Whirlwind Week

Somehow it’s been a whole week since I last blogged!! I had the best of intentions to blog when I was in Boston last week, but no dice. I was actually way too busy and braindead to even think about formulating a post – which actually is a good thing! My mind was buzzing with everything Harvard and education and thoughts about the future that thinking about right now was too much of a stretch. In the interest of time and attention span, I’ll do a “top ten” type recap of the most important/noteworthy things that happened this last week. We’ll start with the most exciting ones first ๐Ÿ™‚

1. I AM OFFICIALLY GOING TO HARVARD! The whole reason I was in Boston was to attend Harvard’s admitted students weekend, and it was incredible. No other way to describe it. The university itself is one of the most exciting places in the world (to a huge nerd like me) and being there, talking to other admitted students from really interesting backgrounds with such diverse interests, was such an intellectual high. Wow I am such a dork. But seriously, it was so exciting because everyone there truly wanted to be there, and was so engaged in our program and asking questions about it and how it would further their goals of improving education in the US, particularly for low-income and minority children. I knew with 100% certainty on Friday that this was the place for me, and so I officially accepted my offer of admission. Hooray!!

Here is just one example of the type of opportunities I’ll have while at Harvard…

That’s Randi Weingarten on the right, President of the American Federation of Teachers. If you saw Waiting for Superman, you’re probably familiar with who she is. I flew out early to attend this lecture (again, huge nerd x 10) and it was great. They bring very eminent people in the field all the time – Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and many others have been there just within the last few months. Also, incredibly eminent people teach in the GSE – for instance, one of the professors there was the Deputy Secretary of Special Education in the US Dept of Education under Clinton. As in, was in charge of all federal special ed policy. Crazy. So yeah, I’m kid of excited ๐Ÿ™‚ Slash terrified.

2. I discovered I kinda love Boston. It’s such a beautiful, old city! Portland is such a baby city, in terms of both size and age, and while I love it, Boston blows it away. Some highlights of Cambridge and Boston:

View of the city from Mass Ave Bridge:

Cute little side streets (not sure why these photos won’t let me flip them, sorry!):

Beautiful old church:

Parts of Harvard campus:

3. I spent time with my good friend Cassie. We went to college together, and she now lives in Boston in the most amazing condo and works in finance/wealth management. We had a fabulous time catching up, getting boozy, and making plans now that I’ll be so close to her for a year!

Her beautiful condo building – it’s a renovated church. She lives in the part with the church door and big windows.

Me and Cassie out at a bar on Boylston on Friday night – yes, I am cool and wear my brand new Harvard GSE t shirt to a bar while everyone else looks hot. Whatev.

4. HIP HOP YOGA. Life changing. On Thursday, after I sat in on a class at Harvard, I went to a community drop in Hip Hop Power Vinyasa class at Back Bay Yoga. The teacher was great, and the fast paced music made the 90 min class fly by. There was an awesome mashup of Free Fallin’ and If I Were a Boy that I need to track down…

5. My knee is f’ed. (This is not a good thing, obvs, but is particularly noteworthy.) I was supposed to complete a 90 minute and a 16 mile run per my Eugene training plan while I was there, but after just a short five miles along the Charles River on Thursday, I knew that was not in the cards. What started as just an IT band problem is now a full blown knee issue, as I have knots all around my knee, up and down my quad, and a tight right hip. I experimented with tape (note my completely mismatched outfit), which helped a bit, but my knee is still really sore. I’m taking the week off from running and foresee a lot of elliptical, stairmaster and the bike in my future. Arg.

6. All four of my mentees crossed the finish line of Race for the Roses on Sunday healthy, happy and proud! I returned Saturday night from Boston so that I could be here for the Race for the Roses Half Marathon on Sunday morning, since I am a mentor with TNT for this race. I helped four runners through training and fundraising this season and this was their culminating event. I was up at 5am to meet my mentees with the rest of the running team, and then spent a good chunk of the morning at the TNT aid station at mile 4 cheering and handing out water and Heed sports drink.

The team, pre-race:

Mentees Dawn and Ashley, nervous but excited:

Fellow TNT volunteers at the aid station at the butt crack of dawn – at least we got a nice day:

First of the runners coming up the hill from Portland:

Mentee Alison, pushing it up the hill towards our station at Mile 4:

After all the runners/walkers passed by, we booked it to the finish so I could cheer my mentees in the last 0.1 mile. Here’s Dawn, crossing the finish line… I feel like a proud mama!

They did awesome! I’m sad their season is over – it’s been so much fun to get to know them and help them accomplish their goals. At least I still have four more weeks with my TNT friends while I train for Eugene!!

7. We had a lovely sendoff dinner with family and friends for Jacob last night because (see #9, sad face) he is leaving very very very soon. Kathy, Jacob’s stepmom, cooked up quite the feast and we had a full house. No pics here, but you can see lots of leftovers the next few days! She outdid herself – Jacob requested “brinner,” so we had quiche, sausage, ham, homemade bread, her special mac n cheese recipe with THREE TYPES OF CHEESE AND BACON (!!!!), fruit, wine, and to top it off, blueberry coffee cake and an apple pie. OMG. SO full. Glad I went to the gym for a long time earlier (35 min stairmaster, 30 min elliptical, and abs).

8. 20 days from today, Jacob is boarding a plane to embark on his Peace Corps adventure. I can’t believe it’s really happening – these last 3 weeks are going to fly by. We have so much to do, between getting all of his stuff packed up and stored, closing or putting on hold all of his accounts, selling his car, getting my stuff packed up and up to Seattle (a huge effort in itself!), AND trying to spend all our last moments together. It seems surreal – I don’t think it will really hit me until he’s gone. I love my boo ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

9. I have amazing friends who I think the world of. I posted on Facebook the other day that I was officially going to HGSE and within a short while, my post had so many likes and comments of congratulations – I felt so special and loved! It has been kind of awkward to tell people I’m going to Harvard – I’m proud of myself, but I feel almost embarrassed because it’s such a good school and program and it feels weird that I’M going THERE. It feels great to know that so many people care and support this crazy opportunity in my life!

10. I am officially going to Harvard. OMG. I’m moving across the country (againnnnn) in 4 short months. Oh yeah, and before that, I’m moving my life up to Seattle for a few months.

Ok, brain has officially dumped. Now it’s back to regular life, or as much of a real life is possible during these hectic next three weeks!!!


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