Ambivalent in Atlanta…?

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Time is really flying, which I guess is good—no hurdles slowing down time is always appreciated. We’ve already been to Antioch and back, which was both fun and relaxing, but also difficult—Alex cried so hard when she had to say goodbye to her friends again, and it just broke my heart. But kids are so resilient, aren’t they? Only one week back and already she’s involved in intense middle school drama with an entirely different group of kids.

So the kids hung out with friends and I got some free time to meet up with some of my girlfriends at Hickory Hollow Mall and even spent an afternoon BY MYSELF at Cheekwood (a mansion/museum in the area), where even I got a little emotional (or a lot). My parents took us all to a High Kings concert at the Ryman Auditorium & Museum, in Nashville, which was great, and Justin fell asleep in the isle like he always does.

I’m getting a little sad now as I write this – maybe taking this job in Atlanta wasn’t the best idea. I’m starting to regret the fact that my kids aren’t going to grow up with their grandparents down the street from their house like I was able to do. I really felt like I needed to go, though. The job promotion was a big part of it, but also, everywhere I looked I saw a past that I could not escape from. I was born, raised, educated, married, mothered, and divorced all within a 50 mile radius of Antioch, Tennessee. And I just started to feel…trapped.

A few days ago I took Alexandra to the High Museum of Art, and just – Wow – even compared to Cheekwood which I love so dearly, this place…it’s incomparable, really. And that’s how I feel every time I get in the car and drive to work or to the kids’ schools, or to the mall – and it’s a great feeling. And I’ve been reading a lot about the rich history of the area and geography (can’t wait to go to the Golden Isles).

And these are reasons why we moved here. I guess it’s normal to go back and forth for a while.

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Interesting Educators’ Programs

I just came across a fascinating blog filled with information for teachers, and since I now am a teacher (homeschool), I found it extremely enlightening. The only thing is that I read it a little too late…

The National Endowment for the Humanities has summer workshops for teachers (including homeschool teachers) on Landmarks of American History and Culture, but the deadline for signing up was March 17! I’m bookmarking the site for next year.

Each week-long workshop explores a landmark of American history that teachers are then meant to “bring back” to their classrooms for further exploration. Ah—I’m really frustrated that I missed it! There’s a course on The Blue Ridge Parkway that I would love to take, and one on Mount Vernon, that I could probably give! There are also some more literary/historical workshops, like the one on Zora Neale Hurston and Eatonville and one on Eudora Welty. The one on Ellis Island looks particularly interesting.

The author of that teacher blog says that he went to Lowell two summers ago and since that one is offered again this year, I imagine there’s a chance that these workshops will also be repeated either next summer or the one following.

Something else mentioned of interest in the teacher blog is the National Park Service’s Teacher Ranger program. It looks as though it’s just for public school teachers, particularly those teaching in under-served districts. The program trains teachers as rangers during as 8-10 week program and provides teachers with the tools and knowledge they need to “bring national parks into the classroom throughout the school year.” Involved in the program are Acadia National Park in Maine, Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in Colorado, Capulin Volcano National Monument in New Mexico, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.

I know that program’s not for me, but just thought I’d mention it while I’m on my National Park kick, and maybe you know someone who may appreciate it!

Meanwhile, thank you Jonathan (jd2718) for your post!

Top Ten Children’s Museums

I was so happy to find Port Discovery on parents.com 10 Best Children’s Museums. I brought the girls there a few days ago and was really impressed. There is a exhibit on water going on now called the Wonders of Water that fit in perfectly with the science unit we were working on and even though it was geared toward children younger than the girls, they were very proud (as was I!) going around to each part of the exhibit saying “we know this” and “we learnt that” over and over again. 🙂

Since we do so much traveling, I figure it would be good to hold onto this list in case we’re in any of these cities before the girls outgrow children’s museums. Thought I’d share it with the group —

  1. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  2. The Children’s Museum of Houston
  3. The Children’s Museum, Boston
  4. (tie) Port Discovery, Baltimore
  5. (tie) Discovery Center, Rockford, IL
  6. Brooklyn Children’s Museum – We’ve actually been to this one and love it!
  7. Strong Museum, Rochester, NY – And we’ve been here, though honestly, I don’t really remember much about it.
  8. Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul
  9. Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
  10. Madison Children’s Museum, WI

Does anyone recommend otherwise ?

Traveling to Work

So I’m back at work. The subway ride on the L and then the 4 was atrocious as usual. Thousands of us workers and commuters jammed into the New York Metro and it just never ends. My trip to Yosemite didn’t last long, but don’t worry I’m already planning another escape. My online travel planner has been really helpful and hopefully this job I’m doing will end soon and I’ll be able to leave another trip before I have to start another job–the value of temping!