Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Plans for the next week or so are made! Sorta. I've got general ideas and I'll let the universe figure out the details.
For now, I'm headed to Ottawa for a few days on tour, spending the weekend in M-town, then off to Niagara to see the roomie, then visiting a boy in the Hammer, then to the Loo for a weekend of training and debaucherous fun. No more than three days in each place. One girl. One suitcase. And a handful of bus tickets. Give me some more sunshine and some rockin' good music and I'm the happiest girl on Earth, exactly where she wants to be, wherever that is.
Monday, May 29, 2006
This morning I committed an act that definitely renders me a child of the digital age - I was being a good big sister by letting my brother know about the TTC strike, but I was also being a lazy bum by lying in bed and not wanting to get up, so I reached over, grabbed the phone and communicated with him in the next best way - I called my brother on his cell phone when he was just next door in his bedroom. Let's say I was inspired to do so, shall we?
So the public transit peoples are on strike over here and that breaks my heart because I'm one of the few who doesn't have access to a vehicle, nor do I have a license to drive even if I were to have a car within reach. I was supposed to have a company meeting in Toronto (alas, only accessible via TTC for me), but that's been cancelled, so what to do with myself today (other than bake in the 33+ degree(!!!) weather we're getting)?
First: Tell you that my most recent tour to Chicago was the best trip ever and remind y'all that I'm a lucky, lucky biatch to do what I do and get paid for it.
Sure, I have to do lots of stressful organizational things like make confirmation calls, handle paperwork, deal with annoying suppliers, teach kids about the city's history, say things like, "On the left is Tribune Tower, to the right you'll see the Wrigley Building and now we're driving over the Chicago River...", photocopy and highlight thirty-seven copies of a map of The Loop and ride on a coach bus for double-digit numbers of hours every week, but seeing as I like those sorts of things it can hardly be seen as bad or difficult. In addition to hanging out with a good group of high school students, staying at a fantastic hotel with fantastic staff, making everyone in the group sit on one side of the coach so that we could drive back to the hotel with a flat tire in the rear, here's what I got to do in the Windy City:
See an improv show at Second City, tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Home & Studio, visit the Museum of Science & Industry, see a Cubs game (again!), have dinner at Andy's Jazz Club (again!), go on an Untouchables gangster coach tour (during which I saw Oprah's studio and the theater where the first talkie ever was played!), BE THE FIRST CANADIAN GROUP TO SEE THE KING TUT EXHIBIT AT THE FIELD MUSEUM ON THE SECOND DAY THAT IT'S BEEN OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND OMG WAS IT EVER FRICKIN' AWESOME*, take a lovely walk along the lakeshore, show the group the world's largest fountain and Millennium Park, visit the Art Institute, eat authentic deep dish pizza and end the tour with a visit to the Sears Tower Skydeck. AND I even got hours of free time to watch the Memorial Day parade, shop along Madison and State, and take my sweet ass time exploring Michigan Avenue and then some, and get to know the city like the back of my hand.
Suffice to say, this tour was much better than my last trip to Chicago and I'm sad that it was my last US tour for the season. Dear People of Chicago: You live in an awesome city. Oh well, Ottawa and Quebec City will be good to me and I get to do lots of neat stuff there too. Lucky, lucky me.
Second: PLAN SHIT
I really do enjoy living on the edge of my seat, ready to fly off anywhere and everywhere, but even spontaneity requires some idea of what you're doing. For example, I have no idea what city I'm going to be in next Monday; I could be here, in the Loo, in Welland or Niagara Falls or even gosh-forsaken Hamilton. Who knows? I sure don't. But I'm going to have to figure it out soon because my GPA is seriously riding on my travels and the fact that I'm never near a computer for long enough to do my work. Funny how these things are called distance education courses, when they're really not catered to people who take them from a distance at all. For example, when I'm in Asia, I really don't want to be worrying about the next internet cafe around because I need to submit an assignment on the sociology of health, illness and medicine. To drop the course or not to drop? Sigh.
Oh, speaking of which, I'm going to Asia. So yeah, I told you I'd give details later about the fact that I'm leaving the country for five weeks, so here we go:
The fam and I are starting off by flying across Canada, over the Bering Strait, stopping in Taipei for a bit, then landing in Ho Chi Minh/Saigon, Vietnam. After a few days with relatives and maybe in Vung Tau, we'll pop over to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a week or so. Next, we might head to Hong Kong and Macau, then see mainland China where we'll spend about/at least two weeks touring Beijing, Xian, Suzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Canton. If there's time, we might hit up Taiwan as well.
