*Seattle Top 10
Before I get too far away from Seattle, I want to do a “farewell” post for the city. This is my own “Top 10” of the people, places, and experiences that made my [just over] three and a half years there great!
- Seattle Pacific University: SPU is why I moved to Seattle and where I spent much of my early days in the city. SPU’s MA-TESOL program was excellent: great professors, great classmates, pretty campus, and I felt like I left the program very well-prepared for teaching English.
- Coffee: I wouldn’t have made it through grad school without coffee, and really no post about Seattle could leave this out. From the original Starbucks (and 200 other locations throughout the city) to local favorites like Zoka Coffee, Caffe Vita, or Java Bean, you’re never far from a great cup of coffee in Seattle. Even better than that though is the fact that coffee-holism is completely accepted (and perhaps encouraged), and a dire need for a cup of coffee at 3:00 in the afternoon is understood.
- Microbrews: While I’m talking about beverages, I think I became a bit of a beer snob in Seattle. I learned that I love hoppy beers like IPAs and I definitely prefer a pale ale or amber to a lager or a stout. Some local faves of mine include Mac & Jack’s Amber Ale, Manny’s Pale Ale, and the Elysian’s Immortal IPA.
- Rain: Seattle’s reputation is not undeserved! Although it rarely downpours in Seattle, many months of the year are characterized by a slow, steady drizzle. The rain gets old, but even Seattle’s gray clouds are not without silver linings: A) Your plans are never ruined by rain; you plan for rain. B) If you’re too busy to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee on one rainy day, you’ll have another opportunity tomorrow. C) Two words: rain boots. D) Seattle’s sunny days more than make up for the gray ones! When the sun comes out in Seattle, the city is truly one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit!
- Blue Sky Church: Despite the gray sky often seen in Seattle, Blue Sky is easy to find just across Lake Washington in Bellevue. I found the church shortly after I moved to Seattle and absolutely loved being a part. Blue Sky values deep relationships and community among its members, and I made some truly amazing friends there!
- Kaplan: Returning to #1 on this list, I moved to Seattle to learn how to teach English. During my second quarter at SPU I landed a job teaching English to international students at Kaplan, and it turned out to be one of the best jobs (and some of the most fun) I’ve ever had. I’m incredibly thankful to have had a job where I loved going to work, got to meet many awesome people from literally all over the world, and made some great friends both among students and coworkers!
- NSCC: After teaching for a few years at Kaplan, I had the opportunity to teach at North Seattle Community College. I enjoyed getting to do things like choosing my own textbooks, creating a syllabus, and coming up with quarter-long projects. Even more than that, I loved teaching both the international student population as well as immigrant and refugee students. I also had some pretty rad coworkers there.
- Riding the Bus: I know, I know… Seattle’s public transit system is not the best. I’d probably give the city a B-, and I’m an easy grader. (Not in class, of course). Regardless, this was the first time in my life that I lived in a city where you could get by without your car, and I loved it!
- Ballard: Cupcake Royale, Conor Byrne, La Carta de Oaxaca, The Matador, Old Town Ale House, Java Bean, Golden Gardens, King’s Hardware, The Majestic Bay, my apartment… I’ve written about all this before; need I say more?
- Fremont, Queen Anne, Wallingford, Capitol Hill, Greenwood, Green Lake, Mountains, Boats, and Water…: Okay, perhaps that’s a little much for #10, but the point is that Seattle is a city made up of distinct neighborhoods and is surrounded by extreme natural beauty. Snow-covered mountains, sailboat-covered lakes, tiny craftsman homes clustered on the hills around the city… I loved every day in Seattle, and I’m thankful I had the chance to live in such a great place!