Tag Archives: San Francisco

Week 30: Mrs. M, do you think love sucks?

He used to hide under his desk when I would call on him, afraid to feel the eyes of his neighbors. It would take a few minutes to get a response. He would crawl out, head down, first whisper, mumble, then pause, then try again and again, protesting all the way. Finally, he would accept I was not giving up. We would wait for him. We were a classroom family, a safe place to speak. No opt out.

Now he raises his hand, speaks clearly, participates. Still, I remember those first weeks, months, maybe even that first entire year, so when I see his hand, I almost always stop and let him speak. This week we dissected pop songs to make generalizations about life and determine themes. Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” had them singing in unison as they took notes on their whiteboards, ready to defend their generalizations about life from the song.

A debate broke out, was she generalizing that love was bad? We decided songs fell into two camps, either love was grand or it sucked. I used that dreadful suck word for effect. Generally it is not allowed in our classroom, but artistic expression prevailed and it was the word that fit best. One quiet hand in the back row emerged, the boy who finally had a voice.

I nodded, he began timidly. “Mrs. M, do you think love sucks?”

A shy smile spread across his face. He earnestly wanted to know what I thought.

I paused, not sure what to tell him.

“No, I’m married, I think love is great, but I’m sure if I were ever divorced, I may think differently for awhile. I think it just depends on your life experiences.”

He looked a little relieved. I wanted to know what he thought, so I asked.

“I think love sucks.”

My heart twisted a bit, uncertain what experiences brought him to that opinion, the innocence of fifth grade love or something much, much deeper. Still I could not help but feel pride in his voice, his comfort of expression in front of us. It has been a long journey for him, for us, since that first day of fourth grade.

Week 30 is fifth grade 3/4 done. Three weeks until star testing. Two days of Doug Lemov training in Oakland, my heart remembering another life in the bay with Gregory Alan Isakov’s “San Francisco” playing from my car stereo. Inspiration from a room full of 200 educators all dead-set on closing the achievement gap for low-income kids. Role-playing and practice, practice, practice of the smallest teaching techniques, as I fought my own desire to crawl under the table and hide. The deep need to get back to my students, to perfect my practice, to help all students find their voice.

Last night as I drove past my old work on my way to meet a friend, I thought about how much my life has changed in the nearly three years since I quit. A friend from that job resigned yesterday, her excited email pushed my thoughts even further into that past life. It’s almost like a ghost of me still sits up in that shiny building, making a bit more money, but chained to a desk. I could see myself on the crosswalk headed home to our tiny Berkeley apartment. A piece of me is still there. I smiled though, as I drove by– excited by my two days of training, the person I have become since then, stronger and with a much louder voice.

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Good-Bye 2012, It’s Been Real.

So, it’s about that time.

All the cool kids are doing it.

Must post something about 2013. You know, resolutions or something.

To be fair, I DO love resolutions. One of my life goals is to spend every New Year’s Day at the ocean, reflecting. I decided awhile back that it’s a much better way to spend the new year than hung over on the couch.

Not sure I’ll make the ocean part happen this year, we’ll see.

But, before I can look forward, I have to look back.

2012.

Struggle and happiness, chaos and peace. Immense gratitude. I learned, a lot. I wrote, a lot. So much stuffed into 12 months. Do I have it all figured out? Not hardly. But, I feel better balanced than ever before. Happy, even. In the spirit of Thankfulness Thursdays, I leave you with my 2012 Gratitude List (and pictures dug out of this year’s blog).

Work:

I feel so fortunate to have a teaching job as a new-ish teacher in our current economy. This year was hard, but I became a better teacher one day at a time, and each day I feel a step closer to making this my lifelong work, instead of something I lovingly survive for the time being. So much gratitude.

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2012’s valentines to my students, proof my heart is in the right place!

MacBook ad?  More distractions from revisions...

And, can’t complain about my night job. It may not pay the bills (yet) but writing makes me happy.

Reading:

I was definitely an ADHD reader this year. Still have ten or so titles half finished on my dresser… The book I was most grateful to finish, hands down, Dear Sugar.

Sugar says...

Cheryl Strayed speaks to every human emotion in this book. So real, so touching. She writes with an unabashed openness I strive to emulate…

Music:

I’m thankful for the Lumineers’ soulful lyrics set to summer in the backyard with family, our car cruising down the coast, a sea of people at Golden Gate Park…

Places:

So much gratitude to live on such a beautiful planet and to have the means to see it even in a year that did not always feel easy.

