Here is just some assorted information for anyone who cares to read it:
School starts on Tuesday! I can't believe it. Last week was a whirlwind week of meetings and preparation days, and I'm still sorting through all of the information I received, updating and revising to do lists.
I got a house. At least rented a house. It's a really sweet deal, just a small place, only 8 years old, and, best of all, on the Tobacco River!!! It is about a 30 minute drive from work, but a gorgeous location. Its location is pretty funny: Just off Boos Road (sounds like "booze road") on the Tobacco River. I will post pictures soon.
My school system touts itself as "one of the best in the state, if not in the nation." I love saying that, but it also certainly comes with some hefty expectations for teachers.
I have very friendly colleagues. The schools where I work have big foreign language departments and really nice, social teachers, so it will be difficult to get lonely here.
I find myself smiling all the time. Everyone is so friendly! At the gas station last night I filled up the car, got a coffee, and the cashier didn't even charge me for the coffee! I didn't hide it or anything, I wanted to pay. People in the supermarket are nice and don't throw my purchases! The cashiers even bag my items! And you get free bags in the supermarket! (though they are bad for the environment...sorry environment...) People don't crowd me in lines! Americans have a much bigger area of personal space, and I feel very nice with this.
One person is convinced I came back to the United States because "it is the best country in the world". Well, I hate to say it, but no. I am very happy here, but it also has its not so positive sides. I really liked living in Germany, but it's also not perfect there. No place is the best country in the world, they are all just different. They all have good things and not so good things, and you just have to find a place that fits you. We'll see how it fits us here, and if it doesn't, we will probably make another change...