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dominican republic

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spent the week of spring break  in the dominican republic with david (& 34 new friends!), singing songs, playing with kids, eating granola bars & talkin about our favorite story. it was super beautiful with sunshine galore (& the most beautiful sunset flying into atlanta). but my very favorite part was the spanish– all day, every day. speaking it, listening to it, soaking it all in. but best of all, singing & worshiping in spanish.

I love the biblical parallel between the story of the tower of babel & the story of pentecost. the idea that god confused languages when people were using them to exalt themselves, yet later united languages when people wanted to use them to glorify him… that’s cool. one night while we were in the DR we went to a bilingual church service. it was glorious to see people worshiping in english & spanish… languages split due to human brokenness, but both being used to praise god anyway.

it was also really cool to see David playing worship music with a bunch of little spanish-speaking boys. while we live in the tension of babel & pentecost, confused but trying to understand… music speaks. it’s a gift, a tiny taste of what’s to come. I’m not sure if in heaven we’ll all speak the same language or different ones. but I’m pretty sure we’re all going to be able to understand one another. I’m excited.


thankful thursday


David & I went with Whitney & Kenneth to see Sufjan Stevens in oxford last week. we got to see lots of friends (courtney! parker! jake & carrie! sheely! erin! chandler & leah! etc.) at the show. & it was pretty magic. we both saw him on the age of adz tour, but I actually thought this was better (david was on the fence). there was a christmas unicorn & the wheel of christmas & come thou fount & john wayne gacy & SO MUCH fake snow. it was a pretty venue & wonderful company & a very very good way to start christmas. so today I’m thankful for sweet friends & beautiful music & bodies that bounce back even after you keep them up til four in the morning.

new york, the district & home

manhattan might be probably the most awe-inspiring non natural thing I've ever seen. but I'm still real happy to be back in mississippi.       UntitledUntitled       Untitled

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Untitled       I love jackson. but I sure am going to miss this.

one of the big perks of teacher life is thanksgiving break. there’s no fall break, christmas break is half the length it was in college & summer is a full month shorter. but by golly, we get a full week for thanksgiving. I got to spend the first little bit of it in dc & new york… seeing old friends & making new ones. then at the end I spent several lovely days at home.

the first day was pretty surreal. I read on the plane & stayed up til 2 catching up with christine (an old friend I lived with in peru). the next morning we went to brunch & browsed a flea market. I wore jeans & tshirts & I didn’t once tie a shoe or wipe syrup off someone’s shirt. culture shock is real, guys.

the rest of the (long) weekend was full of so many wonderful things. trader joe’s, meeting zach’s girlfriend, playing settlers of catan, ice skating in central park with emily (SO FUN), walking so many city blocks, lights on fifth avenue, the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever eaten, christmas shopping, & playing on the roof of katy’s big ol apartment building. (you can read emily’s take on our weekend here.)

it was a fun few days in a city that holds so many happy memories. manhattan is magic… but so is mississippi. & the rest of the week was spent there, with family & new TFA friends. bridge running with my sister, hearing my favorite stories from my grandparents, long breakfast with my mom, the annual broom family Christmas photo, & the kind of sunsets that make your heart sing. now I’m a week back into real life… but with tests to give & christmas break on the horizon, these next two & a half weeks are going to fly by.

california, etc.


californiaaaaa. we saw lots of zoo animals, rode around in a 15 passenger van, ate frozen yogurt, & spent lots of time with sweet, sweet friends. it was not as sunny as I had expected & even downright cold at some points. but what it lacked in sunshine it made up for in avocado. now it’s off to get my body back on central time. but first…

:: preordered the new welcome wagon CD. real excited. also, check out their ep here for free!

:: realizing just how much more I retain when I write down things that I read. it’s crazy different. good thing to remember in teaching, I guess.

:: I’ve been reading lots of Teach for America pre-institute stuff. learning tons about racism & health care & criminal justice & school funding. a lot of it is really rough to think about… here’s a good article about food stamp fraud & the often complicated situations that lie beneath.

:: this video is real simple but it makes me smile a lot.