Union Square at sunrise was not something I ever saw as a child.

San Francisco at sunrise

More gorgeous coast before snorkeling.

Magical Kauai

Goodbye sun.

Oregon Coast sunset

Mom’s Mt. Shasta

People:

More than anything else, I am grateful for the people in my life, friends, family, near and far… Oh yeah, and my dog too, he counts, right?

No greater gratitude than for the people in my life.

No greater gratitude than for the people in my life.

Health:

And, not to be forgotten, this was the year I discovered my own power in healing. So thankful.

Inspiration

Yoga, meditation… healing.

Other bloggers:

Even though I started blogging in 2011, my move to WordPress cemented my commitment to putting my words out there and becoming part of a greater community. I am truly grateful for all the connections I have made this year– words of wisdom from every corner of the globe, thank YOU!

So, your turn, what tops your 2012 Gratitude List?

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Time Goes by in a Blink

I have been waiting for some sort of moment to blog about for the last couple days, but instead I have struggled to keep up with time. Even in doing less, time escapes me. I do not understand why time spent with family and friends is the time that moves most quickly. It does not seem fair.

This weekend, my family went on our annual San Francisco Christmas trip, the one I looked forward to back in November when we stayed in Union Square for our friends’ wedding. It was a blur. Shopping, dinner, brunch, movie, done. As we walked back to our hotel from dinner on Saturday night, I had to remind myself to put my arm through my father’s as not to lose some part of the tradition.

A bit of deja vu from a month ago and every year for the past 25 years...

Seems so familiar… 25 years of the same view.

To add to the sense of time folding over on itself, here is our annual family Christmas pic in San Francisco five years ago.

To add to the sense of time folding over on itself, here is our annual family Christmas picture in San Francisco six years ago.

This year.

2012. Amazing how six years changes things– my sister all the way to the right has a four-year-old son, my sister all the way to the left used to be the little one in the middle, my brother apparently now smiles, my sister two from the left brought her boyfriend this year, and I am married. What will the next six years bring?

Sunday night we raced home to attend a Christmas party with friends. Standing around talking about babies and weddings to many of the same people I have known since elementary school, there was no clearer expression of time passed. Weren’t we just the little ones making gingerbread houses and driving our teacher crazy the day before winter break? Now I am that teacher…

Monday I scrambled to clean the house and wrap the last presents in time for Alex’s family to come over for dinner. Then I blinked and it was Christmas morning. I staggered the opening of each present as not to let the experience pass by too quickly. My dad sat to my right and refused to open any until the rest of us had finished. We were on the same page, yet somehow it all managed to become part of the blur as well.

Here is one of the presents I took my time opening... And, yes, I was that excited to get a vacuum cleaner.

Here is one of the presents I took my time opening… And, yes, I was that excited to get a vacuum cleaner… Further proof life has changed.

Yesterday and today were filled with visits with friends. Brunches and lunches and afternoons spent drinking tea and laughing. This evening I am certain that the fastest way to pass the time is in the company of those you love. Seems a bit ironic, doesn’t it? The moments we most want to savor are also the moments that pass most quickly.

I hope you are having a lovely end of the year in the company of those you love. If you are anything like me, I also hope you take a moment or two to yourself to help slow it all down. I leave you with a couple of my favorite pictures from the last few days in an effort to hold onto the good moments a little tighter.

And, of course, it's not Christmas without Simon in a santa hat.

Of course, it’s not Christmas without Simon in a santa hat.

My youngest sister and my nephew, this picture is pure love.

My youngest sister and my nephew, this picture is pure love.

Five years from now, she'll be 21 and in college... A very strange thought!

Six years from now, she’ll be 22 and almost done with college and I’ll be 35… Here’s to enjoying all the good moments from now until then!

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Happy Holidays!

So many words to share but little time. A house to clean, still two gifts to buy, fourteen people visiting our home this evening. The holidays are a blur of faces, everyone from childhood friends to coworkers to close relatives squeezed into gathering after gathering. Engagements, babies, hugs, laughter. Maybe a couple tears, mostly good ones though. Shopping in the City, drinks and dinner with family, a fancy party dress that makes me feel like a little girl, twirling through the hotel lobby.

Wishing you holiday cheer no matter what or how you celebrate!