On the way home, I'm going to stop off in Vancouver (while my family goes home to Toronto) for a week or two to visit and snuggle with my best bud who is smart and amazing enough to have gotten a job working for the government over in BC. We're also totally road-tripping it to Calgary too. So. I fly out in less than three weeks and I won't be back until early to mid-August. Sweet. I know, I KNOW. My photo is sooo listed under the Lucky Shit Ass Ho Mothafacker Biatch entry in the dictionary.
Though I keep poring over travel magazines and adding to the mental list of all the things we're going to see and do, I'm still not totally prepped for Operation See The World just yet. Maybe because (back to the original point) I'm trying to figure out how to do my school work while all this suitcase living, plane riding and country hopping is going on, and I'm still in the midst of travelling from city to city every week. It's a tricky one, this DE course, because if I don't take it now and get the credit, then I'll have to take an extra course or two in the Fall term OR stay for an extra semester after I'm supposed to graduate to catch up because I totally won't have the time, energy or will power to take extra courses while I'm in Spain.
*I am the hugest museum dork ever and I just happen to love ancient Egypt almost as much as I love ancient Rome and Greece.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Feeling Fun And Cool, But Not Saying It Right
I'm feeling fab at having some quality Me Time, but I can't seem to get that creative expression wheel rolling here...things are always funner and cooler in my head.
Like that time I visited my roomie out in the country and we actually went to the gym, but had dinner at a buffet and then ate junk all the next day and watched the worst Hilary Duff movie ever, and visited her Gram who lived even further out into the country.
Like that time I wore really fancy tweed pumps to a bar (in the middle of A GIANT FIELD that was twenty minutes from civilization) and ruined them by trudging across a gravel parking lot and muddy grass because there are no sidewalks in fields, only to have have beer spilled all over them (and my back) once I got inside.
Or like that time we went to Ikea ten minutes before it closed and pranced around the store for a whole half hour looking at furniture that wasn't even for me until we were the only customers left in the showrooms.
Like that time I watched Desperate Housewives for the second and probably last time and concentrated so hard that I gave myself a headache and nightmares. Like bubble tea and toast with friends and basketball street legends. A full three hour Blue Jays game with my best bud and Tedwin. A fancily scrumptious Indian dinner. A heartfelt goodbye on the subway. Riding home alone and having three guys take guesses at my "background" and how old I was - I heart strangers on public transit.
My long weekend, in a nutshell, was pretty awesome. It was creamy and smooth, velvety rich like a good cup of peppermint hot chocolate or something. I've left M-town again and am now back in the Loo, only to leave for Chicago at some obscene hour tomorrow morning. This city has been good to me since I arrived about 24 hours ago; I had a delicious steak dinner (marinated with red wine and cracked pepper, Thai sweet chili and onion rice, yummily glazed baby carrots with lots of freshly ground rainbow peppercorns, homemade white wine AND an ice cream sandwich - how's THAT for student eating?) with Dan, munched on trail mix and discovered the beauty which is the Magic Bullet with Mark, and hugged and studied and laughed with Dave. See, all that was fun and cool - it just doesn't sound that way on here.
I just finished my last shift ever at work and even the giant thing of daisies that I brought couldn't brighten up the part of me that's super sad to leave the office. I think I'm sleeping by myself in a big, empty house tonight, but before I go to sleep I need to have written at least 4/5 of a huge ass assignment (9 to 15 pages! and I thought I was so done with school) that's due for my Distance Ed class. See, all that is not fun and not cool and it still doesn't sound like anything at all on here.
Living out of a suitcase is still fun and cool, but I wonder when it'll stop being so.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Fickle, Fuddled Words Confuse Me; Like, Will It Rain Today?
There is no one thing. But let's just say that there's a reason, or two.
