It’s been a long time coming…

On Thursday, I got a new job. On Friday (the last day of school), I had to tell my current students that I will not be returning for next year. It made for a tearful day, but I really feel that this is the direction that God is pulling me in right now.

It’s been hard to put into words all that has pushed me in this direction. I think it starts with the fact that four years ago, when I signed my contract, I felt that I could reasonably commit three years to this school. As those years drew to a close, I began to feel that it was time to move on and while it took me awhile, I think this year has been a gradual push in that direction. Sure there were specific things that made me more confident in my desire to move on, but in the end it was the reminder that my heart has always been in the public schools that made the final decision simple.

When the call came on Thursday, I’ll admit I was surprised. Teaching in the public schools has long been a dream and so to have it come true still seems surreal. Still, as I walked through the interview process, I felt a peace that gave me both comfort and the confidence to accept the position.

So, I’m off on a new adventure. I will miss the people and memories that I am leaving behind, but I find myself eager to take on these new challenges. Instead of the summer of rest I was anticipating, it’ll be a summer of preparation but even so, I’m ready.

Routines: the need for and the lack thereof

Summer always presents a dilemma. By the end of the year, I am so far past done with routines that I tend to spend the last few weeks before vacation throwing off all semblance of them that I can. I come home from school, throw together a quick dinner, and tend to spend the next few hours in my room puttering. It’s all very unproductive. Now I love this time, and I need this unscheduled time, and it’s one of my favorite things about summer, but I also know that if I am going to truly enjoy my summer, my days need some structure. So, a few days ago, I put together my Rules for Summer Happiness, and in the hopes of being accountable, even if just to the greater blogosphere, I have decided to share them with you.

Summer 2010 – Rules for Summer Happiness (or Happiness Resolutions)

  1. Exercise in some form, everyday
  2. Read everyday
  3. Plan two activities per week
  4. Go to the beach at least once a week
  5. Clothes go immediately to their proper place, upon being removed
  6. Meals should be taken in the kitchen
  7. Coffee can be taken in the bedroom
  8. Up by 9:00 a.m.
  9. Down by 11:00 p.m.
  10. Take pictures

Summer Dreams

It seems to be time for some new content. It’s been a busy month, and I’ve been occupied sorting out the details of my life! Still, it hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of summer and so, last night, I finally made my second annual summer list. Last year I got to almost every single item on my summer list- I think Arnold Arboretum was the last holdout, and I got to that in April. This year, the list is a bit more ambitious. I won’t get to it all, but the goal is to pick 1-2 activities per week. Here goes!

Summer 2010

  • Scooper Bowl ($8)
  • Taco Tuesdays at La Verdad ($1) tacos
  • Castle Island
  • Walk to the Sea
  • Sand Sculpture Festival (July 14-18)
  • Shakespeare on the Common (Othello) July 28-August 15
  • Vintage Baseball at George’s Island (July 11, August 8)
  • SOWA Market Sundays
  • MFA Free Community Days (Sunday June 20 and Friday July 30)
  • Tour the Custom House
  • USS Constitution
  • Boston Public Library tour
  • Commonwealth Museum
  • North End
  • ICA (free Thursdays 5-9)
  • Newport Cliff Walk
  • Main Lobster Festival ($8) Aug 4-8
  • Edith Wharton’s Estate (Lenox, MA)
  • DeCordova Museum
  • Isle of Shoals
  • First Friday Art Walk, Portland, ME
  • Eartha – Yarmouth, ME
  • Irish Heritage Trail, Boston, MA
  • Arnold Arboretum – Jamaica Plain
  • Cape Neddick Light – York, ME
  • MFA
  • Vermont Historical Society Museum – Montpelier, VT

Free Friday Flicks

  • Grease – June 18
  • The Wizard of Oz – July 9
  • Where the Wild Things Are – July 23
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – July 30

Movies By Moonlight

  • The Wizard of Oz – June 25
  • Field of Dreams – July 16
  • An Affair to Remember – July 23

And then of course, there’s the Summer Reading List… now some of this is genuine summer beach reading, while some of it qualifies as quality literature, but it makes me excited to think of all the time I’ll have to plow through these!

  • The Crowing Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, Rebecca Wells
  • Barefoot, Elin Hilderbrand
  • House Rules, Jodi Picoult
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson
  • Noah’s Compass, Anne Tyler
  • The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
  • The Scenic Route, Binnie Kirshenbaum
  • Home Safe, Elizabeth Berg
  • The Heretic’s Daughter, Kathleen Kent
  • Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
  • Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova

Of course I’m picturing long lazy mornings spent in Playstead Park in Medford with my cup of coffee and my book of the week and lazier afternoons spent in bed taking a nap with a few trips here and there to keep my brain entertained. Of course, the reality will probably look different, but with 13 school-days and 18 work-days left… I’m choosing to live in the fantasy.