San Francisco

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My Unfolding Story: San Francisco

When I was a little girl, I would sit for hours in front of the hotel windows in San Francisco inventing stories about the people down below. My favorite was at night, when the streets were almost empty, and I could use a pair of binoculars to invent scenarios for the lone figures still roaming the sidewalks. I loved watching the cars spiral down from the tops of parking garages, the police cars patrolling late at night.

San Francisco was the big city, alive and wild. There were rules for how I walked on the inside of the street and held tight to my dad’s hand. These rules were exciting because they implied a certain danger as I grasped first his hand and then the crook of his elbow, my arm eventually through his as I grew older. Today we still walk those same streets arm-in-arm.

Visiting San Francisco each year to spend the night during the holidays was not just our family tradition through years of less and more, it was also an education in the world around me. Homeless people, transvestites, activists, street performers, doormen– these people were all less visible in my childhood version of Sacramento. Unsurprisingly, San Francisco fascinated me, the nexus of its existence Union Square, my family’s yearly destination.

When finally I was old enough to pick where to live on my own, it had to be San Francisco. In a misguided vision of starting my own sweatshop-free apparel company, I fell into a job managing a national apparel store in the Union Square shopping district. I only lasted two days, my college idealism short-lived when confronted with the realities of folding overpriced sweaters and teaching pretty teenagers to use cash registers for practically minimum wage in a city where renting a converted living room space from a newly-divorced law student cost me $1,100 a month.

Even though my first attempt at Bay Area residency only lasted mere days, there was still one single moment that stood out as one of those moments you hold onto forever. After work the first night, I climbed aboard the MUNI headed toward the Richmond District and found my seat on the crowded bus next to a stranger. It was dark and a group of my younger employees were huddled nearby chatting eagerly. They were stylishly clad in the clothes my company forced them to buy. I was too.

From the window, I could see the St. Francis, the same hotel my dad’s dad would take him to as a child, and where my dad took me and my brother to stare down at the tiny ant people on the street. In that moment, I realized I was one of those very people. I lived in San Francisco and was starting my very own grown-up story.

I was proud of myself for becoming a resident of the city my dad taught me to love. I independently navigated public transportation, just another face through the bus window that a visiting child might wonder about. Of course, that story was not the one I chose to keep. I went back to Sacramento just a couple days later, abandoning a hefty deposit, a disappointing job, and my childhood dream of starting my story in San Francisco. Of course, I returned again, more triumphant in my second round as an economic analyst in Berkeley, but that first round cemented my attachment to the San Francisco of my childhood, to Union Square.

Sitting in my St. Francis hotel room this morning, watching the sun rise over the bay, I could not help but again feel connected to these prior versions of myself. The little girl making up stories from 30 floors above Union Square. The teenager walking arm-in-arm with her dad. The recent college grad riding MUNI home from her first day of work in the big city. I may not live in San Francisco now, but Union Square is still a major part of my story. It’s the yearly destination for my family’s big December Christmas trip, and today the place I sat and reflected on life.

I could not help but think of the future versions of myself that will sit and look out over the same view five years from now, ten, twenty. My story is still unfolding. I’m excited to see what comes next.

Union Square at sunrise was not something I ever saw as a child.

In an effort to achieve balance, I didn’t bring my laptop on our little trip. So when I inevitably woke up wanting to write this entry, I had to write on thirteen little sticky notes that I stuck one-by-one on the window.

…still captivated by the view no matter how many years pass.

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Sunday Song: Slow it Down

Standing in the middle of a sea of people, I closed my eyes and tried to make everything stand still around me. Large crowds and too much noise overwhelm my senses. However, when the Lumineers took the stage, I was able to shut off everything else and just absorb the music.

This song was one that followed me home, the words etched into my brain. A perfect Sunday song, with a message I really need. Slow it Down. My goal every Sunday. Should be my goal other days as well, but Sundays are a good place to start.

Hope you find a way to slow it down today as well.

Happy Sunday.

