Summer Teaching at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, My Twin Sister's Wedding, & Vegas, Baby!

There's nothing quite like getting off a 13.5 hour flight after two days of travel and seeing your sister waiting for you at the arrivals gate with a "Welcome Home" balloon. It's incomparable.

I was deep in my feelings. I already missed China, but I was excited to get back to the US.

Getting back in a New York groove
Seeing Stephanie standing there made my week, and better yet, she put me in an Uber to Sophie's house, where the three of us were going to hang out for the weekend before she headed back to Virginia and I began unpacking and readjusting to the Eastern time zone.

After more Mexican, Italian, and classic American cuisine than I thought I could handle, and after several days of staying up until 5 a.m. and sleeping until 3 p.m., I was back on US soil, loving being around Sophie, Tim, and Samantha every day, and ready to start teaching science to 12 eight-year-olds. I knew I wanted to teach over the summer, 1) because I love teaching, 2) because no money over an NYC summer was not going to happen, and 3) because I'm a shit waitress.

This was my first foray into gifted teaching, but it got me hooked.

Every morning, the students came ready to learn science. The administrative team was on their game, the assistants were so thrilled to be helping, and I had all the supplies and support I could ever want. Why wasn't this gifted program offered year-round?

Bridal Shower Love
Sure there were hiccups - gifted students are often twice exceptional and have additional needs, like ADD/ADHD, being extremely emotional, craving lots of individual attention and praise, getting bored easily, getting frustrated easily, etc. I definitely dealt with all of these issues with my kids, but it just helped me become a better teacher and leader.

After a quick three weeks with my science students, it was time for me to move to history, and oh, the places we got to go! I loved how international my site was and how much my students loved learning about international historical figures, often getting bored with the traditional White, male, Christians who dominate history books. Those kids did me proud with their constant questions and burning curiosity.

It was an incredible summer teaching incredibly gifted children.

The bride, bridesmaids, and cousins
Teaching done? Must be time for a wedding! Yep, Stephanie got married this summer - and then there were three. She's now Stephanie Fuselier. Gracious.

The wedding was beautiful - three girls in blue, one in white, quick ceremony, delicious dinner, endless dancing, darling speeches, memory table for Dad, sparkler send off - it was truly picture perfect. The best part? It doesn't feel like I've lost my sister, my Stephanie, my Lemon, my twin; instead, it really does feel like I've just added a brother, no more, no less. I'm grateful for that.

Of course Ses and I had to take our single selves somewhere after the wedding to celebrate! Sophie went home to her fiance, Lem's a newlywed, so it was just us, two single, sexy, sisters in Las Vegas for a week. Yep, we did that.

We scrambled to the top at Red Rock
We did Vegas Ses and Bunny Style. We walked the strip every day, ate expensive sushi at Nobu, chilled poolside at the Palazzo and Venetian, rented a car and did a "desert day" and hiked/rock scrambled at Red Rock Canyon, at amazing food at Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, got drunk nightly, and I, of course, drunkenly took a bath in our jacuzzi tub while watching "Family Guy" and eating chili crunches. All in all, Vegas was a huge win in my book.

If my summer was too short, it's only because it was too wonderful. Walking to Ses' apartment whenever I felt like it, hanging out in my room at Sophie's, drinking on the deck with Tim and Sophie, bridal shower-ing and wedding-ing with Lem, seeing mom, teaching, hiking, meeting interesting NYC locals - it was a great time.

On to the next one - teaching English in Cairo, Egypt.