Monday, May 31, 2010

kiddos

Here are some pictures of the kids I teach at our field trip last week.

My bus buddy: Lorenzo (sweetest kid EVER!)
Nisah's group.
A big rock!!!
Me and Dillion eating lunch under a tree.
These two love each other more than anybody I've ever known. So sweet.
Learning about pond life.
One of my coworkers and his kids. (so cute!)

19 more days... becoming bittersweet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

passion

note: not a typical blog post
disclaimer: i want to emphasize that I am very happy... just very 'reflective' at the moment

I feel like I have two main passions in my life: music and people.

Music:
The capabilities of music to effect any given situation astounds me. I run harder and longer when a good beat is running with me. I feel more emotion when the music draws it from me. I watch with greater understanding when music, subtle as it may be, adds to the background. I dance with greater joy when movement is inspired by rhythm. I understand people unknown to me when their lyrics sing for them. I feel at home when I am playing. I feel incredibly connected when I am playing with others. Music is where I succeed. Music is where I am passionate.

People:
It goes almost without saying that people define any situation you find yourself in. Given the wrong situation with right people, it still turns out to be pretty positive most times; given the perfect situation in solitude, or with ‘the wrong people’, the joy of that situation is ruined. I have been incredibly blessed to have amazing people in my life who I would gladly die for. Through and with those people I have experienced trust – respect – pure joy – and love.

I feel like for several years I put music as my #1 priority (and ‘people’ was a very close 2nd). I was happy… but I felt defined by my passion. I felt out of balance, and I couldn’t gain that balance while maintaining the level of dedication to music that I wanted to have. It was a battle, and I forfeited.

Then people became my #1 priority. I enjoyed my friendships like I never had before my whole life. I felt balanced. I fell in love. I was genuinely happy (this is not to say that I wasn’t happy before… it just wasn’t as genuine). I felt like I was released. However, during this time I didn’t feel the drive and success as I had in other times in my life.

Now what? I’m not even sure what I would say my #1 priority is… because it seems to come without passion. My passions in life remain the same yet in terms of my priorities, people seem to be a distant 2nd and music an even more distant 3rd. I’m still very happy… just not as genuinely so.

Tonight, I miss my passionate life. I am very happy and I am loving the life that I am experiencing… but part of it seems to be missing. Part of me seems to be missing.

Am I off balance? Am I just becoming an “adult”? Am I in the right place? (NY – yes. Teaching?...) Will I ever find another OUPS? Will I feel like I did with him, again? Isn’t a passionate life supposed to be a happy one? And a successful one?

Where can I find my trifecta: passionate, happy, and successful?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dance Parade!

One of the many reasons I love NY is the numerous and random festivals. There is always something going on! This last Saturday was the Dance Parade!!! There was a parade and then a festival at a park around East Village/Alphabet City and it was filled with tons of different dance troupes. i LOVED it. Everybody performing and watching just seemed to be enjoying themselves. Myself (and Alison) included!

Alison!
(behind her are people dancing on that rope... like in the circus... they were very impressive)

My favorite outfit of the day. By far.

Everybody loves a video montage...
video

Oh, and can I just mention that this was my view for my afternoon run today?
(Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, lady liberty, beautiful spring weather, and all as sun falls?! amazing... but the photo doesn't seem to do it justice)

Speaking of which... Happy Birthday Brooklyn Bridge!!!

And tomorrow = field trip to Prospect Park. (amazing)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

update

Wow... I'm long over due for an update!

1. Mardi Gras
I wanted to take more pictures of this night so I could blog about it... but that didn't happen. But - I had some people over for Mardi Gras and it was a lot of fun! I think it made my apartment feel more like a home to have people over. And I love weekday gatherings. And for those who attended: 3-2-1 :)

2. Teach For America Benefit Dinner
My sponsors for "TFA Sponsor a Teacher" invited me and other teacher to sit at their table for the annual benefit dinner. It was really valuable to get the big picture - to once again feel a part of a larger movement. I am not just a single teacher working hard every day - I am part of a national effort for change and equality of opportunity.

3. Teacher Appreciation Week's Grand Finale: Karaoke Night
Have I mentioned enough how much I LOVE the people I work with? It is quite literally the best group of coworkers I could imagine. Teacher appreciation week was filled with thoughtful cards, TONS of food (btw - did you know how good Jamaican food is? Because its amazing), and was topped off with an open bar karaoke night. Amazing. Everybody singing, dancing, and just cutting loose. Here are some pictures to highlight the night:


4. Loving springtime in NYC
I wish that everybody that visited me during the winter could have a redo in the spring/summer. I didn't realize how depressed winter had made me and how much less fun the city is during the winter. I'm starting to feel more and more like I know the city while still constantly being surprised by it and finding great new things to explore. This city is amazing... will 5 years even be enough?!

5. Great friends of past and present
I've been missing old friends a lot lately. Sometimes I wish that everything was just how it used to be. It's hard to keep in touch in a meaningful way... I need a reunion. I feel like everybody is so far away and doing so many different things...

I'm so grateful for my new friends, too though! It can be really hard to move to a new place where you don't really know anybody - and I've been really lucky. Here are some highlights of recent things with NYC friends:

playing pool while waiting for our table at this great roof-top Mexican restaurant by my house!
Going out with the ladies
JUXTAPOSITION!!!!! ;)
LOVE the promenade
6. This time last year...
Its hard to imagine how much has changed since this time last year. (Special shout out to all the 2010 grads!!! CONGRATS!!!!) How different life was... how differently I thought about things... the different experiences I had and now hope to have... Life is a crazy adventure. Its good to take a moment to look back at all that it gives you.

7. 29 more days...
There are 29 more instructional days in the school year. 29 days... I don't even know how to think about it, really. I've learned sooo much and I've worked so hard but in a much different way than ever before in my life. The end is near...