I’m a Virginia girl now, and I have been for almost 6 months now! I’ve also been officially teaching for that same amount of time.
Backtracking — I spent my summer 2014 teaching in an extended school year program in my college town. All my friends had moved home for the summer, but I had a blast enjoying the hot weather, teaching and planning, and tutoring on the side as well. This summer included my half marathon, lots of fresh food, a beach vacation with family, a week spent camping in the woods with family, a new puppy, and then a move south!
A quick update on all fronts:
Living: After looking at lots of places to live here in my new town (and needing to find one that was dog-friendly), I ended up picking a place that was super close to the center of town right near restaurants, cafes, and a beautiful outdoor pavilion that hosts shows every weekend in the summer and turns into an ice skating rink in the winter! It was fun to explore during the warm weather, and the lights have been so pretty during these cold winter months. Now that I’m more settled in, I can’t wait for warm weather again to fully enjoy my little town.
Teaching: The first few months of teaching flew by! I have the best group of students I could ever ask for and I am having an absolute blast every day. Being a teacher is everything I ever imagined. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. I really am so lucky to have the students I have – I fully believe they’re making this first year for me the best it could be.
Kato: Out of everything that I thought would be stressful during this move to a new area and this first year teaching, the only thing that has caused me true stress has been my new dog, KATO! He brings me so much joy though, that I can’t complain too much. He got a new owner, new home state, and new living situation (apartment) all so quickly. It was a lot of change for him, and he didn’t handle it very well. After a few weeks of chewing out of his metal crate every day, I ended up trying to leave him at home with the run of the house. That didn’t work too well because every day I was coming home to poop, pee (even though he’s fully potty trained and can definitely hold it long enough), and everything ruined (couch cushions, remote control, and other random objects he found). I went back and forth so much trying to decide what was best for him – as hard as it would be to give him up, I was almost being selfish by just thinking about how finding him a home where someone was always around would impact me. Eventually though, I decided to try one more thing before exploring that option. I decided it was worth it to spend a biggg chunk of money on an indestructible, military-grade crate. As soon as it arrived, life changed for us!!! He stays in the crate while I’m at work and then we have plenty of exercise and snuggle time when I get home! It’s been so great. We’ve had the crate for a few months now, and he’s getting more used to it. He’s only had a few accidents while I’m at work during the day, and it’s always been after a change in our schedule. After we traveled home for Thanksgiving break and he wasn’t in the crate for a week, the first Monday I left him during the day I came home to a very sad gift all over the crate and the dog! It took me a few hours to fully clean everything and get it back to normal. I’ve had to do that a few times since, and I’m really hoping it’s something he might grow out of. He passed his first obedience class at the end of October and we’re now enrolled in our second one! At the end of this one, if he has progressed enough, he can take the Canine Good Citizen test and officially have that label. I’m excited for him! He listens really well and is the perfect buddy for me.
A few other random updates:
I bought a new car at the end of August! A 2014 Ford Focus. I always said I would never have a car payment and I wouldn’t buy a new car, so those are my famous last words haha. It has been amazing to have a completely reliable car that has zero issues.
I turned 24! That sounds so old! We celebrated my birthday at a comedy club in D.C. and ate an amazing dinner beforehand.