This coming week marks the end of Art in the Park for the Summer. Technically I wasn't supposed to end so soon, but then New York came along and here I am. The term "that went fast" is said quite often, but this instance is no exception. The classes just flew by. Every class was a new adventure. Some were in stuffy, hot art rooms, some were in the recreation center, some were outside, some were on picnic tables, some were in pre-school class rooms. Pretty much every park was something different, and we didn't know what to really expect until we got there. Once we arrived, we had 30 minutes of prep time to get situated (this looked different at every park as well) and prepare the art lesson. When I say we I am referring to myself and the lead teacher. The teacher I worked with was great- I have learned a handful of teaching methods from her. The classes were each 1.5 hours long, and we typically had 1 or 2 classes per day at parks all over Minneapolis.
I was really blessed to teach so many kids fun art projects this summer. I am going to miss it. However, I know that city year will provide such a diverse and dynamic experience of working with students. This makes saying "goodbye" not as hard.
I'm super excited for my New York adventure and all the changes and adjustments that will come with it in a couple weeks. Another big part of the NYC experience is finding an apartment, which is pretty tricky to do living in Minnesota. It's also pretty tricky to do when you are 18 and your income will be right around the poverty line.
This week I have been calling and emailing and even texting brokers about apartments I am interested in. I explain my situation and they ask again, "you're income is only that much?!" Or "you want a 1 bedroom for 3 people?!"
Side note: isn't it crazy that you need to use a broker to rent an apartment?!? NYC, I tell ya.
I will be rooming with 2 other girls, whom I am very excited about. One is from Michigan, the other is from California. They are both 18 and 19 and they are both doing City Year.
Tomorrow is the day one of my roommates heads out to look at apartments. I'm anxious to know how it goes. Stay tuned, we'll see what she finds. Maybe I'll have a place to live by tomorrow!
I began reading a book called 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I really wanted to read this book because it is all about simplifying your life. It's called 7 because each month the author zones in on an area of excess, and then limits her usage in that area down to 7 things/activities etc. I am reading the chapter on clothes right now. She only wears 7 articles of clothing for a whole month (excluding undergarments). I don't event think I could do that for a week: a month seems unbearable.
I especially wanted to read this book as a prepare for my move. I want to have a fresh start, in terms of possessions, and moving is a great way to do that. I won't have a lot of money in New York, and I won't bring a lot of things with me. I won't have parents to help me out and buy groceries. It's all on me. I want to make sure I have what I need, but I don't want possessions to be a distraction or a burden. I want to focus my time on the work I am doing, and on the new people I am meeting. I'm going to want a clean and clutter-free place to live at.
Speaking of groceries, this lady only eats 7 foods for a whole month. I almost find that appealing to only have 7 food items in my kitchen because then it would be super easy to figure out what I will eat.
What will I eat when I'm on my own? I'm so spoiled here. I have my parent's house, and then I have lots of babysitting houses to eat dinner, lunch, or even breakfast at. Anyways, life is good right now. God has blessed me so much.
I found out the other day where I will be serving in New York City.
It's not where I expected, but that's okay. It really is.
I don't know much about the Bronx, and I really didn't think I would be placed there, but hey, this whole journey has been full of surprises. I started looking through this handy little New York book that my friend Leah gave to me, and this was the first thing I read about the Bronx: "Once a prosperous suburb..lined with apartment buildings for the wealthy, the Bronx has now become an unfortunate symbol of urban decay." mmhmm.
Here's a map of NYC to put things in perspective. I will be serving in the bottom area of the Bronx (close to Manhattan)....right in the red zone, aka the "danger zone".
Don't panic, Grandma!
I was scared about this for like a second, but now I'm excited for the challenge. I'm not too concerned about my safety either. I just need to be smart. I was also worried about this for a minute, because I really wanted to be in Brooklyn in order to be close to the church plant in Greenpoint (Greenpoint is that nice little blue tip on the edge of Queens and close to Manhattan. Now I just have to get used to the idea of a long commute. My admissions counselor is constantly reminding us to expect long commutes (45+ minutes) because that is normal New York City life.
Where will I live? TBD. It's a difficult search, but I'm making progress.
I'm excited to see how this pans out. 1 month away!