A New Year

It’s been a while since I tried to recap a year in my life, but I figure it’s worth a shot. After all, 2011 was a pretty momentous year for me and it might as well be documented. It was a pretty busy year, so here is a brief explanation of my 2011.

I got married! The wedding was awesome and it was wonderful to start the year off with friends and family – and my wife! After eight and a half years together we sealed the deal before hanging out on a rooftop together with everyone. We also went on a super cool honeymoon that involved biobays and walking under water which was a really cool way to celebrate before going back to reality.

Starting in January I did my student teaching in a suburban high school. For those who didn’t hear my tales of adventure, the teacher was fired partway through and I ended up teaching with a substitute sitting in the corner. The semester was wonderful and stressful and I was so happy to be teaching again (I hadn’t been in a high school for almost two years at that point). I had some failed lessons (mock Congress was a disaster and Kennedy’s speeches didn’t go as planned) and some real successes (still fond of my public works lesson and I refined lecturing really well). I had some amazing students and some terrible students, and I had a solid group of coworkers to help me through everything. All in all a good experience.

With some fundraising drives wrapping up early in the year and 25 in April, Schools for Schools closed its imaginary doors in 2011. I started the student organization by myself in September of 2007, forcing all of my friends to sit with me once a week and talk about rebels in central Africa. It had grown and collapsed multiple times, and we finally wound down with something like three active members and a couple inactive. It was a pretty big deal for me; the club had never really grown past its nascent state, so it was my perpetual advocacy baby. Saying goodbye to it was quite the step.

For almost the entire year I was unemployed. Throughout student teaching I was too stressed to work, but we made that call hoping I’d find a job after graduating. After losing the job I subbed for, I ended up applying for six other jobs and only got to interview for one. In the end I spent the fall substituting more, which isn’t ideal but worked.

Another highlight of 2011 has to be going to the White House. Even though the college club was over, I couldn’t not be involved in Resolve’s work. When they invited me to DC for a couple of days I gladly found a way there. A dozen new friends descended on the District to go to the White House to hear from and talk with public officials. In addition to that, I also got to see old friends in the area and actually see some sights. Also, poetry slam.

This summer I was in quite the rut, and one thing that got me out of that was my internship at a refugee agency. I spent about two days a week working with newly arrived refugees, which has been eye-opening for me and seemingly helpful to them. It included riding buses and teaching three classes on a rotation – public services, laws and rights, and apartment care. It was also my first time working with interpreters, which is a unique experience. I also had a pretty sweet supervisor who helped me a lot learning the ins and outs of the system and showed me the ropes in working with refugees.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the wife and I went on a little road trip to Vegas for an early anniversary vacation. It was nice to get out and do something, and it was nice for me to go back to Vegas (I grew up with random trips to Vegas all of the time, for whatever reason). We also did a mighty bit of walking and had a lot of fun. I’m hoping to get a few little trips like that in during 2012.

And that was my year. 2012 promises to be pretty exciting, even if the world doesn’t end. We’re probably moving and I’ll probably be going back to school, so things will be a-changing. Now that the year is moving forwards I feel that I should stop dwelling on the past. Happy (belated) New Year to you all!


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