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Bye Bye Connecticut...
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Photo by Joe Shlabotnik  Courtesy Flickr Creative ComonsThe days go by far too quickly and sleep comes easier each night. My semester away from college has ended as old friends move back to town and tell of trips to foreign cities, states and ideas before embarking on the wonderful world of real life. I do happen to be one of the lucky ones that have a job to go to everyday. 
 
I spend most of my days in a middle school or high school of West Hartford. Over the roughly six month period of substitute teaching, I have learned to refine the art of patience. Students will always swap names, skip classes or talk just to talk because the normal teacher isn’t around, but I’ve also learned some wonderful things since going back into a high school and middle school: Life after them is wonderful. The air is sweeter, the gossip is farther between and less hurtful and the faces that you meet behind every corner are not the same faces you’ve been seeing for over a decade. Life on the outside is something to enjoy. 
 
On some warm spring nights I have the opportunity to umpire little league games and be a part of baseball even when I don’t have the time I would like to continue to play. Being on a field, some of the fields I used to play on, is calming and an enjoyable place to be. I also have the added luxury of knowing some of the players from substituting in their classes.
For the long term, I won’t be staying in West Hartford for much longer or Connecticut. I have accepted an offer of admission to the Masters in English: Literature program at the University of New Hampshire. The same anxieties and ideas from four years ago are beginning to rush back. The difference between the two is a new self-knowledge of my ability to succeed. I have graduated from college; I have gone into the fire of substitute teaching and come out alive; I have set a plan and followed through. This new step in the path and plan may be more difficult and time consuming than others, but it will be more rewarding, eye opening and inspiring if all still goes according to plan.