Making the Desert Bloom

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 06 2012

Spoiled in LA

Yesterday, I found out that one of my fellow LVV corps members is updating his blog everyday. Since I am a super competitive person, I am briefly going to try to do the same by writing two posts in two days. The reason I am able to write these posts is because I spent most of my 4th of July getting ahead on work, which has been good for my sanity. It’s relaxing to know that I am slightly ahead of the game now so I can just focus on being the best teacher in the classroom tomorrow instead worrying about the next deadlines for lesson plans.

Tonight I had dinner with a family friend who happens to be the husband of the our institute director here. As I was chatting with him in the middle of the garden outside the Roski Dining Hall in the 65 degree LA summer breeze, I realized just how spoiled we are here compared to other institutes. First of all, LA has the best weather of any of the institutes by a mile and a half. Let’s face it you don’t want to be in Phoenix, Houston, Tulsa, Mississippi, or Atlanta at all in the summer time. Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia are better, but this summer has been rough there so far. Also, many buildings there don’t have AC. Therefore, the 70 degree LA summer days (even with the fog) beats everything else by mile.

Next, LMU’s facilities are world-class. In asking staff that have been to other institutes, nothing comes close to our facilities. The campus is stunning perched on a hill-top overlooking Marina del Rey and Culver City. For example, last night most of us just had to walk behind our dorms to see hundreds of fireworks lighting up the valley (we will forget about the smog for a second). Speaking of the dorms, I am sharing a full kitchen and bathroom with 3 other guys in apartments that are nicer than everything back at Tufts except Sophia Gordon. While the dorms are great, nothing beats walking down a palm-tree lined quad with some of the greenest (yes, artificial) grass I have ever seen. The grass is truly greener here.

I know these pleasures won’t last as I head back to Vegas in 3 weeks. While the demands of Institute are hectic, I am doing my best to take what I can in California. I have already made it over to Venice Beach, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, and Dodger Stadium. On Saturday, I am heading down to San Diego for the day, and I already have plans to get to Santa Barbara and Anaheim before the end of the month. To top it off, I haven’t even been in terrible traffic yet. The commute from LMU to and from Watts goes against rush-hour traffic, so that nightmare hasn’t occurred yet.

While I am praising LA, I am still pretty sure I wouldn’t want to live here since the city is simply too sprawling. However, the situation has worked out pretty well for me for these 5 weeks. I wouldn’t want to be doing this training anywhere else in the country especially given the choices.

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