It's in the way I rub my nails against my lips when I think. It's in the way I feel when I smile at the sun, or breathe in used books. It's my clammy palms and sensitive teeth. It's how I can listen to a song on repeat and have it sound better and newer with every play, the beats of my heart keeping with the rhythm of the music. It's being in love with the world. It's hidden in the crinkle of my smiling eyes and how my words come out when I'm holding the laugh in my throat. It's sitting cross-legged in a movie theater or walking barefoot in the grass. It's my complication and almost incomprehensible ill-logic, but totally lovable soul. It's why I say that January was a cold and lonely month, why I was a different girl in August. It's the map of the world in my back pocket. It's the potential and the capacity of my heart. It's why this is on the tip of my lip, crunching between my molars and strangled by my tongue. It's the reason I love really sharp lead pencils and unlined paper: it's capital R-Romantic and there's no reason at all. It's my quirk and my meaning. It's nothing and everything, all at once, and you need to be so much closer to know it. The distance between you and me is just so much farther than you thought, so much farther than ever before.
I wish I was a photographer. I wish I was a better storyteller. I wish I was a capturer of moments. I wish I could properly convey all the things that I see and hear and feel when I'm surrounded by beauty. The truth is, I am artistically homeless. I can't draw or paint well, but I wish I could. I used to be an instrumentalist and a vocalist, but now I can barely do either. I did not read the classics. I don't know Byron, Kant or Yates. I'm not a capital W-Writer, not an Artist with a capital A; I'm just a capital B-Blogger, capital C-Completely full of myself.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
If Not Now
Friday, May 19, 2006
The roomie says hello.
She is also a bit drunk.
Spee-G and Damian also say hello: HELLO!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
What a rainy way to spend my week off. Nothing spectacular has happened in the last few days; I've been catching up with my old friend, TV, and beloved shows for mommies in the daytime such as: A Makeover Story, A Wedding Story, A Baby Story, What Not To Wear and 10 Years Younger. Enthralling, I know.
It's quite obvious that I have the television habits of a middle-aged woman, but what does it mean when I cry when the couples exchange their vows and have their first kiss as husband and wife? Half an hour later, I'm crying again at the miracle of birth when a purple slimy thing slips out of mommy. I'm either a very sensitive, emotional being, or I'm getting my period soon.
I'm back in my summer routine which means that I'm starting to exercise daily again (go me!), but I think that what ever is left of my muscles is now allergic to physical activity of any kind. Whenever I come back from a run, my legs are covered in a funny red rash. There's nothing really funny about it - it's just amusing to think that I'm allergic to either my own sweat or exercise in general. The beloved Runner's High that I've been looking forward to hasn't quite hit me yet - I'm hoping that nicer weather will bring on the happy-happy joy-joy of getting back into shape.
Nothing much to report today. I'm leaving town tomorrow to visit the roomie for a few days of fun by the Lakes and oh yeah, in almost exactly one month I'll have my bags packed and will be heading to one of my favourite places in the city, the airport. I'm totally leaving the country for five weeks. Details to come!
Remember when I was so excited for what the next few months had in store? This is yet another step in Project Cut the Crap.
Step One: New Look
Step Two: New Digs
Step Three: Leave the Friggin' Country
Monday, May 15, 2006
Cleaning Out My Closet
Moving has been, and still is, an adventure and a half. I moved out of my house in the Loo about three weeks ago, but I've spent so much time away from home in M-town that I'm still not fully unpacked and settled in. I went from living in a room that was filled with personality like this:
To dealing with this:
It's funny, the more things I packed up and took out of that room, the smaller it seemed to be. When it was full of my stuff it seemed so much bigger; it had the capacity to hold my life in there. Funny how emptiness shrinks things. I painted those walls a retina-burning bright green. I spent an hour picking out those curtains. I assembled the desk and those bookshelves. I put up those posters and photos. I hung those mirrors. I made one room in an entire house my home. Here in M-town I still have the decor that my 15 year old self thought was awesome: puppy and butterfly curtains, heart decals, daises. Oh cluttered but sophisticated Room in the Loo, I miss you.
The one thing I managed to do almost immediately when I came back to my parents' place was clear off my desk and set up my computer and put away my clothes. The rest of my stuff sits in boxes and I rummage through them whenever I need anything. Just yesterday I unpacked my books and that in itself was a task and a half. How is it possible that I have so many books (over seven boxes!)? I don't even read.
For those of y'all that know me, you know that I'm a Pack Rat of the most obsessive and unhealthy variety. My Need To Keep Everything version of OCD is most evident not in the lecture notes and academic journal articles from two years ago, not in the dried roses from I-don't-even-know-how-long-ago-or-who-even-gave-them-to-me, nor in my collection of old toothbrushes or various strings that I found tucked away in a little basket; bits of yarn, embroidery threads, lengths of ribbons and a shoestring.
