Life After the Move
So, I finally moved. I'm living in Tucson, Arizona working at a preschool through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. And it's hot. Like, sweat-through-all-your-clothes-and-lie-on-the-floor-not-moving hot. I'm starting to adjusting to life with a swamp cooler (i.e. NOT air conditioning), "monsoon season," my work schedule, riding a bike to and from work, and living in community.
We've only been living together for about a month but we've already found ourselves in a few interesting situations. We rode a school bus from our retreat center to the San Jose airport and waited with the Phoenix JVs for our flight to San Diego. After going through security (again) at the San Diego airport, we rushed to our gate only to find our flight to Tucson was delayed for several hours. Once we landed, we were told the buses were on strike. That means our only form of transportation is our bikes. Depending on the day, we may have six working bikes or four. Luckily, our bike instructor (shout out to Charles) taught us (and by us, I mean my roommates that paid attention while I didn't) how to repair flat tires.
Our first official day in the house (and one of my roommates' birthdays) we experienced our first power outage. For eight hours we had to figure out ways to pass the time. We played card games, read books, sorted through all the random things that have accumulated over several years and talked on the roof for a few hours. Though we were all miserably hot, I think we all agree it was the best way to start our JV year.
Adjusting to a post-college work schedule was easier than I thought it would be. I ride a little under four miles (slowly) to and from work each day on my bike, unaffectionately referred to as Susie. I pass by these incredible mosaic murals and a lot of angry little dogs. After changing clothes and saying good morning to whoever is sitting at the front desk, I'm greeted with a barrage of hugs and "TEACHER LIVIA!" or "What's your name again?" Not gonna lie, it melts your heart a little bit.
After school care is a completely different beast. Usually we have 35 kindergarten through fifth graders running amuck as we attempt to corral them in a small room with playing cards and coloring pages. It's definitely a test of patience and can be incredibly draining. I've never had to be strict or enforce rules. It's terrifying. I think it's just going to take some time for us to get used to each other.
When I feel overwhelmed or stressed out after being asked my four hundredth question of the day and spending three hours with thirty rowdy, angsty elementary school children, I just have to remember what I'm doing and why I'm here. I'm here to love a bunch of kids and that's what I'm going to (try my best to) do.
I don't think I can give too much advice on how to adjust after a move; I'm still working that out for myself. Living with people who are all in the same situation makes the transition a lot easier. I can, however, give you this nugget of wisdom I acquired: do not chug water before riding your bike in 100 degree weather.