Friday, January 21, 2011


these last... 4 days have been a complete overload of information. shane and i arrived monday in chicago, staying at the hotel allegro which is beautiful. we started the afternoon with sessions about what chicago semester is all about. and the first complete overload of information tossed in our faces. i thought to myself 'it's got to be about wait, we haven't had dinner yet. crap, it's 5pm.' i was exhausted. (woke up too early, long train ride, lots of new new-ness.) we found out that we had until tuesday at 1pm to figure out who our roommates were going to be and where we wanted to live. it was overwhelming. i went to dinner and found out that everyone already had their roommates (people they already knew). i was blunt at dinner and asked "so, who's even looking for a roommate? because i am, and i have 12 hours to find one." then i was so overwhelmed from a lack of matching personalities. we had another session about safety in the city and then a girl from dinner asked me if i wanted to join her group of 3 friends for a 4-person/4-bedroom apartment. i was at no point of denying a roommate, so i agreed! none of them is a student-teacher (which i originally thought i wanted in roommates, but then realized if i live with student-teachers they would be the only people i know from the program since i would teach, then come home to teachers, and the go to class with teachers on tuesdays) so i'm excited to have stories to swap when we get home and get to know them better. their names are jorie, kelly, and andrea.
tuesday was a day of more sessions, lunch, and then the dreaded rooming situation draw. our group was lucky enough to get drawn for the apartment we wanted. it worked out perfectly. then tuesday afternoon we had our first student-teachers' meeting and i got extremely excited about thursday.
wednesday i didn't have much to do, so i got up and rode the route to my school to make sure thursday would run smoothly. my roommates and i checked out our apartment and signed our lease. it is HUGE for $550/month in chicago. i'm happy to be able to have my own room and plenty of space. my roommates are great. and i'm so anxious to move in tomorrow. we live in the international hostel downtown on a floor that was remodeled into private apartments. they are very dorm-like with the over-all appeal and furniture, but in a beautiful part of town. wednesday night we had chicago style pizza in the chicago semester offices and then shane and i went up to logan square to visit my friend from spring arbor, cara.
thursday (yesterday) was my first day in the classroom. it was perfect. i love my school, classroom, students. it's wonderful. i was able to get really involved with the students even yesterday on my first day. i followed the low readers around to their centers. i started to learn names. i facilitated a math center in the afternoon. it was a great first day. last night we had dinner uptown a little near shane's new apartment and then (for the 3rd day in a row) i went shopping down on state street. there are just TOO many clearance sales for me to say 'no'.
today was my second day at perez elementary. there are 23 students in my classroom. most of them are hispanic, one white, and two black. i love being minority. i love being in the middle of baby-mexico-neighborhood. :] we have a few none-readers in the class. one of the students is a kindergarten that spends almost all of his day in our classroom and he is one of the best readers. very interesting. today we had a new student come (that's the second new student this week.) he had a rough day, but i told him that we could be new together. and then i encouraged the student that was new on tuesday that he was no longer the "new kid" and now he had to help set an example. he was excited not to be "new" anymore. i left today knowing everyone's name, which was my goal. i'm already in love with a number of my students and i can't wait to get to know them better.
next week i'm going to spend some more time observing and getting to know the students. the week after (the first week in february) i will start planning and teaching the social studies and science classes. then slowly from there add a subject each week until i take full responsibility starting the last week in march.
i'm so happy/excited/pumped about this semester. i'm ready to move into the apartment tomorrow and feel settled. shane and i are going to try out a church uptown on sunday that is multi-cultural. i'm excited about that. let's face it, i'm excited about everything.
hope this wasn't too much for you, i also hope that it wasn't too little. i have had a great, hard week these past few days. let me know what else you'd like to know. thanks for reading!

ohhhh - my mailing address (PLEASE SEND ME MAIL!):
Alyssa Eubank
24 E Congress Parkway #701-D
Chicago, IL 60605-1226

1 comment:

  1. I just read this to Dave. And then we sat and talked about what an incredible gift for teaching you have and how happy we are for you. I love, loved reading this. Very informative - and very Alyssa. I could just about hear your voice. :)

    Love you! And I will send you mail soon.