November Rains

It is officially fall and winter is coming on fast. I mean, I was driving home at 4:30 p.m. today and it was already getting dark. Granted, the sun hadn't come out the entire day due to a miserable rain cloud hanging over Center City, but still. Very dark. Very early.

It seems completely impossible that it is already November. The last time I was writing on here it was May, I was about to graduate from ACESJU and embark on an entirely new journey. Now here I am, after a summer of traveling Spain, moving into a new house in a new part of the city, almost 3 months into my new job. In the words of Chris Traeger (Parks and Rec) I literally can't believe how time has flown. Alright, let's back track a little bit and take a look at these past few months....

June brought the end of my two years of teaching, the end of ACE, graduation from St. Joseph's University with a M.S. in Education, and moving out of our crazy giant house for the summer.
ACESJU Graduation
Cohort 2 Traditional Olive Garden Dinner
Last Day in my classroom

Summer in North Carolina was slow and relaxing, as any southern summer should be. There were long walks around the neighborhood, trips to the Outer Banks (and quick trips back from OBX to avoid impending hurricanes), and Fourth of July celebrations with friends in the greatest college town there is.
Cape Hatteras National Lighthouse
Jordan Lake Days
Sugarland Cupcakes on Franklin Street

July brought THE TRIP. The one we had been planning and training for, El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). There will be plenty of pictures and stories to come of our 20+ day trip across Northern Spain (135 miles hiked baby!), but for now I'll leave you with our joyous celebration upon our arrival to Santiago de Compostella!
Jumping for Joy upon arrival in Santiago!

August was moving to a new house, starting a new job, and getting accustomed to a new life style. The 9-5 working life (more like 8-4:30 most days) started off slowly, just being in the office and doing a lot of readings and trainings, but we are now in full swing. I work on two different research projects, both focused on mental health issues in urban public schools. One study is looking at the feasibility of running intervention groups for children with anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders in one section of the city, while the other program focused on preventing relational aggression and bullying, specifically though a 20 session classroom based intervention. I am in schools almost every day during the week, and driving all around the city to different places gets exhausting, but it is amazing. I am working with some of the most talented and dedicated experts in their field, as well as gradate students,interns fellows and research assistants with many different backgrounds and experiences. I feel like I am learning more and more everyday, and it is weird to think that I am getting paid to learn so much about subjects that I love, to work with kids in schools, and to on some days, walk around the city dressed like middle schoolers to film bullying intervention videos. It hasn't even been 3 months at this job, but so far its been awesome. Have I mentioned how cool my coworkers are?

Finally, being a young 20 something living in a big city is starting to grow on me. Everything is so accessible, and we have been taking advantage of groupons, restaurant week deals and all sorts of fall festivities, both in the city and with friends back at home. 
Roomie Restaurant Week
Fall pumpkin picking
White House Reunion
Silly girlies 
Maple View Farms

Oh hello world, I'm ready for ya.