& now it’s a time for a couple of days of packing & moving & house hunting… then a weekend of celebrating birthdays & marriages with friends… then this next little chapter of life in the Delta.

p.s. thanks to sister’s iPhone for the pictures!


dear southwest, I've never flown you before. & I'm really excited. don't let me down. love, ruth ann      Untitled

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& that is Arizona really quickly from my phone. a few highlights…

hiked a little around the rim of the grand canyon. got some solar viewers & climbed down into the canyon a bit to watch the annular eclipse. I had never used solar viewers before– they were so cool, kinda like crazy intense sunglasses. then watched the sunset… got to see two Arizona sunsets this weekend &, well, they’re really pretty. but living on a coast sure has spoiled me in that regard.

Nathan found us a perfect spot in between the grand canyon & havasu falls & we camped there a couple of nights. yesterday we hiked havasu falls. we had to take route 66 for a bit to get there, which was kinda fun. the waterfalls were lovely. I had read some conflicting stuff on the internet about day hiking it… it’s over ten miles one way & most people stay the night. we decided to try to hike there & back anyway. not the wisest choice ever (midday Arizona sun is killer), but it came out alright in the end. & on the way  out we spotted that lovely “NO DAY HIKING” sign. whoops.

& as always, the best part of travelling (or of anything, really) is the people. made friends on both plane rides over… lady from 2nd plane invited us to dinner. we watched the eclipse with a random guy who worked for park services. met so many friendly hikers. people in stores & hotel lobbies & german girls at the campground & nice gas station cashiers. people are awesome, ya’ll.

…speaking of wonderful people, I get to see 13 of my favorite people (my family + this family) in california tomorrow. excited… be back next week!


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this past weekend my roommate Emily & I made a speedy trip to Pensacola for the Gulf Coast half marathon. we fit a whole bunch of fun (& a lot of miles) into 24 hours. after 4 music filled hours in the car (& a trip to Cracker Barrel), we went to the beach, where we accomplished what we could both probably agree was some of the best people watching of our rather extensive collective career. if you want to people watch, just go to Pensacola Beach during spring break. enough said.

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one plus of half marathon training being over is that we no longer have to obsessively think about how much water we are drinking on any given day. in case you were wondering, Gatorade Recover is gross & Gatorade Prime isn’t much better. there is a reason why people usually just drink the G2 stuff.

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we were excited that all the participants numbers also had names on them. people would occasionally do the whole awkward “I don’t know you but I’m working your name into our brief exchange because I read it on your name tag” type thing which I always enjoy. also, Emily’s phone takes pictures within our running app. sometimes this results in really hilariously bad pictures.

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the sky was glorious that morning, the beach was super pretty to run alongside & it was a joy to do with one of my best friends. the first ten miles were a lot more fun than the last three point one, but overall it was such a good experience & I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m real thankful to God for being so gracious in giving us healthy bodies that willingly run, but even more so in giving us each other to do it with. as fun as this weekend was, even better were all the dozens of days of running, swimming, Healthplex workouts & water running where we talked about everything under the sun. it’s been fun, Em… now let’s do a tri!

nueva york

spring break was wonderful, but so whirlwind that I almost felt like I needed a break from it as soon as I returned home. (so I might have skipped a few classes.)


after a few wonderful days at home with my family, I got spend a few days in New York City. I started the week out in Washington Heights… enjoyed spending time with some friends from the organization I worked at this summer. I got to see some of the kids who were in my class, as well as hang out with some wonderful coworkers. it was cool to see how things are running around Exodus… and good to be reminded that, as desperate & hopeless as I felt so many times last summer, my efforts don’t end with me… God is faithful to Washington Heights & the kids there.




I got to check out a couple of cool musuems: notabley, MoBiA and the weird but wonderful PS 1 in Queens (the Henry Taylor show was so good). got to see 5 Ptz before it closes… it was cool to see the building up close after riding by it on the 7 so many times.


then, one of my favorite high school friends came into Brooklyn for the weekend & we did many things, including Shake Shack, a St Patrick’s Day Parade, & (finally) going to Redeemer Pres. thanks for playing, Zach.


New York was real lovely, but I’m (always) happy to be back in Mississippi. thankful for sunshine & wide open space & this little bit of school that is left.

ps… some cool NYC links…

a needed addition, thanks Improv Everywhere!

NYC Public School’s PS 22 chorus… makes me happy every time.

using poetry to promote literacy in the Bronx.

kinda cool timelapse video.