Celebración del cumpleaños

Hola en mi caro,

Hoy es un día donde desearía que mi español era más competente. En las Cataratas del Niágara como la persona blanca token, me he sentido un poco en la parte exterior de la mayoría que había dicho. Mientras que Melissa es muy amable, especialmente cuando miro en total confusión, me siento como si impongo. Quizás la principal razón que me gustaría que poder hablar con más fluidez es Maria. Así que le agradezco. Tal vez sea porque he sido hecho más consciente; Quizás sea porque voy a pasar más tiempo con el Galáns; Tal vez es porque estoy viendo a la gente que me importa mucho, que estoy más emocionalmente afectado. Okay, back to English.

I also think I see a different reaction based on both the relative “darkness” of one’s skin. For instance, Melissa and her father are significantly different and darker than her mother. However, I think gender and size also contribute. I decided to merely observe and tuck things away today. It has been a very nice 24 hours plus. There were a number of firsts for me: it is the first time I have ever been to Niagara Falls; it was the first time I was ever denied access into a country (that is a story for another time); it was the first time I have ever been in a Hard Rock Cafe. I was actually speechless looking at the falls. I was hit headlong by the reality of our post-911 world. I know it exists, but I have now experienced the stark black and white of borders and allowing people in, or out, for that matter. Going to the Hard Rock Cafe was enjoyable and the memorabilia was pretty impressive. The food was good too.

At this point we are on our way home and probably a little over an hour away from Bloomsburg. Will still go back to Hazleton, but I think I will go back to Bloomsburg and do some work in my office. I need to finish some tweaking of my documents and get things off to duplicating. I will be glad when it is December and all things are decided. While I do expect a positive result, I am at the point any decision would be welcome. What I mean is just knowing. It is sort of how I go about most things. Knowing is always better. It is always interesting to me that while we get away from things life continues on. While we might try to put it aside, it is not always easy for me to do so, particularly during the year. I intentionally cut back on some busy work during the semester for this year, but I am still feeling a bit swamped. I think it is because I have attempted to balance a modicum of a personal life with the world of the university. Sometimes I am more successful than other times. There are moments that I struggle with the consequences of decisions, but that is normal.

I think the larger battle I have taken on is taking more of a toll than I would like to believe. As I sit here in the car the various parts of my body that seem to be unhappy are more numerous than the fingers on one of my hands. My legs seem to cramp easier; headaches last for days now; and pains in my lower abdomen seem to be a constant companion. I am seriously sick to my stomach, but am not sure why. I am pretty sure being in the car is not helping, but one cannot get home “I dream of Jeanie”-style. I know I am dating myself on that comment. I think it will probably be a bit of a long night. I was planning to stay in Hazleton, but I detest being sick and even more so around others, so I am going to “gut” it out (pun intended) and make it home. Not the way I want to finish the day and I feel badly for the Galáns. They are such amazing people. It is interesting how my views seem to evolve. I so appreciate what they have as a family. It is not a perfect family, but there is no such thing. It is a family of five amazing people, each in their own way and I have been blessed by each of them, but together there are few words that could adequately explain what they bring in total to my life. I am not sure I have it figured out myself at this point. What I do know is when I consider what has happened since Jordan first crossed the threshold into my class, my life has been a series of learning events. I am so much more reflective, caring, inspired, and hopeful because of them. Contrary to the day, I am healthier and will continue to be so because of their wisdom and influence. It is surely been the best birthday celebration of my life. Finally getting settled last night to the initial walk around the falls this morning. The boat ride and watching Maria in her water poncho was a highlight of the day. Being under the Horseshoe Falls is an unbelievable experience. Merely having dinner with Melissa, Maria, and José is a gift. Well . . . I am home and I will call it a night.

Thank you for celebrating my birthday! To the rest, thank you for reading.

Michael

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