Monday, April 12, 2010

Live from Syracuse!

In case you're wondering, I'm in Syracuse, Utah, not Syracuse, New York, though the Utah Syracuse IS named after the New York Syracuse! Syracuse, Utah is located right along the Great Salt Lake between Ogden and Salt Lake City. It's one of many suburbs that are hard to differentiate between along the Wasatch Front, which stretches basically from Ogden in the north to Provo in the south. Syracuse is a nice quiet place, at least this part of it, though it's definitely a study in urban sprawl, as is much of this area. But I am enjoying my time here!

I was last in Utah exactly 3 years ago right after I finished my last semester of classes at BYU-Idaho. We were done April 6 and I think I came down here that evening and left April 7 thinking I would be back in the Fall for student teaching. Well, as it turned out, instead of student teaching at Bennion Junior High School in Taylorsville, I transferred back to Kent State, finished my bachelor's there and went on to get my Master of Arts in Teaching degree there too.

I decided shortly after Christmas to come out here when Becky, David, and Nate were in Kent. It's amazing what a baby will make you want to do! I very much enjoy being an uncle and though my subbing job isn't exactly allowing me to be wealthy, it is at least giving me some means to do a few things I want to do. If I hadn't been in the Akron After-School program, I would've come here last week during Kent and Maplewood's Spring Break, but as it fell, Akron Public School's Spring Break was this week that just ended, so the last week of After-School was during the Spring Breaks of the schools I sub in and then of course I had a meeting April 5 to get paid! :) That translated to being here this week and despite missing potential work in Ohio, things have worked out pretty well here I'd say, especially with the weather!

Of course the best thing for me has been spending time with Becky, David, of my first--and so far only--nephew Nate. We've had a lot of fun already just hanging out, but also going to Hogle Zoo and Temple Square in Salt Lake. We went to Hogle Zoo on Wednesday and spent much of the day there. For the most part Nate enjoyed himself, but by the end he was pretty exhausted as you may have imagined. The weather was nice and the Zoo wasn't TOO crowded, though I was surprised to see so many kids there. Apparently it's Spring Break for the Davis County schools (which is where Syracuse is...county just north of Salt Lake), plus there were a lot of very young kids, many as young as or younger than Nate. About the only thing to bother Nate was the short ride through the tunnel on the small train they have in the Zoo. We weren't even in the tunnel 10 seconds, but that was enough to startle him despite my best efforts. We also made it to Temple Square Friday mostly to get some pictures and visit with my friends Lindsey and Dan Fairbanks. I came to find later in the day that a few friends from my ward in Ohio were there as well at the same time! I can't believe we were so close to seeing them. I wonder if we did and I didn't even notice. Congratulations Brian and Laura Ebie on getting sealed! It was nice to see Lindsey and Dan again and meet their daughter Olivia! I also enjoyed going to church with Becky, David, and Nate today even though NO ONE in their ward said a word to was like I was invisible (but that's nothing new out here unfortunately). I held Nate all through Sacrament meeting and he fell asleep on me. I loved every minute of it! :)

It's also been refreshing to see several friends I haven't seen in 3 years. Not only seeing them has been fun but also just hanging out with them and catching up. So many of my friends are scattered around the country; I don't get many chances to visit. It seems even rarer that my friends visit me in Kent so this has been a wonderful change of scenery and breath of fresh air. I had visited my friend Michelle in Toledo just before coming out here, so I've been able to see a lot of friends in the past 2 weeks and I love it! I've already visited with my friend Kjersti twice which included a fun evening at a mystery theater production where I won a $20 gift certificate. Kjersti and I were only in Collegiate Singers at BYU-Idaho for one semester but we've been friends ever since! It was SO much fun seeing her again. We seem to understand one another quite well as single adults and as teachers! I also visited the Miles and Fisher families (some of my favorite people). Daniel Miles was one of my best missionary companions waaaaay back in 2003 in Alamogordo and I've gotten to know the rest of his family very well. I always enjoy seeing them! One of those funny moments I will ALWAYS remember was Daniel's little three year-old niece Audrey Fisher was reading my blog book I had brought over to show her Mom (Kadie Fisher is Daniel's sister). Of course there are some pictures, but not a lot. So she's looking it over and tells me "this is boring as pants on fire!" She said it several times among other things all three kids said. I wish I had gotten a picture with her, but she was taking a nap when I left. The other two kids--Isaac and Ashley-- were just as cool as I remember them three years ago.

Overall it's just been nice to be around people I love, feel appreciated and wanted, and just have a change of scenery and get out of the same old routines I was stuck in at home. It's been a nice change of pace to say the least, plus being the cool uncle is a lot of fun! :)

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