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Day 143

Reality is moving closer too fast. Today is August 7.

I realized this morning that I only have one week left before my life changes forever. In seven days I’ll be sleeping in my own bed for the last time before going off to college. I’m excited and terrified. I keep thinking about making friends and handling classes and what living away from home will feel like. For having basically the longest summer of my life, all I want is a few more days before my inevitable future and I collide. Maybe it’s selfish, but I’m going to really miss being a kid and having my family by my side. I guess that’s what growing up feels like.

I’m planning on pursuing a double major in journalism and Spanish in college, and one of the main reasons I’ve decided on this path is because of the spectacular educators I’ve had along the way.”

A little after I woke up this morning, I took a shower and changed into a nice outfit. I hadn’t overslept, but I also didn’t do the best job of anticipating how much time I’d need to get out the door, so I was in a rush. I was meeting my old Spanish 4 and Advanced Placement Spanish teacher, Eva Vazquez, at Uprise Bakery at 11 a.m., and I didn’t want to be late. I got her gift together, wrote her a card, wrote and addressed two more thank you notes, collected everything I needed to bring with me and raced out the door.

Before I met with Vazquez, I wanted to stop by the Post Office to mail all of the thank you notes I’ve written since my graduation party. I also sent out several letters I’d written to friends who couldn’t be at the party, and I wanted to make sure everyone got their notes before heading away for school in a few days/weeks. The stop only took about three minutes. While I was in the building I said hello to an old friend, but I don’t think she recognized me and I was in too much of a hurry to chat.

I made it to the restaurant on time and was happy to see Vazquez already at a table. I’d picked Uprise Bakery as our place to meet because I knew it had a strong mask policy and would be relatively safe even if we sat inside, which is where the table she’d chosen was. For some reason we never ended up ordering lunch and instead spent the better part of two hours talking about school and life and the future. It was lovely to see her again after a year, even though I didn’t feel like I’d changed all that much. I was so thankful she’d suggested grabbing lunch together, and I hope to stay in contact with her for a long time.

I had an amazing time catching up with my former Spanish teacher and hearing about her life. Photo by Bailey Stover.

Vazquez has been one of the best teachers and mentors I could have asked for. I’m even taking the flag of Spain she gifted me as a junior when she retired with me to college. I started taking Spanish in sixth grade, and since then I’ve had five different teachers. Each one taught me a new reason to appreciate culture through the lens of the Spanish language. I was sad when I wasn’t able to continue formally taking Spanish as a senior, but I never lost my love for it. I’m planning on pursuing a double major in journalism and Spanish in college, and one of the main reasons I’ve decided on this path is because of the spectacular educators I’ve had along the way. I can’t wait to study and travel abroad, and one of my main hopes for the future is to become bilingual and not just passably proficient in the language. 

When we finished talking and exchanged gifts, we had to finally go our separate ways. For seven days straight I’ve had almost completely full days, so I was grateful for the brief chance to relax when I got home. I dealt with the permissions on my college billing account, and my mom taught me how to correctly endorse checks for deposit, but other than that I was able to enjoy a mostly leisurely evening. On a high point for the day, my mom heard back from her doctor, and her coronavirus test was negative, which was a huge relief for all of us. I took some time to myself when I first got home to watch an episode or two of Dynasty, then my parents and I decided to watch Chuck together. My brother was working and then decided to visit someone after he was off, so we had the house to ourselves. 

“Time is what we want most and what we use worst.”

William Penn

I’m going to miss being able to spend random nights being excited about spies and the Buy More with my parents, but we’re planning on finishing the final season before I leave. It was a great way to end a long week, and I hope in college I can find friends who can make a Friday feel as much fun as this one was. Tomorrow I’m getting up early to stop by the bank before going to the Red Cross to donate blood. A friend of mine is supposed to be coming over afterward, depending on the rain, then I have to deal with college stuff for a while in the evening. I know if I stay up too late I won’t want to get up in the morning, plus I’m enjoying my newly normalized, healthy sleep schedule. I think not staying up late and being able to wake up early is going to serve me well in college, especially with my dreaded 8 a.m. classes.

“Time is what we want most and what we use worst.” ― William Penn

How did you spend your 143rd day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.

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