dining companions at au bon pain, park plaza
I work in Boston proper now and the office building has an Au Bon Pain on the first floor. I’ve taken to having a cup of coffee, and sometimes a meal, there from time to time. I’ve eaten alone, with strangers, and with some of my new students. I’ve even eaten with the birds. One of the little guys, the one closest to the plate in this picture, was munching on a beetle while I was eating some macaroni and cheese. The other little guy thought my chocolate goodness was quite tempting and nearly took a nibble with me sitting right there. I’ve come a long way from Maine where there is enough wilderness left for the birds to keep a wary distance from humans.
Speaking of wilderness, I’ve been commuting by commuter rail and subway for a week now and I have to say that when I imagined living in or near Boston, I had a glorified image of riding the T in my head. I day dreamed of sitting with a book or a knitting project and making use of the time spent on the rails that way. I have yet to manage reading five pages on my 30 minute ride from Salem to Boston with the crowding, the ambient noise, and other distractions. It’s a far cry from the image I had of wearing a nice little sporty coat, a cute little hand bag slung over my shoulder, and a book in hand. I feel anything but cute riding the rails; I feel grimy and in need of a shower. But then, it has been only a week in the throes of some of the hottest temperatures recorded for this area. I’ll keep my mind open to the experience.
Today’s day in the city didn’t help the icky feeling. I checked the weather report first thing upon waking and read that it was going to be sunny and hot. I showered, put on a sun dress with a light shirt over to cover my shoulders, and rode the rail in to town. The mugginess began weighing down my spirits and my dress and I earnestly wished for the heat to break. Then the skies opened up and it began pouring. And I was off-site at Fisher College, 0.7 miles away from the main office on Park Plaza. I bolted from Beacon to Arlington, through the park, and back to Park Plaza. I was completely drenched. Bag. Dress. Hair. Shoes. I was a drowned rat dragging my way through the city streets. I had no choice, really, as my second class ended a few minutes after the rain started and my third class began a few minutes after the rain ended. I was doomed to a soggy existence. I mopped myself off as best I could to prepare to sit down with my one-to-one executive student for the next three hours. And the day ended on a damp, but good, note.
A little about my new job. I teach at a language institute where students come from all over the globe to study English for 2-8 weeks in intensive classes. I teach a grammar course and a conversation course in a group setting, then I teach a one-to-one intensive conversation course with an executive student. I am teaching students from Spain, Brazil, Italy, Thailand, Portugal, to name a few. It has been an eye-opening and humbling experience in the single week I’ve worked with them so far. And I have realized the importance of watching soccer.
Gabe and I are down to 10 days before the big move. The day can’t come soon enough.
Much love. Black Sheep.