Friday, April 29, 2011

a whole new world

It still doesn't seem real. Like a crazy dream. But the truth is that Jamie, the girls, and I are moving to New York City!

I know it may seem sudden, but actually it all started this past Fall. I like to blame it on Jamie. He came across an article about a charter school near Harlem in New York City that is trying a new ‘teaching experiment’. You can watch a clip on 60 Minutes that Katie Couric did about the school on the school's website (The Equity Project Charter School).

The basic idea is they offer a substantial salary to their teachers in hopes of attracting the finest teachers across the country to teach in this tough neighborhood school. The application process is very intense, but I decided to go for it!  After months of going through the rigorous paperwork and flying up there for two teaching auditions they finally offered me the job of teaching 6th grade music/choir. I had to do some serious soul searching and prayer before accepting. The students at this school are… I don’t even know how to explain their extreme level of need… behaviorally, emotionally, socially, and educationally.. these kids need tons of tough love. But the entire staff of this school is ON FIRE with motivation to change these kid’s lives. Every single day after school the whole staff meets for an hour to analyze every minute of what happened that day and how to do better tomorrow for each kid. They video tape all their lessons and review them with a peer mentor. It’s mind blowing. This is going to be really hard work, but I’m ready for this chapter in my life!

Jamie and I have two dear friends from college (Jason and Samanthe) who have lived in Manhattan for several years and they have a little boy. We are going to live close to them and have them to guide us through life in the big city. Jamie and I are so excited about taking our girls to play in Central Park, walk to the zoo, aquarium, kid’s museums, art shows, the library that takes up ten city blocks, to see Lion King and Mary Poppins on Broadway, etc, etc!

We are not pretending this is going to be all sunshine and roses. We may wave the white flag once we get there, realize this is not the life for us, and come scrambling back to Arkansas. But for now we are going to take off on this adventure and see what God has in store for us.

I hope you understand how much we will miss our life here and the people that we love and adore. Sometimes we can't even believe that we are choosing to leave all this behind. But one thing that has been happening the past few weeks is how MUCH we've had to turn over to God. The spiritual journey for us has already begun and that alone is amazing.

Please keep us in your prayers and I know you probably have a million questions for us. Don’t hesitate to ask. As long as it’s not “Are you nuts??”. Cuz that answer is obviously yes!

"Be brave enough to live life creatively. Creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus; only hard work and risk. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover will be yourself."
~Alan Alda