Personal update…

So I realize that this hasn’t been much of a space where I write about my life and more of a space where I place thoughts that I randomly have about what is going on in the world around me.   And as I move forward I think that this space will continue to be a place where I write about things that I am thinking about as well as things that are going on in my life.  And so with that…

Last weekend, Labor day weekend, I flew up to Boston.  It was part move my brother into the freshmen dorms at BC and part visit my friends who were also in Boston.  At least that was the rationalization.  But in the end it turned out to be 95% hang out with my friends and 5% help my brother move in.  (Which I am sure he was grateful for!)  It was really good to see everyone while I was there, and even better to be back in the Alumni Stadium atmosphere that is BC Football.

One of the things that I did last weekend that was unusual for me was lack of planning.  I knew where I was sleeping, and I knew who all was going to be in that apartment, but I made almost no plans to meet up with other people around BC.  The process became a more natural process of running into people while tailgating or randomly seeing people at Cityside after the game.  The only real plan I had going into last weekend was to meet with Fr. Don to grab the things I had left behind for Daniel and to sleep on Lizz’s air mattress.

Thinking back on the experience, it was the right decision.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and got to reconnect with a lot of friends without stressing out over who I was going to see next.  But at the same time I am sad that I missed seeing some of my undergraduate friends…which is okay since I will be back up there in 2 weeks for parents’ weekend.

An odd thing happened to me while I was in Boston.  I realized how much I missed having roommates and living with my friends.  While there were many (many) stressful times with roommates, and especially friends who were roommates, there is a certain loneliness that comes with living back at home without those supports around.  (And to my parents who I know read this, I am grateful that you allow me to live at home and I love you!)  I also really miss Boston.  Fundamentally as a city it was phenomenal to live in.  The T, as much  as it sucks, could get you where you wanted to go.  There was never any real worry about transportation, and I could be downtown in less than an hour without having to worry about parking or driving after going out.   I feel confident in saying that I will live in a city with a subway when I finally find a place to settle down.

This week has been a mix of work, Spanish, running, and fun.

Work: I usually work 2-6pm at the YMCA After School, but today was special since it was a teacher work day in the school system.  I’m guessing that it was because of Rosh Hashanah, but since its a public school system I don’t think it was officially for that reason.   And we got to run a full day of After School Camp.

Spanish:  I have been attending classes at PDS for a few weeks now.  It is a great 90 minutes of class where I have to speak and comprehend Spanish.  I am picking up a lot of useful things and getting in a lot of practice.  One of the things that I really apprecaite is that Sr. Barron isn’t forcing me to do any of the real work.  I do the reading and the worksheets, but with regards to vocab that the class is learning I am allowed to create my own vocab lists.  So instead of a list built around some reading we’re doing or some unit we’re doing, I’ve built a vocab list around “Church” vocabulary which will be presumably more useful to me in a few months than what the Spanish 3 or 4 class is working on.  But who knows?

Running: I started back running this week.  It has been about 4 months since my last serious run, and that was the Boston Marathon.  Monday was a decent run and I happened to be at the park at the same time as PDXC so I ran a bit of their workout to start.  Thursday was a follow up run, and I started thinking about how many thousands of miles I’ve run at the park where I run…its hard to fathom.  I have really missed the trails this summer, and I am looking forward to getting into a routine over the course of the next few months.

Fun is self explanatory, and it happens almost anywhere I go!

Tomorrow I am off to Milwaukee to visit Tony and other JVIs who are in the region.  (Thank you Jim for your travel pass…you have allowed me to do so many things over the past 10+ years that I would not have been able to afford to do)  I am looking forward to hanging out with other JVs this weekend and to come away from the weekend feeling reconnected to the JVC mission and people that I felt such a strong connection to after Orientation.  (Not that I don’t feel connected now, but as with anything time=distance and I could use a booster shot.)

(This also was not proofread, but I am sure Diesel will find the spelling errors and missed trains of thought)


Spanish Class / Back to Afterschool

In the past two days several people have asked me what value do I see in attending a high school Spanish class for 2 months / will it actually be beneficial?  After two days of classes I am realizing that this is going to be incredibly helpful if I actually do all that I am setting out to do.  There is a time period when learning a new language that you invariably look “stupid.”  (It tends to be a very long period when you are learning a language in a classroom setting, and it probably is shorter when you enter through full immersion, but I don’t know about full immersion personally)  You conjugate a word wrong, you don’t have enough vocabulary to express what you want to express, or you speak with a thick accent that identifies you immediately as a gringo. This is certainly going to be me in a few months in Peru, but what I am hoping is that it will take less time to work through it because I am starting now.

The two classes I am attending give me a lab of sorts to review a lot of grammar that I haven’t looked at in 4 years as well as an opportunity to become comfortable with expressing myself in Spanish.  (And hopefully reading/writing as well)

On the first day of school I felt a bit under dressed.  I have forgotten about the need to look your best on your first day, but I think it’ll be okay…its not like I can win homecoming king anyways (ha!).  I did get there early to make sure I was in the right classroom at the right time.  It was Spanish 4 and there are only about 10 or so students, including me, in the class.  I have never taken Spanish 4.  Spanish 3 was my last class in high school, and then I took one semester of Intermediate at BC.  So it’ll be interesting to see where I fall into place in the class.  We received a verb review packet that covers all possible verb tenses, and it makes me a bit nervous.  I have seen all of them before, but I can’t remember what they all do, or when I am supposed to use them.  This is one of the things I will have to work on a lot.  Vocab I feel like you can easily add to, but grammar just seems to be a lot trickier when adding it to your repertoire of knowledge.  Spanish 3 is a bit larger.  I think my role in that class will be more of a helping role.  I will definitely learn/review important concepts, but on the whole I think I will grow more from being pushed in Spanish 4.

In other news…tomorrow is the first day of after school at the YMCA.  Public schools start back tomorrow, so we will all be back to work hanging out with kids when they get out of school.  I’m excited to be back to work (even though its only been 5 days since camp ended).  Its always nice to have something to do, and I’ve felt a bit out of place these past two days without 8-10hrs of work out at Camp Eagle Rock.  4th/5th grade is where I will be working over the next few months, and I’m excited for the challenges this will bring.