One of the things I miss the most about having a class of my own is the chance to talk with the kids each morning about what they did the night before. I loved hearing about their soccer games, ballet lessons, or time spent with their family. This kind of talk is essential to creating relationships and developing friendships.
Unfortunately, in our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to find time to maintain relationships and friendships we already have, let alone make new ones. But that’s exactly what happened last week when I was in New York for the TCRWP Reading Institute.
Fellow slicer and tweep Julieanne knew I was going to be at the Institute and told her friend, Dayna, to look me up. Miraculously, she found me as we were leaving Riverside Church after Lucy Calkins’ inspiring keynote. We agreed to meet at the end of the day and make plans for dinner.
We hit it off immediately, and decided to meet again after our sessions on Tuesday. That morning, my section leader, Annie Taranto, mentioned that one of her favorite things to do in the city was walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. This idea appealed to me immediately, and I hoped Dayna would want to come along.
She loved the idea. So even though it was windy and threatening to rain, we set off, armed with the apps on our phones and our sense of adventure.
We got off the subway at the City Hall station, and proceeded to walk a block in the wrong direction. We soon realized our mistake, turned around, and found the entrance to the pedestrian walkway leading from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Despite the weather, many people were out enjoying the views. The Empire State Building towered over the city to the north. To the south, the Statue of Liberty came into view.
Then there was the bridge itself. The distinctive gothic arches of the towers and the web-like steel cables give the bridge a graceful beauty. We peered down onto the cars and trucks below and agreed we were glad not to be sitting in the tangle of traffic beneath us.
Without a doubt, though, the best part of the whole evening was spending time with Dayna and getting to know her. We talked about our families, our histories, and our jobs. We shared ideas from the sessions we’d been in that day and talked about books we love. It felt like we were long-lost friends.
By the time we arrived back in Manhattan, it had started to rain and it was getting late. We found a pub not far from City Hall and continued to talk through dinner. It was much easier to find our way back to the subway, and soon we were headed back uptown to our hotels, tired and happy from our trek to Brooklyn and back. Happy to have found a new friend along the way.