It has been just over a week since I left Lesvos to return back to the USA and I just got home on Monday. I took the longest route home, partially because it was cheapest and partially because I made a detour to see some friends on the east coast. Since getting back to Portland, it’s been a whirlwind few days as I tried to get my bearings, as I pack for a move to the Bay on Saturday and as I try to say hi (and bye) to as many people as I can. One of the highest items on my to do list during my 5 days in Portland was to stop by my friend, Ms. Maynard’s, sixth grade class. (Remember when they made my day?) My friend, and their teacher, had told me how the students would come in as ask if I had posted anything new, and they would read my blog. MY BLOG. I seriously sometimes think that my mom is the only person who reads this thing (Hi Mom!) and am always, always, always over the moon anytime someone mentions, even in passing, that they enjoy reading my blog. I’m flattered and honestly honored that you give me your time and attention.
I can’t remember the last time I was in a middle school, but there I was, at 1pm on a Thursday, waiting for three sixth-grade classes to file in…to see me?! I always remembered assemblies and guest speakers from my childhood and the impact that speakers would have on me–and now the roles were reversed. I was a little nervous but mostly excited. I’m not afraid of public speaking, even though I get butterflies every time, but this was different. The students knew me as “Sej”, they would discuss the posts that I wrote, they followed along like they were there. When I saw them walk into the auditorium after lunch, I saw some faces light up, lots of waves and felt this energy that I can’t even describe. It was amazing. The time flew by, hugs and high fives and smiles were exchanged, and I even had a group ask me to dab (which I don’t know if I really know how to do, but I got their seal of approval)!