadvantaged school. That's what makes a good teacher a great teacher." And she's right. What's important is the fact that the STAFF seemed amazing, there seemed to be lots of support, and overall I got an amazing vibe from everyone I spoke to. At the end of the day, I can't WAIT to teach there!