My greatest shame is not in these pants (what was I thinking?!), not in the braided lengths of fake blue and red hair, not in the bits of green sponge, nor is it in the 2002 calendar I have on my wall or the 1998 bus route map that I found on my bookshelf (the 1999 edition was safely tucked away in a backpack in my closet). There were piles of junk here, here and here. There were bits of wood, and a box of plastic (rain bonnet, cellophane wrapping, grocery bags). Projects from Grade 5 Math, Grade 8 Tech and Grade 9 English.
My greatest shame - not the tin foil hat from my 16th birthday, not the mass of elastic bands that I carefully crafted into sturdy rope for Jumpsies (did ANYONE ever play that during recess?) - but this:
A plastic bag filled with bus transfers.
I can't answer any of your questions, except maybe the WHY? question. The answer is obvious: BECAUSE I'M CRAZY. Oh, the insights gained when a pack rat cleans out her closet.
I have a hard time getting rid of things and especially throwing things away (can you tell?), but since I've moved I've gotten rid of piles and piles of clothing (people with large closets are practically naked next to me*), bags and bags of old junk aka garbage, and towers of recyclables. It was hard throwing away things from my past because I have this obsessive need to cling to Everything That Was, but I said I was going to dabble in some change, so this can be seen as Step Two of Project Cutting the Crap.
*Quotable Quotes from Annia.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I Actually Want To Talk About Someone Else's Mum
I don't think I have much to say about Mother's Day and my mum except for this:
This is my mum with a parasol in Bangkok, with a prawn in Ho Chi Minh, and I love her. Sometimes she can be the most frustrating, annoying woman on earth, but I adore her all the same. Having moved away for school, the moments I have with her when I'm at home are all that much more important and special.
This seems to be a pattern that's fairly prevalent, especially among families that deal with cultural and generational gaps and differences between the parents and children. I, and some other friends, tend to refer to our mums as 'Wacky Asian Mothers' because they have this weird way of showing their kids that they care. They nag, as many mums do, but they have this unbearable way of going about it that often drives their children CRAZY. Asian families don't tend to be super close; there isn't any hugging and kissing and I love yous and I used to think of my family as simply a bunch of people who lived in the same house who didn't really share any emotional ties. I've grown a bit since then and I've realized exactly how important my family (immediate and extended) are to me. It's immense, the importance. I even hug some of them now.
This isn't the case for a lot of people, especially not for a particular person and his mother that I think of often. Their relationship was rocky at best and I remember a strong want to disassociate himself from his family (mother, especially). It was understandable as he didn't have the greatest childhood with her, but I often wished that one day, they'd just make amends and get along. For the time that I knew him, they didn't. I got along with her just fine and I could see that her way of going about things really was just a motherly concern masked behind Super Annoyance. I liked and appreciated her, even when she was nagging. I'm not sure if they've ever reconciled their differences, or if they ever will.
She got diagnosed with cancer last summer. To tell you the truth, I don't even know if she's alive right now. I don't think the doctors gave her very long to live and given that he and I don't speak anymore, I'm not sure if I'll ever find out what happens or if it's happened already. She isn't my mother, but the news killed me all the same. She is a mother, a sister, a daughter and a person who lived with intentions as pure as anyone else's. The thought of something similar happening to my mum brings immediate tears to my eyes. I can't imagine living without her.
I'd like to know that he loves her, but I can only think so, even then with little confidence. I know that he wanted to tell her that he did, I'm just not sure if he really said it, I love you. I probably will never see her again, and I'm as okay with that as I can be (which isn't very okay at all). I really do wish I could have seen her one last time, I wish I could have celebrated one more Christmas or birthday instead of just sending her a bouquet of flowers that said nothing, really. More than anything, I hope that she was able to celebrate Mother's Day and know that her children, all of them, love her, even if they never say it.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Every time a tour ends, I feel like I'm caught in the middle of the opening scene to Love Actually. I watch the students get off the coach and meet their parents in the school parking lot and there's hugs and kisses and I love yous like these kids have been gone for years. I realize how lucky they are to have parents like that, to be loved like that everyday of their lives. Then I too am smothered in hugs and I'll miss yous and You are so cools and it's like the four days we spent together have miraculously turned into four years. Suddenly, I'm Hugh Grant narrating that "Love actually is everywhere".
