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*A really nice day

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’m back!  Between teaching at the community college and teaching at Kaplan again for the summer, the past seven weeks have been incredibly busy and exhausting.  The busyness, however, ended yesterday evening, and today was so nice that I decided to start blogging again just to tell you about it.

(Disclaimer: probably in more detail than you really need or want.  Okay, I’ve warned you).

Yesterday was the last day of the quarter at the community college.  Today was the graduation ceremony and end of quarter party.  I had a really fantastic class this quarter and  I’ve  definitely enjoyed being back at Kaplan and spending time with co-workers there, but I was overwhelmed working both jobs, so I’m happy to be back to only one for now.  (I’ll be at Kaplan for a few more weeks before I head South for a short vacation).  Expecting the quarter to be tiring, I had already planned to have a sub at Kaplan today and tomorrow, so thankfully I was able to move at a slower pace today and have a long weekend to rest and relax.

Some of my students during our field trip to Pike Place Market. *Thanks Nguyen for the picture!

The graduation ceremony and party didn’t start until 10:30, but I’ve been getting up so early all summer that I woke up before 6 today.  I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went ahead and got up.  I made a cup (or four) of coffee, and spent some time reading my Bible and a Beth Moore devotional journal that came in the mail yesterday.  Although I’ve been a Christian for a while, I’ve actually never read the entire Bible.  I read about 80% of it once, and then lost the checklist where I was keeping track, and ended up starting over.  I’m back at the 80% mark, and this time the checklist is actually attached to the Bible, so hopefully I won’t lose it this time!

Anyway, after reading I got ready for work and went to catch my bus.  I had thought about driving today, but yesterday I realized that I pay the same price for a quarter of a tank of gas as I do for unlimited bus rides each month, which has further motivated me to bus instead of drive.  I personally really enjoy riding the bus, and for the price, you can’t beat it!

Graduation and the party were nice.  Several students who I taught in Level 5 during spring quarter graduated from the program, so it was fun to see them and their first experience with caps, gowns, and tassel-turning.  It was also nice to chat with co-workers and students.  Afterwards I spent a few hours grading finals (that’s what I get for giving such a long exam), and then went to happy hour with a couple of colleagues.  We went to an Indian/Mediterranean restaurant near the school that they go to often and had wonderful garlic nan and chicken tikka something.  After they left, I stayed a little longer, sipping chai and working on the exams.

After grading for a while, I realized I needed to leave to catch a bus over to Tutta Bella Pizzeria in Wallingford for an early dinner with one of my best friends, Jessica.  I went to the bar to pay for my tea, and the server said, “Oh, don’t even worry about it.  You guys come in here all the time.”  It was actually my first time there, so I thought it was really nice of them to give me the tea just because they know my co-workers.  (Thanks Amy and Amilee)!

The bus stop was nearby and I only had to wait a few minutes before the bus came.  While I was waiting, I noticed that yellow leaves were already falling off the trees.  The weather was warm but not hot, and there was a light, cool breeze.  It seems like fall is already on its way!  (If you’re not in the Seattle area, you might not realize that summer this year lasted all of about two weeks.  However, autumn is really nice out here, and I’m looking forward to pumpkin spice lattes, leaves, and actually wearing scarves to stay warm instead of just for the look.

I wasn’t exactly sure how close the bus would take me to Tutta Bella, but it ended up dropping me off just across the street.  Tutta Bella recently won 2010 Independent Pizzeria of the Year by Pizza Today magazine.  To celebrate, they’re giving one free pizza per table if you dine in.  (Ends on Sunday; if you’re in Seattle, I definitely recommend it.  Their pizza is fantastic)!

Jess and I sat at one of the outdoor tables, enjoying the weather (and the pizza) and catching up.  I have spent far less time with my friends than usual as a result of my summer schedule, so it was really nice to hang out and relax without thinking about what I was going to teach for six hours the next day, or what I needed to grade when I got home.  (Haha, although I do need to finish grading those exams now that I am home…).

After dinner I had planned to catch the 44 home, but the weather was so nice that I walked instead.  The walk to my apartment from Tutta Bella took me from the edge of Wallingford through upper Fremont, and then down the hill into Ballard.  Tonight was actually the third time I’ve walked that way in the past couple of weeks, and it’s a gorgeous walk.  Since you’re headed west, you can watch the sun set over the Olympic Mountains as you go.  Also, at the top of the hill, before going down into Ballard, you can see Puget Sound in between you and the mountains.  When I walk down the hill, I cut through the neighborhood north of Market, which is full of cute craftsman homes with nicely landscaped yards.

The walk took about 45 minutes, which brings us to an hour and 20 minutes ago.  Since then, I’ve just been relaxing and telling you every. single.  thing. I. did. today. (Haha, if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading)!  Now that we’re caught up though, I think I’m going to go finish those exams I was telling you about.

Check back again soon, I’m going to try to blog more regularly now that I have a little more time.  Good night!