Just over two weeks ago, I drove up to Boston with an SUV packed full of stuff. I arrived around sunset, and my roommates (who had moved in a few days prior) helped me to bring everything up to my room, and then I fell asleep on my wooden floor. Around 4:30 am, I woke up and remembered that we have a couch in the living room. And that was my first night in Boston.
Over the next few days, I let Google Maps lead me all over Boston in my Craigslist quests to furnish my room, and then orientation started after that weekend on July 1.
From what I can tell, Boston seems like the bigger, more metropolitan version of Pittsburgh. Beyond the obvious similarities like a river cutting through and the city's sprawling expansion, it has more museums, universities, sports teams, neighborhoods, and traffic. And. A subway system! Oddly, Pittsburgh's is called The T also, but I think Boston probably had that first.
George Washington in the Public Gardens.
But also, the free summer shows and programs are ridiculous! Next week there's a huge music festival, there's Shakespeare in the Common all summer, free orchestra concerts every week, and this is all just what I've heard about!
Going to the Boston Pops concert with my roommates on my birthday!
More 'citylike' also means the rich are richer and the poor are poorer. And with that greater need come programs like Boston Teacher Residency.
Orientation was great! Over just a few days, I got a snapshot of what a motley crew we are. They posted this blurb last week:
We are incredibly proud to welcome the talented residents of BTR Cohort 11, who bring with them a diverse set of experiences and perspectives yet a common passion for and commitment to providing a quality education for all students. Carefully selected from an outstanding applicant pool of over 500, the 61 residents of Cohort 11 include:
7 Breakthrough Collaborative alumni,
5 City Year alumni,
5 first-generation college graduates,
4 Jumpstart alumni,
2 Posse Scholars,
2 Fulbright Fellows,
2 Citizen Schools alumni, and
2 proud alumni of the Boston Public Schools.
They bring with them broad international work/life experiences in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, The Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Isreal, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Vietnam, and the Virgin Islands—as well as close knowledge of local communities in Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Revere, Roslindale, Roxbury, and West Roxbury.
Former Peace Corps volunteers, Upward Bound counselors, finance directors, Engineers Without Borders, community farmers, environmental activists, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs workers, interpreters/translators, paraprofessionals, playgroup leaders, public health educators, porcupine handlers, coaches, tutors, mentors, and volunteers—the residents of BTR Cohort 11 represent an incredible spirit of service and a strong commitment to the diverse communities they’ve been a part of.
Conversations over the past two weeks have mostly been of the 'tell-me-about-your-life' variety, and they're all unpredictable and fascinating. It's an amazing group.
I'm going to try to blog for BTR's website, so I'll try to leave this for my Bostonian adventures and other essays.