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Fall Break Escape: Visiting Our Old Life

Three years ago, Alex and I moved from Berkeley to Sacramento, an hour and a half away. While we were happy to trade in our tiny one-bedroom apartment for a little more space and a lot more time with family, we also gave up things we really loved about living in the San Francisco Bay Area: close friends, amazing restaurants, a wide range of weekly events, walkable urbanism, proximity to the ocean…

Every break I have from school, we venture back for a couple days to reconnect with our old lives:

Friday night we stayed in San Rafael, following a leisurely drive through Wine Country. As soon as we reached our hotel, I begged Alex to jump in the car to make the trek 25 minutes further so we could watch the sunset over Muir Beach. What I didn’t realize was that the beach is angled away from the setting sun, so instead we enjoyed the dimming light, remembering how often we used to come and sit in the same spot when we lived in Berkeley. It was our spot to imagine the future. I guess it still is.

This time my imagination of the future included a need to own the teal house overlooking the beach… Alex quickly pointed out that we could paint any house on the beach teal, but that seems beside the point.

Woke up ready to cross the Golden Gate and head into the City for brunch and the Bluegrass Festival. No matter how many times I cross this bridge, it’s always magical.

A little SF mural flair, Guernica style.

Delicious brunch at Zazie’s with friends. Made us feel like locals, like maybe we were home again.

A very grown-up game of Go Fish while we waited for the Lumineers at Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park– a completely free music festival, (and just one more reason I love San Francisco).

Lucky hand of Go Fish!

Doing a frightening job protecting our precious piece of real estate as the crowd rolled in for the Lumineers– Golden Gate Park was packed but beautiful in the sunshine!

And, what we waited for– one of my favorite bands, the Lumineers. Sitting on Alex’s shoulders, listening to lyrics about love and family, I felt momentarily at home in a sea of people.

Ironically, as much as we love to visit the Bay, I am not sure it will ever be where we call home again. Odd, right– to love a place so much and not want to live there? I still need something a little quieter, a little more laid back… Somewhere I can imagine raising my own family. Thanks Lumineers for searing that word family into my head tonight. I leave you with some crudely shot footage that makes me smile. Life captured briefly, imperfectly, but still beautiful. So show me family…

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Calling All Emerging Writers!

Umm, yes, please!  Free SF Writers Conference admission ($625), count me in.  And, you too. If you’re an “emerging writer” check out the scholarship submission details. Since it’s a shot in the dark, I don’t mind sharing the love. If you win, you owe me a firsthand account of the whole experience.

Here’s my “Why I Write” blurb I just spit out. One of my major rules for entering this kind of thing is to dive in head first, not overthink it, and see what happens…

Why I Write

I write because there are words inside me trying to get out. If I do not write them down, they swirl around my head, a chaotic mess. I write because each word that touches paper, or the pixels of a computer screen, lightens the weight I carry, letting me sleep at night. By letting my words out, I think more clearly, I connect more easily with the world around me. Writing is the home that roots me in the world outside my head.

I write in journals, notebooks, Word, Pages, WordPress, emails, text messages. When I do not write, I have the jitters of a sedentary athlete. I cannot think straight, my brain taps anxiously. Writing is a daily part of my existence. Sometimes, a day sneaks by too busy or too tired for my words. Those days feel off, terrible, somehow wasted.

Inexplicably, I went years without really writing.

As a child, I wrote all the time, half-finished stories read to friends and family, left abandoned in little piles of paper in all my drawers and special boxes decorated with ribbons and glitter. As a teenager, I wrote poetry, angst-ridden heaps of words about love and life traced in spiraling mazes around the edges of book covers. In college, I wrote passionately about human rights, true tales of torture, human trafficking, sweat shops, international relations.

Then, I graduated to write nothing, or at least what felt like nothing.

Years went by where all I wrote were the economic analysis reports required of my job. Ten plus pages a day left no room for creative writing, save for the occasional journal entry about homeless people in Berkeley or a string of words to inspire me later. Finally, came the year on the train, commuting from Sacramento to Berkeley, when boredom drove me to write again. Another half-finished story, a passing hobby for the train alone.  Those years left dark and jumbled spaces in my brain.

Finally, a shift in jobs, an inspiring book, the birth of a blog, and Nanowrimo all converged to motivate me to write again. I have not looked back. Words pour out daily, my therapy in a world that often makes my head hurt.  I write to cope, to live, to process, to escape, and most importantly, to dream. My words give me a space where life can be anything, where I can crawl away and live inside my head.  Perhaps most importantly, my words give me hope for a future where I write to live, not just live to write.

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Three Cheers for Spontaneity and the Old Ball Game!

Spontaneity is generally not my thing.  I’m a planner.  I thrive off the anticipation of what’s to come. But, this weekend, I knew I had to get out of town and time kept slipping away, until suddenly it was midday Saturday and I had no plans.  Still, Sacramento, hot and smoggy, was telling me to get lost.

