I was feeling pretty good about myself Monday night, having found my way home from Couer d’Alene without using Onstar for directions. And, even though it was my first time driving our new, massive truck, I somehow managed the perfect parallel park in front of our apartment. Now, I don’t mean perfect in the sense that I eventually, after a series of reverses and repositioning, got the vehicle in the parking spot. I mean this parallel park job was so flawless that it could be used for driver’s training videos.
But yesterday it all evened out when I did something I’ve only ever had nightmares about. Yesterday afternoon I drove to campus for the first day of two of three English composition courses I’m teaching at North Idaho College. I brought my lunch to eat during the hour I had between the two classes, and after the first class, I called Joe while eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After chatting for a bit, he asked when I had my next class.
“Oh not ‘til four.”
“Why? What time is it?”
I don’t know where I got the idea that there was an hour between my classes, but there is not. Luckily my classroom was just down the hall, so I was only a couple minutes late. Maybe now I can stop having nightmares about it.
Other than that, it was a good first day. All the students seem really nice, and the classrooms are wonderful—big windows, dry-erase boards, and all sorts of fun technology. One of my classrooms even has small round tables instead of rows or desks. Oh, and the windows even opened! The only downside is that I don't have my own desk, so I'll have to carry everything home with me each day.
When I got home after classes, Joe and I went for a walk downtown. There are some neat areas in town, but I’m still waiting for Spokane to grow on me. It just seems like something is always happening...and not in a good way. Two nights ago, I was at home typing up my syllabus while Joe cooked dinner, when I heard a shouting outside. I couldn’t see where it was coming from, but it sounded like a large group of people. Soon after, we heard sirens, and a little later, a police car was blocking off the road next to our apartment. Since we don’t have internet or TV at the moment, we had to wait until I drove to campus on Monday to look up what happened. It turns out a big house a block behind us set fire.
And tonight, as we were walking through the park right downtown, we heard some shouting. A group of people were standing around pushing each other and yelling things like “get off her!,” “mind your own business,” and other things I can’t remember. We couldn’t see what was happening, and didn’t have our phones to call anyone, but eventually the police came. It was just odd for that to be happening in the same place where tourists were taking pictures of themselves on a bridge, a younger man was reading by the river, and a couple was feeding the ducks on the bank. One group of people with a stroller walked right by this commotion without seeming to notice.
A couple minutes later, we found this mug next to a statue:
Unfortunately we don't have any mugs we can give away at the moment, so we left it for the next person.
My point here is that it's new for me to live in a place where the disturbing and charming happens almost simultaneously. I've been in the upper peninsula bubble for the last four years, where the worst thing that happened was that my bike was stolen...and even then, the thief returned it a few days later.
Nevertheless, maybe these pictures I took will cast the city in a better light than my words have.
|Leaving our little neighborhood and heading into town.|
|Can't remember what a lot of these buildings are.|
|In case anyone was wondering what Spokane's fire hydrants look like.|
|I love this building because it reminds me of one in Marquette that they lower the ball from on New Years!|
|A little room/entrance thing on a bridge.|
|My hand is in the way because I was trying to shade the camera from the sun.|
|More of the river.|
|On the way to the park.|
|Our view as we were listening to the group of people yelling at some man.|
|Joe says he looks funny in this picture because just as I took it, a man walked by who seemed to be very enthusiastic about the ice cream cone he was eating.|
|This man on the street asked me to take a picture of his harmonica and speaker and put it online. Done! You can't read it very well, but his name is on the harmonica.|
|He also guilted Joe into writing something on the sidewalk.|
|Joe and I have decided we're going to live in this building instead.|
|More street views....|
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the parking ticket got this morning in front of our apartment. There were no signs or pavement/curb markings warning us, but apparently we were in a no parking area.