This is my first blog update on American soil since returning from Ukraine in December 2013. I think about my friends and my experience in Ukraine every day and I am grateful to at least have that connection since I can not be there right now. Every day was so new and exciting when I was in Ukraine and I think my Peace Corps experience has pivoted my life in the direction of constant movement, reflection, and putting myself out there and doing things that I might have been too shy or nervous to do previously.
A lot has happened since being back. I worked at the YMCA for a brief time in their Beat the Streets Program where I had an arts, craft, and music table. I had to leave that super fun job, though, because I got accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellowship! I have signed up to be a teacher of English Language Arts in New York City's high need schools. For the last three months, I have worked as an Apprentice Teacher in a transfer school in Manhattan and that has opened my eyes to working with an older teen population. For the fellowship, I will be attending graduate school and working as a full time teacher starting in September. Training and graduate school start on Monday. My schedule for the next three months will be from 7am to 7pm and I'm slightly afraid that I won't be a nice person anymore. I'm just letting you know in case you wonder why I might look frazzled these days or why I just can't stop talking about teaching and Teach Like a Champion, and students at school, and ups and downs, and hey, we'll still have Friday nights, right? I am excited to be challenged, though. We all need a challenge sometimes to slap us in the face and help us deal with all the life that's going on while we're (sometimes) not paying attention.
Hmm what else: went to a music festival on Randalls Island with the Besties, moved back into an apartment in Brooklyn with Logan and our Peace Corps Friend who we call Peace Corps Jon, got my dog back (she's sleeping right next to me right now), my brother graduated college, my other brother turned 21(!), many of my near and dears are turning 30, and sometimes I get to use my Russian like the other day when I randomly helped translate at a school for a family and the school guidance counselors.
This will be the first post of many to come because I will find the time to reflect on all the experiences that are about to happen super fast...right...now!