Lake Tahoe, probably too crowded, I decided.  Napa, still hot if it’s 100+ degrees here.  San Francisco, perfect.  Home Giants’ game, even better!  Last year around my birthday, I really wanted to go to a game, but they were playing the Red Sox and all that was left were bleachers for $75 apiece.  Yikes.  So, I was thrilled to discover the cheap seats against the Rockies were only $22.  Sold.

I recruited my dad, brother, and husband for a good old fashioned boys’ day, (plus me, of course!). Not that the women in my family weren’t invited, they were just off enjoying Outside Lands, so it was an even better opportunity to steal my favorite guys for the day.  Growing up, it was just me, my dad, and my brother for a number of years, so I’m a pro at hanging out with the boys, (probably where I developed my strange love for muscle cars…).

Sunday, Giants’ game, awesome.  The weather was in the mid seventies with a nice, ocean breeze.  The drive was pretty easy, although I was a passenger, so I can’t complain.  And, of course, the company was flawless.  Really does not get better than my three favorite guys and baseball.  The Giants even won in an exciting 8th inning comeback, inspiring me to do a happy dance.  I may not be the biggest sports fan on earth, but baseball is comforting.  It sounds like childhood, a lazy Sunday afternoon, the tv announcer calling the action, family.

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I just sat and listened…

In my old life, I belonged to a secret club of commuters.  I woke up three mornings a week at a quarter to six, caught the 7AM train from Sacramento to Richmond, then took BART to Berkeley and walked to work.  Door-to-door, my commute took two hours and twenty minutes each way.  I left the house each morning at 6:40 AM and returned each evening a little before 8PM.  I only intended to do this for a couple of months, but thanks to the bad economy I did it for almost one year.

A few rides into my new routine, I discovered that I was not alone.  There were dozens of people that rode the same route, some taking the train all the way down to San Jose or switching to a bus in Emeryville headed for downtown San Francisco.  We were all part of the same club, regardless of the length of our commute.  Many riders had been doing it for years, if not decades.  All had their own reasons.  Cheaper housing, spouses employed in Sacramento, kids attending certain schools, students unwilling to relocate.

The ambassador for the club was a little old Indian man who introduced himself the first time he spotted my 10-ride pass.  He asked me questions about my life, sized me up to figure out how long I would last.  Many commuters did not make it.  They quit before it ever became a routine.  But this little old man showed me the way of the train.  He made sure I knew about the secret commuter club parties– birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, all celebrated by the veteran commuters on a pre-planned car of the train.  They even threw a holiday party, complete with alcohol and dancing.  My little old friend was reputed to be quite the drunken dancer.

Introvert that I am, I avoided becoming a true member of the club.  I preferred to finish up my daily analyst work, read novels, write, and listen.  And, boy did I listen.  I heard so much on that train.  I listened to men and women start extramarital affairs.  I eavesdropped on conversations about healthy eating, train track suicides, inner-club gossip.  I knew who was supposed to be the bitch and who was losing custody of their kids.  Turns out people talk a lot when they sit on the train.  They also do their makeup, curl their hair, and drink, a lot.

I never knew that this little club of commuter warriors existed until I became a temporary interloper.  But, if you ever take Amtrak from Sacramento to the Bay Area, they are there, living out a portion of their lives on the train.  To make things more bearable, they have formed an eclectic little family.  If you stop to look and listen, you will find them.  I do not miss my commute, but I am grateful to know the secrets of the train.

My commuter badge of honor.

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"For those of you that have never seen the ocean…"

Today my students got their wish.

Nearly 120 fourth and fifth grade students, at least two dozen parents, and five teachers piled into three funky old buses that bounced happily down the road to San Francisco.

Before even exiting our bus, one student exclaimed, “This is the best field trip I have ever been on!”

The initial view of the city was just as exciting as I hoped.  The students were giddy as they spotted the skyline, the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz.  They anxiously held their breath through the tunnel on Treasure Island, carefully making their wishes at the other end.  However, to my surprise, it was not just the city that excited them– it was the cows on the hillside before that, the coastal mountain range itself, (“Are those as tall as the Himalayas?”), and the glee of waving to other school children on passing busses out the window.

