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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Terlizzi

New Frontier

Sunrise over the wetlands—behind the elementary school

When I set up this blog, I was brimming with ideas! Every week it was my intention to crank out 1 or 2 essays; posts in which I would dazzle everyone with my intellect and wit. Ha! I would spout clever anecdotes, and share new techniques and tutorials. But I learned rather quickly that those “ideas-brimming” were only about 5 blogs deep. Beneath the foam was just a big empty vat full of air. No clever anecdotes, no new techniques. Nothing interesting to say or new to reveal.

Now I am in Ohio, where literally everything is new to me. I am living in a new place, with new people. I am getting up early, and (gasp) getting showered and dressed and out the door while it’s still dark outside. Talk about a jolt to the system! I am teaching all day and learning the intricacies of managing a class full of squirmy kindergarteners, or head-strong 4th graders. My brain is spinning and sparking, and my heart is filling up to the point where sometimes I think I might burst into tears. (You can’t spend all day with children and NOT feel something.)

1st day in the classroom!

I want the students here to feel proud of what we create together, and I’ll be honest—right now I am not sure what I am doing or how it will all turn out. But I am confident that it will be okay. I have done this long enough to know that with every challenging project, there is a period during which you feel like you are hurdling perilously through space. But if you keep going—ignoring the niggling doubts and naysayers—you will land safely on your feet in the end. Leap fearlessly and the net will appear.

The Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapakoneta, OH

Speaking of hurdling perilously through space: I am staying in Wapakoneta, Ohio, which has the distinction of being Neil Armstrong’s hometown. He was born on his grandparents’ farm near here in 1930. He learned to fly an airplane here at age 16–before he even learned how to drive a car. After graduating from the local high school, he studied engineering at university in Ohio. He became a Naval aviator, a test pilot, an astronaut, and the first man to step (left foot first apparently) onto the moon. Neil Armstrong is a hero here in Wapakoneta—and I love that downtown looks the same today as it did in 1969 when he rode through in a parade to celebrate the moon landing.

Neil Armstrong’s back up space suit

Sometimes we need a change of scenery in order to wake ourselves up. What a blessing I’ve been given! I am going to wring absolutely every adventure I can out of my time here in Ohio. 😊

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