On the way home from QC today, I watched The Notebook twice. Twice because there were two coach buses and just me as the tour manager, twice because I chose to take turns sitting on the two buses, twice because there were more girls than boys on the trip and twice because, despite how much it makes me cry, I couldn't bring myself to look away. Now, it is by no means The Best Movie Ever, nor is it my favourite, but such magnificent love is captured in that film that watching it every now and then must be good for one's heart and soul.
As for me, I turn into a puddle of sap and sobs and all I can think about is how wonderful it is to have someone to love like that and how I once was crazy for a boy just like Allie was for Noah (and how I know this girl is for her boy). Funnily enough, I met a Noah of my own once. He was sweet and fiery and read to me; we went for walks and he was sincere and he cupped my face just like that when we kissed. This boy even looks a bit like Noah does in the movie. Shame I wasn't the right Allie for him.
Then I think how neat it is that the heart can feel so many different kinds of love, sometimes all at once. There's the not-so-obvious love between members of wacky Asian families, the caring love between close friends, the great love that makes your heart ache for someone when they are gone. How funny it is that I can say that I love my kids after a mere three or four day tour. You can call it a quik-stik emotional attachment to all things cute and splenderful, but I call it a love of potential because I know that they are capable of so much and that they will grow up into even greater people and do wonderfuler things.
I can totally fall in love in a few days. These kids can put such a smile in my heart and I really do miss them after the tour is over. They remind me of things past and the possibility of things to come. There's hope for them and there's hope for me too. One day, I too will grow up into someone great and do wonderful things. Somewhere deep down, I think I love me almost as much as I love them. Regardless, this type of love or that, my heart swells all the same.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
On the road again. Quebec City. Back at the end of the week.
Monday, May 08, 2006
The most thoughtful and best birthday card I've received in a long while. Thanks, B.*
My birthday was spent on a coach bus with 40 students, 4 teachers, 2 chaperones and a driver heading to Boston. I didn't mention the occasion to anyone and spent the day 'working' as I normally would when on tour - taking care of paperwork, learning names, making confirmation phone calls, dealing with stupidly grumpy people when crossing the U.S. border and enjoying the gorgeous drive on the I-90 across the state of New York. I actually forgot that it was my birthday until later that evening when I had a spare moment and my brain took a breath and realized, Hey, I'm 22 now.
As I get older, birthday celebrations seem to get more and more overrated. Even if all I end up doing is just going to dinner and having some drinks, I know that the important thing isn't what you do, but who you do it with. When I came home from my tours, I smiled at all the birthday emails in my Inbox because I really didn't expect any. Annia took me to Ikea for their $1 breakfast and we sat and chatted about nothing and everything, like we always do. We went shopping, like we always do. We spent the day together and that in itself was good enough. Then, Ashley, being the unbelievable friend she is, drove up to visit and spent the night with me and some guy she's never met at a bar named the Honest Lawyer and we ended up having a blast. My family and I went to dim sum. Someone I met two weeks ago looked up my number and called to say Happy Birthday. It's all about the peeps. And thank goodness I love mine.
The obligatory Blowjob shot (with a cherry on top!):
My celebratory partners in crime (why Brian's angrily yelling into my skull and why Ash and I look so awful, I will never be able to explain):
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Why I Appreciate My Own Two Feet
My tours to The Windy City and Beantown were...memorable, to say the least. I think the amount of stress that I dealt with during the last week and a half has probably taken ten years off my life. Travelling and hitting snags along the way when you're on your own or with friends isn't a huge problem and it can actually lead to some fun adventures, but hitting snags when you've got a coach bus full of students and teachers is a whole other story.
En route to Chicago, we hit major traffic problems just a few hours into the trip that sent us driving through farmland in Plattsville detouring around a major accident. That set us back by at least an hour and a half. Then the coach broke down. Twice. The first time, we walked the students to a nearby service center by the highway where we spent an hour and a half waiting for our home on wheels to be repaired by a mechanic who clearly didn't have the right tools because somewhere near Lansing, Michigan, the damn bus broke down again and we spent FOUR HOURS at a McDonalds waiting for a mechanic and subsequently a new coach to arrive. We were delayed by over six hours and didn't arrive in the city until about 1:00am when we were supposed to check into the hotel at 6:30pm.
