retrospective

This is an old piece, that I think can maybe be published now. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it earlier, but I think it lacks focus. …. This was intended to be written 2 months after moving to Brooklyn.I actually had a reminder of the specific date, but it had to slide because I wasn’t in Brooklyn at the time. It seemed wrong to write about how I’m feeling about living here when at the time, I was back in Scotland.

It’s been a strange two months. I worked with toddlers for most of it, while still applying for full-time work elsewhere, within my preferred age range. Then, almost a month ago, I succeeded. I managed to secure myself a six-month, full-time position (possible continuance) working for the Brooklyn Public Library. It was a job I applied for on a “hey, that looks interesting and I’m qualified, why not?” type of whim. And I got it.

I was with my mother and my younger sister on a very rare trip to see my maternal grandmother. These trips are always special for me. My grandmother is very old and has had Alzheimer’s for a very long time. She doesn’t communicate really, but she responds to the conversations being held around her. Whenever we go see her, everyone takes turns letting her know who we are and what we have been/are doing in our lives. “Sofia just graduated from college, Grandma. Erin’s working in Brasil and Camila’s just moved back from Scotland ready to be a teacher.” Then my mom starts telling stories of the things she remembers from when she was a child.

She holds my grandmother’s hands and strokes her knee while saying, “Hey mom, remember when…” These are the most precious moments for me, because this is the only time my mother really just tells us about what her life was like growing up with all her siblings and in a small town in upstate New York. The only time when we hear those little details that people generally don’t share. It’s not that my mother never talks about her youth – it’s just that there’s never really time to tell the stories in this way. These visits with my grandmother are a precious moment for storytelling and listening.

As I was sitting there on this particular trip, I had been preparing myself to call the Library and see if they would let me know if I had gotten the job. I was telling my Grandma about how I had qualified and was looking for work, and in the back of my head I was thinking, “It’s never going to happen.”

As we walked away, the library called. Because of the connection, I had to hand the phone off to my younger sister, who let them know that I would definitely accept the position. As soon as she gave me back my phone, I broke down crying.

I’m one step closer to where I want to be, because of this job. It’s not at a school, but I am teaching. I’ll be working in schools all over the borough, teaching kids from all kinds of backgrounds and ability levels. I’ll definitely brush up on my behaviour management techniques.

I hope it goes well and that I have fun while doing it.

I hope it gets me out of New York. I am not made for this city.

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