This morning I walked toward Port Angeles High School in the drizzling rain and thought to myself, "What on earth have I gotten myself into?" There were kids everywhere, not a familiar face in sight, and the weather, as always, seemed to signal impending doom. However, the moment I stepped foot into the school, I felt nothing but warmth and gratitude from all the teachers and administrators I met. It was certainly overwhelming at times, but the day, on the whole, was a huge success. After gaining the lay of the land, Ahmad (my fellow Americorps at the high school) and I set to work organizing our classroom and trying to get a better sense of what we'll be doing for the next year. After the first day it appears that we will be at the high school Monday thru Thursday from about 8 until 3 or 4 (or in the case of days like today, more like 5) working in classrooms alongside teachers and in our own classroom tutoring kids on a daily basis. We already have a list of about 25 students that we'll be meeting with tomorrow morning to touch base and set up meeting times. It's going to be an exciting year. I can tell already.
A rather strange thing happened to me today while I was at the high school. As I stood next to one of our desks in our classroom, I looked at a poster on the wall. There was a green soccer field with bleachers and a brick building, alongside of which was a long stone pathway. I did a double-take and thought about how much it looked like Trinity, only to come to the sudden realization that it was Trinity. One of the Trinity posters had been cut and put up in pieces on the wall. Below that was a picture of snow-covered Jarvis, Seabury and the whole Long Walk. There was my former home, sitting right next to my new desk at my first job. Immediately, I felt a confidence that I hadn't felt yet that morning. I knew that I had been well-prepared to step into this role, and that everything I had learned there would help me step forward and continue onward. It may sound cheesy or stupid, but it could not be more true. When that whole world feels so far away right now, it was very comforting to feel it so close by today.
Tomorrow is another wonderful day. I get to meet more students and more teachers. The weather is supposed to be beautiful. Sunshine and little to no rain. Another discovery today taught me that I live 5 short blocks from the high school. And the view from the walk: the Strait of Juan de Fuco and the mountains of the Olympic National Park. I don't think anyone could ask for much more than that.