And so much as already happened this year that I’m not sure why I haven’t been posting. But let me give all of you lovely quirkinessoftheurbanlandscape readers an update.
1) I love Montessori. I love it. I love it. I love it. To the point where I am actually thinking of getting my masters in Montessori Education. For a week in mid-January, I shadowed a Swarthmore alum who teaches early elementary schoolers at a private Montessori school outside of Boston (more info can be found here: http://keystoneschool.com/) and stayed at her house. I think what I loved most about my experience (besides playing with a Shepu puppy everyday, eating cannolis from Mike’s Pastry, and seeing the Lowell Mills…east coast adventures, anyone?) was experiencing the flexibility and structure of a Montessori classroom. I love that children are given set tasks just right for their development, but that they get to choose (to some degree) when and where they want to work on those tasks. I loved the focus on peace and reconciliation in the classroom, and on creating a naturally quiet and productive work atmosphere. For once, being in classroom with fifteen kids of all different ages felt calming rather than chaotic. I could say more, a whole lot more, about my love of Maria Montessori’s theory of instruction, but I’ll save that for a later date.
2) I turned twenty! And it’s strange. I’m realizing that while you can say someone is “a nineteen year old girl,” it sounds really weird to say someone is “a twenty year old girl.” Does that mean I’m more of an adult now? Not sure. I do know that I’m only a year and a half away from student teaching, which I found out just today I’ll be doing my senior fall, so, at the very least, I guess I’m well on my way to having a “grown up” career.
3) Speaking of careers, I have a job this summer! And I am so so so excited about it! You know those times in life where you are so completely, blissfully happy about something that you want to cry? I’ve had very few of those moments in my life, but when the pastor at Ellis Ave. Baptist Church offered me a position through the Summer Communities of Service program to be at his church this summer, my eyes welled up with tears (thank goodness it was a phone interview). I wrote about my application for SCOS a few posts of ago, so I won’t go into great detail about the social justice, intentional living, leadership development aspects of it. However, I will say that the site they placed me in is perfect. I’ll be living at a multi-cultural, multi-racial, intergenerational church in Hyde Park, a block away from Obama’s house, and a mile from the lakefront (which means I can finally run on the beach again!), visiting with various organizations in the city throughout the month of June, tutoring elementary schoolers who come to the church’s summer camp during the month of July, and attending any event in Chicago that is free all summer long (The congregation is giving me a free transportation pass! Say what?). Two other interns, yet to be selected, will be working with me, as well as a few U of Chicago students through the summer camp. Another highlight will be getting to visit two other cities for SCOS orientation and reflection: Raleigh, NC and New Orleans (though those may change). God really has blessed me so so much through this whole process, closing one door and opening another, and while I won’t be home again until August, and I’ll have to be really frugal this semester to save money for plane tickets, I know that, in the end, all of this will be worth it.
4) And on a completely different, but tangential note, I’m running again! More than I’ve run in awhile. Six days a week for the past four weeks. And I’m hoping to start doing road races again. I’ve realized that no matter how busy life gets, running makes me happy, and now that I’m in my twenties (that sounds so weird to say!), I need to start making a conscious effort to incorporate time for it in my life. Who knows, maybe I’ll run with my dad, who just announced that he’ll be running his eleventh marathon in October (See here: http://trustliveserve.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/buying-the-bib/ He has a blog too!). We’ll see. But I realized after last semester that if I don’t have more of a balance between personal and community-oriented endeavors in my life, I’m going to burn out.
Oh, the wisdom of turning twenty.