The kids were positively awesome and had awesomely keen attitudes about the whole thing. It was a band trip, so when we were waiting in Michigan for the mechanic they pulled out their instruments and we jammed in the parking lot to the tune of our own creation, 'Broken Bus'. Yours truly came up with the melody line to that, despite my lack of formal musical education in the last five years, thankyouverymuch.
The rest of the trip was characterized by angry teachers who promised to make a stink when they got home re: broken down bus x2, drivers who didn't know Chicago, who didn't respect me or my position, who ignored my questions, were rude to me and the teachers and who I want fired from their company ASAP.
Highlights include students who were so cool and cute that I wanted to pick them up and squeeze them until they went "Squee" and then pop them into my pocket so I could carry them around for all time, an awesome music teacher, vocal harmonies that gave me goosebumps, the Art Insitute where I could spend days upon days, and these bits of Chicago:
The Adler Planetarium and it's gorgeous view of the skyline; Andy's Jazz Club.
A Cubs game at Wrigley Field! I couldn't believe how crazy Chicagonians are about their baseball.
The Cloud Gate in Millennium Park.
Frank Gehry architecture. *orgasm*
The Chicago River and Harbour boat tour.
The trip to Boston was similar, but replace a broken bus with The Big Dig and a driver who doesn't know where he's going with a driver who doesn't know where he's going but acts like he does. In the process, he gets us lost en route to Harvard for an hour thus resulting in the cancellation of our campus tour and then takes another hour to find an on-ramp to the I-93. In trying to find the highway, we got onto Storrow Drive and unknowingly drove up to a 10' high foot bridge that spans across the road. The coach is 12'4". Suffice to say, we couldn't keep driving because we'd lop off the top of the bus, so we sedated the kids with Pirates of the Caribbean and I promptly called 911 who showed up a half hour later to stop traffic so we could back our asses off the road, while I slinked further down in my seat wanting to die from sheer embarassment. Once we finally got onto the 93, we were stuck in traffic for two hours due to a really bad accident. The group ended up spending nearly the entire second day on the bus and even missed appointments at the Institute of Contemporary Art AND the observatory at the Prudential Building. Good times!
I think my blood pressure shot up a gazillion points every time I set foot onto that coach. After a while, my driver stopped doing his job so I had to be his eyes and his brain and tell him how to get everywhere which annoyed me to no end but I couldn't do anything about it because the last thing I wanted was to get lost AGAIN and have the group think I was more incompetent than they already did. You know, there's a reason why they call Boston America's Walking City - YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO WALK IN IT, NOT DRIVE. Dear Everyone, for your own health, safety and mental well-being, please be on foot if you ever decide to visit Boston, which I think you should because it really is beautiful when it's not rainy and when you don't spend half the time in a car with a map trying to figure out where the hell you are and how the hell to get OVER THERE.
The hotel also assigned students to rooms that were either already occupied by other clients or had just been used. 'Used' in this case means that it was clear a couple went into the room, munched on some snackies which they littered onto the carpet, had sex and left the condom wrapper on the floor, showered and threw their towels everywhere and then checked out. Said hotel also gave a room to the teachers that had just one bed in it and didn't have a pay phone.
Dinner on the first night at The Hard Rock Cafe was a bust as we were supposed to be in at 7pm and out at 8pm. At 8, fourteen kids didn't have food yet because the manager insisted on making everything fresh. That's great, in theory, but not when you have 100+ people to serve in an hour flat. Then, finally understanding our time constraint, they started bringing out burgers that weren't fully cooked. One of my boys threw up nine times that night.
The tours sound worse than they really were. The students were awesome and other than the benefit of paid travel, it's the kids that keep me loving this job, as stressful as it can be at times. There's nothing like chatting one on one with the class trouble-maker and having him come up to me at the front of the crowd wanting to talk to ME about what he did during free time. I love it when the girls say HI to me enthusiastically and we show and tell about our shopping purchases. And I can't explain how awesome it is when the students start wanting to take pictures with me and ask that I come to the back of the bus more often to hang out with them.
Highlights: A group of rowdy Grade Ten boys who played The Penis Game (whoever yells the word PENIS the loudest wins), really chill teachers, visiting Salem even though the Witch Museum sucked, Shear Madness, gorgeous weather on the last day and tanning at the Quincy Market while watching a jazz band perform at Fanueil Hall.
The weather on the first day vs the last day:
The Public Garden