While monitoring my class on the playground I like to walk the length of it to think and get some exercise. The other day I was thinking about the different places I have lived in the last 28 years. Most of my childhood was spent in Rome, with a population of almost 3 million people. I have always loved Rome. It is a crazy and hectic place to live, but there is something about the city that always draws me back: adventure, history and the excitement of always meeting and seeing new people.
When I was 13 my family moved to Padova, population slightly above 200 thousand. I remember being miserable the first couple years there because it was so small! My nickname for Padova has always been: “the village.”
I went to college in Minneapolis when I was 18, population above 300 thousand. Again, to me, I was living in a small city.
I never imagined that I would live in a place smaller than the villages of Padova and Minneapolis!
Yet here I am, living on an Island with population under 4 thousand. A place where I daily run into my students outside of school and all the grocers know my family. Where everyone says hello when you walk by and most people are employed by the same employer: Dynasty Hotel. I could walk to all of the major areas, all 3 grocery stores, hotel, restaurants and beach in less than 15 minutes. Many of my students have to fly to another island to play in a soccer game against another team because they are the only team on our island. A place where everyone knows where you work and which car is yours. Where there are 3 main restaurants that almost everyone goes to, with some waitresses that work in 2 of them! Where you go out to dinner at the hotel’s café in the casino and you’re afraid to run into your students’ parents because most of them work in the hotel and casino.
My list could go on, but I will conclude with this:
I now live in a place that is actually called “the village,” San Jose Village to be exact!