Sunday, July 20, 2008
Bye, Bye, Bakersfield
Yesterday, my family packed a U-haul and I said good-bye to Bakersfield (I'll be back to turn in keys!). This event has put me in a reflective mood. Most of you will remember how I came to be in Bakersfield in the first place. I was offered a job teaching 1st grade in Bakersfield, but I had an interview for a 6th grade position in a Santa Barbara school. I interviewed in Santa Barbara on a Friday, got the job, took the Bakersfield job, and moved with a suitcase to the valley (this happened in one day). School was scheduled to begin on Monday. That Saturday, I met with the 1st grade team. A co-worker walked in, and before introducing herself she said, "I just have one question... Why Bakersfield?" I remember spluttering out something about living for four years in Santa Barbara and wanting to try something different and something about how 6th graders are scary (give me a break...I was 22!). Now, 7 years later, I might have a better answer for the "Why Bakersfield" question. Just for fun, I thought I'd try and come up with a retrospective Top Ten list.
Why Bakersfield Top 10:
10. I learned the joys of home ownership: locating the water valve (remember, Midori?), snaking toilets, and gardening in 100 degree weather!
9. I had the opportunity of teaching three different grade levels (1-3) in a respected district..great resume builder!
8. My brother spent two years as my roommate, finishing his degree. (He was my personal chef.)
7. I finished my Masters degree (something I might not have worked on in SB).
6. Daddy took me out to dinner every Thursday, his Bakersfield sales days.
5. I worked at a brand new school with really loving students and really fun technology.
4. I had awesome colleagues who challenged me, made me laugh and are my very dear friends.
3. My Bible study group. (I could write an entire post about them! I absolutely loved growing with you all...We've seen God work in our lives. That's powerful community stuff).
2. Bakersfield is an awesome junction between the Central Coast and Northern and Southern California, allowing me to stay connected with my family and my Westmont friends.
1. I learned that living a contented life does not depend on where you live, it depends on who you serve (please remind me I wrote this when I'm complaining about Albanian power outages, trash and stray dogs!).