big news & reflecting on a season in Providence

Even though I intended to use this blog to keep everyone updated on what’s been new with me, I’ve been silent for the past two months. I haven’t even talked about 2010, and it’s nearly half over. I remember someone once told me that once you finish college, time just seems to fly by, and that certainly feels like the case for me.  The past couple of years have been full of constant change, and this one is no exception.

Early Spring in Providence

As I mentioned back in March, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island to work on a temporary project teaching beginning literacy skills to English-speaking immigrants and refugees.  I have learned so much from this job about what goes in to developing reading and writing skills and it’s been a fantastic challenge to help my students learn and develop phonics, phonemic awareness, and decoding skills that I took for granted, since I can’t remember a moment of not being literate.  I always say that my job as a teacher is to build my students’ confidence, and I really feel honored to have participated in their journey.

Spring Blossoms

Though the project looks likely to continue, I’ve decided not to stay in Providence.  Providence has turned out to not be the best environment for me.  I have dealt with major issues with my apartment and found it difficult to even begin to develop a social life as I’ve been teaching an evening class.  Providence is a cute city in some parts with a surprising number of good local bakeries and restaurants, but at the end of the day it’s just not enough of a city for me.  When I decided to move back to the east coast, I wanted to live somewhere where I could develop roots, something that wasn’t happening in San Diego and won’t happen here.  Since I’ve been back east, I’ve had a chance to spend time with family and friends I haven’t seen in years and explore New England a bit, and everything has reinforced the inevitable: I need to move to Boston!

More Spring Blossoms

So I am. 🙂  At the end of the month, I will be packing the few belongings I brought to RI and move up to Cambridge.  I’m subletting in a great apartment near Mass Ave with plenty of space for me and my plants, which is also near public transportation (hooray!) and fun parts of Cambridge and Somerville.   Moreover, in an incredibly surprising and fortunate turn of events, I’ve already secured employment at a English language school in Boston.  I got a really good vibe from the school and am excited about trying out a new dimension of ESL.  Previously I’ve taught at non-profits and a community college where most students were required to be there to get cash assistance, so I’m curious to see the motivation paying students bring to class.  I’ve also missed ESL and all the humor you can appreciate with language learning.

East Side from Down City Providence

So as it turns out, after everything, I only spent one season in Providence.  Spring in Providence was perfect for wandering around on foot and exploring different areas, such as the East Side and Downcity.  Over the past few months, I poked around in neat little vintage/antique shops, sampled treats at local Portuguese and gourmet bakeries, tried amazing pizza in North Providence and Federal Hill, and appreciated RI’s strong do-it-yourself vibe, including the local food scene which includes some neat farmer’s markets in Pawtucket and Providence.  Mostly I wandered and enjoyed the sun and spring breezes around Fox Point and the East Side when the weather decided to take a break from cold and/or rain.  I also relaxed and read in India Point Park on Providence’s less-than-scenic waterfront near Route 195, and went running on the nice safe path in the middle of Blackstone Boulevard (one of the fancier parts of town, good for imagining Providence’s affluent past).

Providence church

All things considered, I think spring was the perfect season for getting to know Providence since I got an opportunity to appreciate it at its best and will leave feeling like it’s a nice city, just not a place I will call home.  Hope you enjoyed the photo evidence of my spring spent in Providence!

Downtown Providence

I’ll be back soon to show off my new container garden and some of the baked goods I’ve been producing like mad lately. 🙂

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