Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The View from March

Hello again, world.

It's the other side of spring break now, and I'm sitting in a study hall with only four students to supervise. Took care of some grading, have a bit of planning left to do, but the end of the week stretches invitingly out before me and I feel like I've got a moment of leisure time with which to write. It's been too long!

The thought of blogging again has crossed my mind a few times since getting back; mostly, I haven't written anything because I haven't had a particularly eventful week and a half. Many of you readers out there already know some of the details of my spring break because you were there, and several more of you have already seen pictures, but let's start with that adventure to get the ball rolling.

I spent spring break in Istanbul with the family! It was one of my favorite cities the first time, and it didn't get any worse for round two. If anything, it was better. A few highlights and adventures:

1. The view from our hotel in Sultanahmet (this was from the breakfast patio)

2. Day 1, when I was alone, included a waterfront shoe-shine

3. Prayer time at the Örtakoy Mosque, where I also ate a massive baked potato

4. The food tour I took on Day 2 (also pre-family) included a stop for some unreal Turkish desserts

5. The view across the Golden Horn to Galata Tower, my favorite city landmark

It was an unbelievable trip, start to finish, and so good to bring the family back to Jordan for the last few days. Yes, we got hailed on in Petra, but I choose to consider that an Experience Victory (as uncomfortable as it may have been at the time). Dad, you were right when you called it "biblical" - suddenly I understand why they made desert hail the eighth plague.

A tragically short whirlwind tour through my vacation, I know, but isn't this blog supposed to be about Jordan anyway? You can always email me if you have questions. I had a great time, basically.

And now it's springtime in Madaba, full steam ahead. The sun shines, the clouds are wispy if present at all, and a cool breeze whistles its way through the budding trees. I hear the weather gets hot pretty quickly, but it sure hasn't yet, and I want to enjoy this sublimity for as long as possible. A little tennis last weekend, a little ultimate frisbee (my new co-curricular) today; being outside is a real pleasure when it feels like we've finally made our way past the yuck of winter.

But like I said before, things have been pretty smooth and steady since the family left. We're doing some spirituals in Glee Club, which work so well I'm sad I didn't start them sooner. My two new-ish philosophy classes are really a joy: very different from one another but in ways that make me excited to work with both. I'm feeling much more free and relaxed about lesson planning, too; I think the fact that this is the third reiteration makes me feel both comfortable about previous successes and more adventurous as far as rewriting and reorganizing. Kill the two-week political philosophy unit in favor of a unit on the Meaning of Life? Why not?

Of course, I'd be remiss not to mention the impending adventures that begin barely over a week from today. New Haven (!!!) at the beginning of April, which is to say in a week and a half; another Jerusalem adventure not long after that; and then suddenly it's May somehow? I always expected this side of spring break to feel like a cascade to the finish, and while the daily grind still rears its head, it's hard not to feel the end approaching. Especially with such sunny weather, the proximity of summer seems to be starting to permeate the campus for students and teachers alike - it hasn't led to massive productivity losses yet, but I'm counting the days.

Until the Adventure Onslaught begins, though, it's business as usual around here, which is mostly a good thing. Before I go, check out the new guest post I wrote for Foodette - it's been an absolute BLAST to start my food blogging career in such an illustrious way, and a couple posts about the Istanbul adventures should be making their way to a Domain Near You before too long. Keep your eyes peeled.

And happy springtime, everyone! If it's snowing where you live, think of me in the desert sun and see if it helps. Yes, parents, I have plenty of sunscreen. See you all soon.

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