Thursday, March 19, 2009

New York State of Mind...

hello from the other side of the country! I am having a blast already. There is so much culture in this city and I'm already in love. It's refreshing. This city has so much character and charm; it's swept me off my feet in less than 24 hours. I could people watch all day and just take in the sights, the smells, the sounds...the man roasting nuts on the sidewalk, the man speaking about the love of Jesus on the corner, the sidewalk vendors selling everything you can think of, a boutique plant shop next to an African American hair salon, the thousands of people on the sidewalks after work in Time Square. It captivates me. I feel like I'm in another country. 

I'm proud of my navigation skills. I owe most if not all of this to my friend Sara's directions, but even with directions, I tend to get lost...I think I get so interested and swept up in everything and everyone around me that I completely lose track of where I am. But I found my way, through the streets of Harlem, along the subway (going the right direction) and then through the Bronx to Sara's school where she teaches. I get to watch her teach and it's so awesome. She is so good at what she does. She has a way with these kids that is so special. She gets them. She gets them learning and motivated to learn. Not every kid; it seems in every class, there is at least one student that remains checked out despite attempts to engage them. She teaches 11th grade math and at the end of the last class, she had the entire class up out of their seats, singing  and even dancing to a song to remember the quadratic equation to the tune of a Macy Gray song. I must say it's stuck in my head now, too. Throughout the day, I've heard kids in the halls singing this song; I love that. I love that Sara teaches here. She is made for this work. To quote Frederick Buechner as I do all too often, "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep joy and the world's deep need meet." 

There is so much going on, I feel as though my Portland pace and way of life gets lost in the wind. I also feel like I stick out like a sore thumb, as I am the only one looking at everything, looking people in the eye, smiling, looking both ways when I cross the street, wearing "northwest" attire (i brought as many nice clothes as i could, but it's rainy today-and the northwest knows rainy attire). 

All in all, I'm having a ball. Tonight we're off for some New York City pizza and watching the Zags game! 


Lisa said...

Oh my goodness Shan you better be taking pictures! I'm excited for you. I'm sure it is amazing. Have an amazing rest of your journey. love you!

I am Kate Maxwell said...

sweet. new york. dude, live up the restaurant choices. i miss choices. and pizza at 4am.