Someone told me, that this summer will be like one like never before. It was true, I mean, I’ve always been a student; I love being a student and at some point, some crazy light bulb went off and I ended up spending summer on the other side – the teaching side. And thus, six weeks down the road, I’m back in Philly, having explored tiny pockets of Baltimore, chased some rambunctious kids through rain, having met some amazing people, learned to drive a golf cart and perhaps, just perhaps, happier.
I was told that I should explore Baltimore. What I wasn’t told was just how exhausting my daily life there would have been, that I would not be able to even finish one of the books on my to read list, let alone get a glimpse of most of the city. We did manage a bunch of trips, to inner harbour, to the stadium where I (almost) saw my first baseball game, to some good restaurants.
Someone told me that this will challenge me. And yes it did, not just physically. Sometimes, it was a lot of restraint to not blurt out a sarcastic remark. And other times, it was 2am flailings over how things disappeared, followed by more flailing over a lack of ideas. Best cured by some rounds of Cards Against Humanity and perhaps Settlers. And other times, it was intense academic discussions which were beautiful. I think having experienced the other side, being teaching, I can say that sometimes I may have been a little too annoying for my teachers. And then there comes saturation.
The questions (and stories related to it) that the kids came up with ranged from intuitive to “WHY?” and from “annoying” to “WHYY?” I now know a lot more about mountain dew and weird experiments that exist on youtube about mountain dew (as well as getting recommendations for it, now thanks). And perhaps we had one too many pet baby dinos roaming around as we had our Lunching Philosophers debate theories out. We nerded over pop songs linked to biology and found that playing genomic jenga was fun. We had accidental mix ups while google searching that led to sneaky giggles and intricate plans to get a good table at lunch or the best way to not lose sight of the kids is to give them safety-cone orange t shirts. I’m sure all of Baltimore had a glimpse of this bright orange.
I was told that I needed to learn to dance to a song. And so I did, which was harder than it seemed. The kids decided to make sure I’m in the know with what’s cool and what songs I should have listened to. Dances are a tradition, and so dance it was! Followed more dance.
Someone else told me about their ideas of satisfaction levels that comes with this environment and I couldn’t disagree.
Someone told me to party all weekend, drink a little and join the cult.
Another someone told me nobody realizes the freezer is important.
There were stories we heard and stories we made (up).
And then we sang Bad Blood as the night closed.
Baltimore/JHU-CTY, you showed me a lot that Philly/Penn wasn’t.