Getting Settled In My New Hometown

I should be able to start picking up the pace again with my blog, but the last two weeks have been so busy.

Here is a recap of things that have happened in the last two weeks.

  • I arrived in Beaverton (suburb SW of Portland) and was offered a temporary residence with a family friend. Very thankful and happy to accept the offer!
  • All that stood in the way between me and beginning my job was the processing of my Oregon teaching license. The process was expedited back on September 18th, and typically should take 4-9 days. Well, after four days I was informed the state police could not read my fingerprints. That same day, I had a new fingerprint card taken and drove it down to Salem (30 minutes south) where I personally handed it to the secretary at the Teaching “headquarters.” That was on the 23rd. I figured everything would be ready a few days later, but it turns out it somehow took 13 days! I wasn’t cleared until Monday afternoon, 10/7.  Meanwhile, I had been communicating with the district office, my school, and taking care of various trainings. I think it was an efficient use of time, although I had hoped to start sooner.
  • I officially started today, and will have the class to myself beginning tomorrow. Today, I was in the room while the long-term sub taught one last day. She was able to say her goodbyes and I was able to check in with some kids, build rapport, and tryied very hard to learn the students’ names. They are going to quiz me tomorrow!
  • There’s lots of rain up here. I love it. I missed it.
  • There are tons of concerts that I want to go to this month. Portland is a major music locale, but it’s mostly smaller venues and the tickets are a lot cheaper. I did have to sell my LA tickets to The XX, and I still need to sell my tickets for The Neighbourhood. That band is playing up here soon but it is sold out. I may just have to go on my own to several concerts this month, as I haven’t really met anyone to go with. We’ll see.
  • I bought a new car! We have had the Chrysler Sebring for several years, but Kellie always drove it to work. I have had it for the last year, but it really doesn’t have a comfortable amount of headroom for me. I have been seriously considering (and planning on) a new car for the last couple weeks, doing research, and all that. One that I considered was a particular model and style of Subaru. On Saturday, I rose early to head to the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market, where I was signed up to meet a group of photographers (being that it was worldwide photo walk day). Afterwards, I stopped by the Subaru dealer to look around. The salesman was great, didn’t seem pushy, and was very helpful. I compared the package I really wanted (Limited) with the one that had more headroom (Premium). That’s because, even though it’s a separate add-on, the Limited seems to always come with a moonroof – as a general rule. I can’t have that because it lowers the roof height 2-3 inches. I did really like many things about the Subaru – the feel of the ride, the blind spot visibility, the continuous all-wheel drive. I was weighing whether I could live with the reduced height of the Limited…it did brush against my head just the slightest bit. As I was walking away with a promise to decide which style I thought would be best, we passed one that had just arrived from another dealer (it had a Gresham Subaru label on it). It was the Limited style, but without headroom. It was perfect. I probably would have chosen a different color than the “ice silver” that it is, but really, I did not dislike any of the color choices, so that’s no problem. I do love the dark interior. I like it much better than the light interior that pairs with some exterior colors. I’m excited to be in a car with so many premium features. The one single negative is that it doesn’t come with an XM radio, so I’ll have to attach an XM player, which easily snaps on to the air vent. I’ll just have to try to hide the cords as much as possible.I got the car for $400 over invoice, which I felt was fair. I was leery about using their financing since I have switched addresses often for the last few years. I thought I wouldn’t get as good of a rate. I could get 1.99% through my credit union, but the financing guy checked my credit score (which happened to be 794) and said he could match that. I declined and he dropped the offer to 1.59% so I decided that would work for me. Loving the car so far, 70 miles in!IMG_3085
  • There is a place here called Big Al’s. It looks like a huge family fun center – a Walmart-sized Chuck E. Cheese. However it’s not so easy to describe it in real-life. About half of it is a bowling alley, and there is a big room that looks like a Las Vegas Sports Book. They have a 55×14 HD televison. That’s 55×14 FEET. It’s split into several large and small screens and they show a variety of live sports events. The TV schedule is even available on their website a week at a time. They serve bar food, beer/liquor, and there is a small video poker room attached. There is also an age 21+ lounge up on the 2nd floor overlooking this area. Well, the point is, I have been going there for all of the Dodgers games. It’s nice to watch Kershaw pitching on a 14 foot television. Here’s how ridiculous his curveball is:K3
  • The other day I ordered the regular nachos and it took me a full 2.5 HOURS to eat it. It would have been enough for 4 or 6 people. Also… this is how the Dodgers just got to the National League Championship Series….

Uribe1

  • Pretty quickly after arriving here, I found a part of the area I think I would like to live in. That’s primarily based on the selection of amenities nearby, but it is also convenient to my school. I drove past several apartment complexes several days ago, quickly eliminating ones where I didn’t love the neighborhood. I think I have an apartment complex in mind, but I knew I couldn’t  apply without proof of income. Now that my job is confirmed, I will probably be more deliberate in finding a place.

I’m sure I am missing many exciting new adventures, but I will just have to discuss them in a future post. I’ll make sure the next one comes soon.

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