14 May, 2007

A few more pieces falling into place

The universe and I have once more met in the middle with satisfactory outcomes. This weekend I went to Williamsburg to interview at the Montessori school and to scope out the town and Law School, so that Kenny and I know a little more about where we'll be next year. It's always a bit of a gamble to make such big decisions without first seeing for yourself what you've been reading about online. On screen, Williamsburg seemed like a puzzle of a town: it's touristy, but is it too touristy? It has a quaint downtown, but can you navigate it on foot or bike? How realiable is the bus system?

Well, sometimes you investigate and everything seems dimmer than what you had imagined. And other times, like this weekend, you see for yourself and you see possibilities and selling points absolutely everywhere. Here's what I thought. [Disclaimer: I only have about 3 days of experience so far, so this might all have to be taken with a grain of salt.]

First of all, the interview was successful on a few points: one, the staff and teachers that I met were all very warm and welcoming, and the head of school herself is really easy to talk with and had a manner that I foud to be a perfect mix of friendly and professional. She's a friendly professional. Two, I got the job! Which is great, because as we were taking the tour I was developing a little bit of a crush on the sweet gardens, the potential that my teaching space has, and the very thoughtful layout of the classroom environment. So, I'm glad I get to come back. I'm really excited to be a teacher again. My official title, actually, will be After School Coordinator and Movent & Music Specialist. (I'll run the after school program in the p.m. and lead music and movement lessons before and after the lunch time hour). So, once I had the employment question settled, I was free to explore and make a few decisions as far as where we should orient ourselves for optimal living next year. The town is actually pretty small. It's surrounded by the slightly larger James City County, or JCC. Which is funny, because growing up in Charlotte the JCC meant the Jewish Community Center. So looking at the map I was thinking, gosh, there certainly is a large Jewish population down here. But then I figured it out. Anyway, we definitly want to live within walking distance of the Law School, since that'll be Kenny's lifeblood, and I also want to take the bus as much as possible next year, so we want to live on the corner where both the green route and the purple route pick up passengers. The apartments on that corner appeared slightly less gentile in person than they were trying to make themselves out to be on paper, but I feel like they're a good kind of funky. Older, more humble housing. But two floors, two bedrooms (we get an office!) and hardwood floors, for an affordable amount of rent. Granted, a girl I talked to said you can hear every thing that goes on next door to you, and that maitenance was minimal and less than enthusiastic, but such is the nature of apartment living in a college town. All in all, I'd say not bad for our first year in a new town. We can always investigate different housing for our second year if we need to. Here's a few pictures of what will hopefully be our next nest:

Once i felt pretty good about applying for housing there, I went over to drop off our application and fee. They said that since we're looking at flexible moving dates, our chances are good at being accepted for a unit soon. Hopefully it'll happen, but we'll see. If not, then something better is in the works. I do
really like that it's behind a shopping center, so we can walk to Food Lion, an Indian resteraunt, a Vietnamese resteraunt (the only one in town) and lots of other shopping-certer-type places like Steinmart and Marshalls. Oh, and Big Lots. It's not rural Vermont anymore, is it Toto?

I've got to hand it to my pal Kenny. He made a really good decision as far as the Law School went. It had a really good feel to it. Friendly, it seemed, based on the bulletin boards and lost&found pile and the lockers and the coffee bar. Smart, it seemed, from the Friday morning classroom activity that I observed and from the snippets of conversation I heard as people passed by, no doubt wondering who I was and why I was taking pictures of the walls.

All in all, I'm happy that I got to take the bus everywhere, go to the knitting store and meet a few (hopefully) new friends, see our (hopefully) new place, and take lots of snaps of where K will be spending most of his time next year. It didn't hurt that it was a gorgeous weekend, very sunny with lots of breezes to show off the old trees and green lawns. I like it. There's a UU church and a contra dance and the coolest Rec center/gym that has saunas and a great lap swimming pool and a freaking pottery room with a kiln (Just time me. I am so getting permission to work in there). Williamsburg, get ready for us!

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