Miami is both soothing and shocking to my senses at once. A place I called home for three years, it is a city I stumbled upon and a city where I stumbled. As a senior in college, I longed so desperately to leave the bubble of academia and to get my hands dirty doing real work. Miami, where I spent three years teaching with Teach For America in the public school system, delivered on all fronts.
As an outsider to Miami, I never exactly found my groove in the city, but took full advantage of free therapy at the beach and ample opportunity to sharpen my Spanglish. I ate many a croqueta. I met JL. I made friends. I also saw Miami blossom and flourish as the neighborhood where I taught became an artistic and cultural hub. The few blocks around my school, which touted exactly one hipster-filled bar when I first started out in 2012, are now some of the most frequented in the city. Inside and outside the classroom, my students’ struggles persisted.
And, like so many who spend a moment in town, I left for the promise of professional and academic opportunities, but always treasure a visit to one of my most loved places.
Miami Favorites List
La Pequena Havana (Little Havana)
- Yambo Restaurant, for traditional, casual Nicaraguan
- Versailles, for classic Miami Cuban
- Lung Yai Thai Tapas (seriously, this place is incredible, for a taste of incredible thai food in the heart of America’s most Cuban neighborhood)
- The Bar, for a casual, ecclectic crowd, outside bar, and great DJ
- The Local, for a randomly out-of-this-world gastro pub in Miami
- Delicatessen Patagonia, for the very best Argentine empanadas I’ve had outside of Buenos Aires and maybe even ever
- Le Sandwicherie, for the most amazing fusion of beach-y Miami fare and French style sandwich (cornichons and all)
- Purdy Lounge, “no attitude, no cover, no bullshit”, as they put it on their website
So, it’s been years. A full handful of years, in fact, since I’ve last written an entry here. In the spirit of continuity, I’ll start where I left off: ruminating on transitions. And living fully in them and all that jazz like that.
After a year of lots of soul-searching and learning, I’ll be graduating from my M.Ed. program at Harvard in just a couple of short weeks, and starting a new job in a new(ish) field. I couldn’t be more excited to put theory into practice.
And so, I’m moving forward with eye to finding balance and pleasure in this new endeavor. And, for the first time in a little while, craving a forum in which to spell the thoughts that swirl constantly in my mind. And to share discoveries from my kitchen and other rooms of my daily life. Needless to say, I’m eager to put pen to paper and see what comes up.
It’s funny to find yourself in a moment like the one I am in now, where everything’s whispering transience and changing tides. For so long I was deep in this thing — the college thing — and now I am emerging from it transformed in some ways, exactly the same in others. I guess I am puzzled, as I often am, about how to live fully in a moment of transition. Because we’re always transitioning from one thing to the other, moving from A to B. And if we don’t take those periods of transition seriously, cherish them and give them our best shot, we’re missing something we ought not to.
Right now is a funny time, because the year is beginning but college is ending. It seems that we all can feel it — the new school year not as fresh as it normally is, and countless questions hanging in the atmosphere. The most pressing of which:
Where will we be in just a few months?
It’s Thursday, September 1st. I love September, the start of a new school year and all of the associated beginnings. It’s hard to swallow the fact that this may be my last start of the school year for a while, and that my days at Tufts are numbered. I don’t even know where to start writing because so much has happened over this past year, and this blog has been far from my mind. As is not surprising, these college years have brought with them all kinds of transformation and priority re-arranging. But something about this place keeps me coming back with my words. If there are any readers left out there, hello!
I’m getting my keyboard all greasy. I’m siting in True Grounds (shout out, Lily!), eating a sandwich that I can’t decide is more offensive to my newfound vegetarianism or to my newfound Kosher-keeping. My parking meter is running, and I stopped off here to try and do some practice LSAT sections. For those of you who don’t know, the plan is law school. And a glorious, consuming, confusing, bound-to-evolve plan it is.
Unfortunately, I’m leaving Tufts for move-in weekend to take a little weekend trip. I can orchestrate a logistical train wreck like no other girl. So my boxes are in my car, the meter is running, and I’m here in this coffee shop with books I’m not writing in and a forbidden sandwich and all of these questions unanswered and, did I mention that the meter’s running?
Peace out, world! Longer letter later.
“We would like to disabuse social scientists and humanists of the idea that there is something called a ‘scientific status’ which is a desirable goal.” – Richard Rorty
“Despite the legislative and public policy gains made by the women’s movement, cultural representation of modern gender roles remains woefully static. For example, in contemporary American advertising a TV commercial father rarely labors lovingly over a child’s fruit punch spill with a ‘quicker picker upper’ or agonizes over the correct solvent to use on a smudged toilet seat. The cleaning product industry’s entire marketing strategy is evidently based on reinforcing ‘outdated’ yet naturalized models of submissive domesticated femininity. Similarly, cooking and food preparation are the exclusive realm of women playing doting mothers to eternally fickle eternally famished children in day-glo kitchens. By promoting normative feminine roles, the industry enshrines these gender norms as transparent and timeless. In the ad time universe, ‘choosy moms’ fuss and fixate over the right amount of Splenda to put in Dick and Jane’s cookies because it’s part of their post-feminist destiny.”
– Sikivu Hutchinson