Of course, the Exploratorium earned its own acclaim.  Beginning with lunch outside the Palace of Fine Arts, eager children fed the ducks, the swans, and the pigeons in the perfect San Francisco March sunshine.  The exhibits soon followed, sucking them in with the truly magical promise that they would not get in trouble for touching anything.  My personal favorite was the rather low-brow, toliet-shaped drinking fountain.  While I could not bring myself to drink from it, (despite the promises of drinkability), I delighted in watching the students psyche themselves into it.

Oddly, however, it was the bus ride home that left me the most satisfied.  Despite an earlier response that we would not cross the Golden Gate Bridge, the bus driver announced a change in plans upon our departure.  To the sheer delight of the students on my bus, we did cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was magical.

“For those of you that have never seen the ocean,” the bus driver called out proudly, “turn and look out on your left.”

Cameras held out excitedly in the air, many of my students took in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean for the first time.  I wanted to cry, but I smiled instead.  Floating across the bridge on a crazy, bouncy bus full of happy children, I remembered why I decided to become a teacher.

“WHOA!!”
I love the lighting and the architecture of the Exploritorium.  I hope that its new home on the waterfront is just as cool!

Brought to you by popular demand, the teacher ninja photo.  Lisa was trying to view an optical illusion with one eye when I snuck in there for the pic… Clearly, teachers are always mature adults.

My infamous happy, sparkly shoes, (key ingredients for any good day!)

More of the cool lighting
Close-ups of plants because I can’t legally show you close-ups of the children…
“We really get to go over the Golden Gate Bridge?!”
Our own magic school bus!
Happy kids, (Note: This picture is not a close-up, so I think that I can get away with posting it!  Yippee!)

End Result: Two very happy teachers! (Really, five… But we were lame and didn’t get a group teacher photo…  Insert sad face… That last part is for you, Regina!)
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We’re really going to San Francisco?!

Today one of my toughest students had a revelation during the middle of his parent teacher conference.  We have been planning a field trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco for a few weeks, but the news finally hit him.  “We’re really going to San Francisco?” he asked me over and over.  He was incredulous.  It was as though I told him that we were going to get on a bus and go to Disneyland.  “Are we going to come back?” he asked, after a couple of minutes of contemplation, hoping perhaps that we were either going to stay there forever or more plausibly rent a hotel room.

Listening to this student reminded me of how fortunate I was growing up.  Even when times were tough for my family, we still went to San Francisco.  It’s actually one of my family’s favorite stories, how even during the hard years, we still made our annual Christmas pilgrimage to “shop” in the city.  Of course, there was not a lot of shopping those years.  My dad would take us every year at Christmas, while my mom would take us in the summer for the joys of tourist destinations like Angel Island, Alcatraz, and Golden Gate Park.  The idea that other children did not get to go to San Francisco was foreign to me– how could you not go somewhere so cool that was only a couple of hours away?

At another parent conference this afternoon, a mom that is struggling to make ends meet because of her severe illness shared how her son and daughter have been visiting homeless people along the American River as part of a project at their church.  It is also her son’s fifth grade service project.  The kids have been praying with the homeless and collecting useful items to give to them every Friday evening.  The mother shared with me how this experience has changed her family.  She said that no matter how tough things have been for them with her illness, they still cannot help but feel immense gratitude meeting the people that live on the river in Sacramento– at least she and her family do not live outside, she added with extreme sincerity.  I felt so humbled by how genuine she was with her words.

No matter how hard my job is, it never fails to humble me.  I feel so inspired by the people that I meet.  Many of them are full of so much hope and giving despite the extreme challenges that they face.  The family of the student that was in awe of getting to go to San Francisco offered to help pay for another student to get to go too.  They do not have a lot of money, but when they heard that we needed help finding $3,000 to get everyone there, they wanted to do what they could to give more students the experience that their child is so excited about.  This was especially touching after hearing the mom who is struggling financially and physically but so generous with her heart.  She has two students in fourth and fifth grade, which will likely mean $30 total, an amount that would create a financial burden for them.  I’m so touched that in this world that feels so cold and unfriendly at times, that people still care about each other.

I was talking to my husband about all of this tonight and he shared with me his first memory of San Francisco.  Like my students, he first visited San Francisco as a fifth grader taking a field trip to the Exploratorium.  He said that he never forgot what it was like looking at the city while crossing the Bay Bridge for the first time.

I’m excited that my students will soon have this moment too.

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