Saturday, May 18, 2013

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." - Orson Welles

Here it is May 18th. Where did the time go? I can't fathom that in five weeks from yesterday it will be my last day at VIP. And just beyond that, it will be my last day in PA with the domestic volunteers. Yesterday at VIP I attended the Probate training for volunteer attorneys. Back in September, I attended my first training at VIP, which just happened to be a Probate one as well. Funny how time often goes full circle.

It's also been somewhat difficult for me to keep up with this blog. At the inception of my year, I thought I would update once a week or so. But for some reason I have found it hard to remember or take the time to write new posts. During my semester abroad it was often easier for me to sit down and write about my current adventure. I guess I knew there were friends and family out there waiting for new posts just to ensure that I was healthy and happy. This time around I feel like the blog is more reflective for me, and I also have become so comfortable in my new home and service site that I just typically spent the days living in the present and reflecting more or less internally and with my community. Still, it's nice to be able to sit down and write when the mood strikes. And with only about a month until the end, now seems like just as good a time as any.

First off, if I do have any curious readers out there that haven't seen Facebook or asked me directly, I chose Villanova for law school next year! When I really stopped to think about it, it felt like the right fit. I visited for a tour and observed a 1L class and the atmosphere and mission are everything that I would want in an institution. Villanova is a school in the Augustinian tradition, so service is very important to its scholarship. The Executive Director of VIP teaches a course called "Lawyering Together," which affords students the opportunities to do clinicals at an outside agency, much like an externship, but the positions are usually social justice-oriented. Needless to say, the pro bono opportunities are vast and I also have grown to appreciate and wonder at Philadelphia. Living right outside the city will allow me to network and use resources and skills I have already begun to dive into this year. There are many firms and legal services organizations, and I know that I will have a head start when it comes to finding a summer internship position. Maybe I will even be able to return to VIP as a law school intern! I would love to have the opportunity to deepen my skills and enrich my experience in a new capacity. Although it was a somewhat difficult decision to choose where to spend my next three years, Villanova felt like home. I can hardly wait for the next chapter in my life to enfold.

Making the decision after so many long months of test prep, applications, financial aid work, etc. etc. was beyond relieving. I've found that the last month or so I've been able to more focus on my work at VIP and home community. It's bittersweet knowing that it's coming to a close! I've gotten to do some fun things with my community lately. We had brunch at this beautiful little restaurant in Northern Liberties called Honey's Sit & Eat. I've definitely missed having breakfast out. We also went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum two weekends ago. While art is not entirely my thing, I did appreciate the "Outsider Art" display and the architecture at Rodin. I also tried Greek food for the first time at Zorba's, which is a really cute Greek restaurant near the museums. It was also Greek Easter when we visited, and I don't think I'd be wrong to say that the food just seemed to taste that much better!

 Us at the Rodin Museum as "The Thinker"

 My favorite piece of art

 Greek chicken kabobs!

A few weekends ago I was also fortunate that Sam and Meredith were able to visit again! They loved their visit in December so much that they made the trip again at the end of April. This time I made sure that they experienced Wawa and also had a cheese steak at a new place. Katharine and I have continued our cheese steak competition and are now 7/10 the way through! Three more yummy cheese steaks to put in my tummy in the coming weeks. Back to Sam and Mere's visit... On Saturday we went to Longwood Gardens. It is outside the city and is absolutely breathtaking. It has more than just gardens, as there are waterfalls, flowers, tree houses, a botanical garden, sculptures and so much more. You can get lost in the place, and there's new things to explore each season of the year. I hope next year I can make it back for the Longwood Christmas celebration.

 And just to make your mouths water a wee bit...

 Cheese steak from Tony Luke's

Chicken cheese steak from John's Roast Pork (#1 in Philly!)

In the coming weeks I am looking forward to going home for Memorial Day weekend (less than a week!) Then venturing to Longwood Gardens again with my community as well as Dutch Country to see the Amish. We also plan to make it to a Phillies game together and to a Greek Festival at the end of the month. The second weekend of June I am heading to Florida with my dad's side of the family for my grandpa's 88th birthday festivities. Then the third weekend of June my parents are visiting Philly! It's going to be a jam-packed next six weeks. I want to make the most of every moment. :)