Friday marked my official first day of On-Site Orientation (OSO). It was a day, unlike any other, because I awoke with the urge to take public transit to my destination of choice, the LAUSD District Headquarters, in the heart of downtown LA.
The map didn't look particularly confusing, so I hopped off at Pershing Square and found 4th Street, and despite its hilly countenance, it appeared a road most convenient for the services I was seeking. I walked along 4th, huffing and puffing my way up a Phoenix-sized mountain that evoked the evil spirits of San Francisco city planners. Eventually, it leveled off with my mood.
Suddenly, I seem to notice: hark! Ye olde sidewalk seems to be disappearing. Not a trick of the irises, but rather a fact of life. Shrinking sidewalk then comes to an abrupt end in front of a lovely set of wooden posts acting as guardrails for the on-ramp to a freeway. EEK.
A cursory glance determined that the "leveled-off hill" I had been following was actually a downward-sloping hill, making the walk back to my previous position a most unattractive option. The only other way to avoid walking across the entire freeway like a human frogger was a steep, dirt hill to my right that posed more than one ankle sprain points, a homeless man's abandoned sleep gear, and a half-torn down fence standing between me and a normal, pedestrian-filled walkway. Unattractive, but feasible.
This was not exactly what I had in mind for my commute, but I figured it would make a good story, so I went for it. Little did I know, this would be the most interesting thing on my plate all day. The training was informative, don't get me wrong. But it had me yearning for the varied teaching styles of my facilitator at PSO, or for the impassioned ideals of those involved in the non-profit sector, or even just the slightest whisper of hope that things can and will change.
Unfortunately, the district has been beaten down by the weight of the journey ahead of them and there seems to be very little hope left. But I still hope. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day, filled with more interesting training material.