Sunday, April 15, 2007

now with less whining!

Despite the fact that I'm looking at spending three unplanned hours at Newark Liberty Airport and the night in Sea-Tac, I'm shockingly un-grumpy. This New York/New Jersey weekend has been something else. Early mornings and commutes (up by ugh:00, into the city and hour and change later, emerging from the fog on the subway, arriving at my South Bronx interview by 8:15, my Brooklyn test by 7:30) gave way to plodding around a city that I could get used to. Hit four of the five boroughs. Missed Queens, and Staten Island might not fully count since I only drove through it, but still not so bad. Overview: City - yes, Jersey, hell no.

The interview went reasonably well. Checking my email the night before, I found out that all of my frantic lesson planning for an elaborate classroom debate was for nought. They assigned me a lesson, and a math lesson at that. Parallel and perpendicular lines, to be precise, for a class of special ed 7th graders. They were pretty sweet -- shy and reluctant to answer at first, but they warmed up. As I was leaving, one kid asked me if I was going already. A good sign, I think. It wasn't a perfect lesson by any means; I made the rookie mistake of spending too much time conferring with each kid and some of them got restless. But no riots. I hope I get the job -- the school is small and well-run. It's a middle school of SCIENCE! apparently. MS 224. For the moment, I'm excited.

The exams petrified me, but they weren't as bad as I expected either. A lot of general knowedge sorts of questions.

Going back further, I haven't written anything about the awesomeness of late, such as Jenaya's phenomenal pig roast, my father's visit to Eugene or any of the miscellaneous tomfoolery I've been up to when not frantically studying. To round up: massive pig + good folks + my awkward father + SO MUCH PIE = best birthday party in a long, long time. That tenderloin chunk haunts my dreams, as does the chocolate bourbon pecan pie. It was dreamy. The parental visit was pleasant and laid back, much like my dad. We hit all the Eugene highlights: Bier Stein, Sweet Life, Hendricks park, aforementioned pig roast. I think it was strange for my dad to see me on my turf, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. Since then, I've been getting a lot of "you and your father are the same person" sorts of comments. In other news, L came down for a mermaid omlette and a photo op and 10 cent beers. John and I played a lot of N64. Lincoln House. you know.

Although I think New York will be pretty awesome, it's becoming eminently clear that I love Oregon. Portland owns my heart, but Eugene has endeared itself to me as well. This year has been fantastic, owing to the population of my world -- new and old members both -- and those incredible Oregon springs and those incredible Oregon beers. There's an unshakable atmosphere. I dig it. The biggest misgivings I have about TFA are related to leaving my friends and my new home. Big cities are fun, but I get intimidated and restless when the only trees around are requisite sickly roadside saplings. This is really just a roundabout way of saying to myself, "I'll come back."

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