Yesterday was a splendid day on the North Coast, with unexpected sunshine and the prediction of many more sunshiny days to come.
I rushed home from church, threw on a swimsuit and made a little paradise on the newly mowed grass of my backyard. I listened to music, made phone calls, and lazily attempted to play Scrabble over the internet, while the neighbor's horses peered curiously at me over the fence and the shadows from the apple tree branches crept closer.
Beautiful, beautiful day. I love how even when the sun shines here, it is never really hot. A cool breeze is always playing over your skin. However, that is the very quality which makes the sun so deceptive; I have a little sunburn to illustrate that.
That weather was quite the contrast from Saturday, when I went to the Oyster Festival, clad in hopeful summer clothes, stopping at the last minute to throw on a sweater before I left the house. The wind was wild, the sky overcast and a little ominous, but that didn't stop the festival.
It is only my second time going, and yet again, I think it would be more aptly called a Beer Festival, because I saw much, much more beer being consumed than oysters. I too drank a beer and ate two delicious oysters.
I ran into some of my students there, and hung out with them for hours, listening to their amazing stories about what brought them here to study English, what it is like after three weeks being here, what they think of the U.S., California, and Arcata. It is funny to think that for some students, Arcata could possibly be emblematic of the U.S.; it is so quirky and non-mainstream.
An interesting thing happened at work. One of the other teachers suddenly quit, and I will be taking over her class starting today -- starting with administering a test. It seems like a heck of a starting place, but it is actually perfect since it also begins a new unit of study for the students, something of a fresh start for us all.
Svenska and Sverige Update
I am experiencing some flutters of anxiety about my upcoming trip to Europe, wondering if I ought to build some variety into my itinerary there, visit more places and more people. I have to do it on a shoestring, a limited budget, so that limits what all I can do, of course. But I realize, for example, I was going to fly into Copenhagen and hop right on a train to Sweden without ever exploring Copenhagen at all! I think I need to do this with a little less tunnel vision and allow for a more panoramic experience of leaving the country, seeing Europe, and experiencing other cultures.
Luckily, I still have five weeks to think about it, do research, make plans, etc.
Through sources at my Lutheran church, I have discovered an antiquarian retired pastor who teaches Swedish formally in Eureka. Unfortunately, he doesn't offer classes over the summer, but he has agreed to meet with me regularly at the library and practice pronunciation and answer questions. I am so excited to meet him and to get some of my questions answered at long last!