Sunday, October 4, 2009

Missing Home

At this time last year I experienced something that I'd never experienced before in my life: homesickness. When I was growing up I starting going to camp for two weeks during the summer every year at the age of ten; I studied abroad in Europe for three months; I lived in Brooklyn for a summer and I student-taught over seas as well. Never in all that time did I feel much of a desire to head back home. Perhaps it was because I knew I hadn't left for good.

Last year what I was feeling around this time seemed inexplicable. Although I had a few friends in the city, I had buried myself in my work and holed up in my bunker-apartment in Queens. The sun started going down earlier and coming up later. I was arriving at school just before seven and leaving at six o'clock, saw no sun and really had no social life. On the weekends I stayed in trying to figure out how to make things better at school. In short, my job was consuming me and I wasn't very happy about it, though I wouldn't have said it outright at the time.

Two other first year teachers at my school took weekends last fall to go back to their home states and see their family. While I didn't have the cash for the plane ticket, it certainly would have done some good. Getting back into a familiar element away from the front lines is certainly good for the nerves. At the very least it helps you to remember the confidence and drive you left home with, if not regain some of it.

Today's Wine: The Shiraz pumped from my post on the 1st.


  1. I can't say I’ve felt homesickness yet. There is a longing to be with my Fiance, who happens to be at home. I also have the opportunity to go home occasionally, relatively inexpensively. This might contribute to my lack of homesickness. Pick up table tennis. Once equipment is purchased it is a relatively cheap sport and provides endless hours of entertainment.

  2. Has that changed going into your second year in the classroom?

  3. This has definitely changed in the second year. I have a much firmer grasp on my surroundings and know how to fit into them. Being a much stronger teacher figure than last year (which isn't difficult to pull off) also helps because I'm not exhausted and am really enjoying what I'm doing. After a year in the city it's feeling more and more like home, which helps to prevent the homesickness.

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