Today is Friday and this current post is being written during a break from studying in the Sausalito Public Library. As described in a prior entry, I have been exiling myself here in order to prepare for a California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) test.

Flipping through chapters, there sits about one hundred and thirty pages of material ranging from phonetics, Greek city states, Civil War Generals, and the elements of basic story plots. All of the material listed is something that someone tried to teach me in elementary and or middle school. Hopefully if I pass these exams I will do a better job than my predecessors.

If the dense yellow and black Cliff Notes study guide resting in front of me was a person, I’m sure it would be laughing. It knows too well how little I’ve learned. It knows that despite my attempts between two jobs that there still lies an immense amount of time needed before I feel “ready” to take a swing the CSET’s fastball. It also knows where my favorite seat in the library is located, since we have been developing a comfortable routine on a fairly regular basis.

Despite the imaginary grin on the CSET booklet’s face, there is something that it doesn’t know. It has no idea that in three weeks its universe will change and our daily study tango will take on a different series of steps.

Sitting in the library I only have five shifts left at Cellar Door on Fillmore and about eight left at Napa Valley Burger Company. The tourist season in Sausalito is coming to a close, so to save shifts for other servers I put in my notice for resignation at Napa Burger last week. Sergio, Tom, and the rest of the Napa crew have been nothing less than awesome so hopefully next summer we can make hamburger magic happen again. After fifteen months of working as a bartender at Cellar Door in San Francisco, a change is needed. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to work for Kamran and Julie, two of the best bosses I’ve ever had. Lara, Enrique, Ryan, Caralyn, and sometimes Ben have been truly amazing co-workers. We will always be friends even if we never over-pour the house pinot to Tinder dates together again.

After September 23rd I will be happily unemployed and a free agent, not only in the working world, but in life was well.

The CSET booklet thinks that this hiatus from being a productive member of North American society will result in more hours dedicated towards passing the exam. This is very true. I want to study as much as possible and work towards becoming an elementary school teacher in the state of California.

The second thing that the booklet doesn’t know is where we will be studying.

The beauty of having a book is that you can take it anywhere. After working two jobs and living at home with my parents to save money on rent for the past six months, a list of where’s is coming into sight.

On September 28th my Mom and I will be flying to Spokane, Washington then renting a car. From Spokane we will cruise to Trout Creek, Montana because we have a cabin up there. For the next nineteen days the plan is to prepare CSET materials as much as possible. During that stretch of time, however, I will change locations. First I’ll be heading to Missoula, Montana for a few days because some great people from college (Ryan, Chris, Caitlin, Shane, Brian, Megan, the Doubletree family, Monte the Bear) are there. Afterwards I will fly to Seattle, Washington to visit Holly & Alvin, two friends who I last saw in Murcia, Spain back in 2015. Another world traveler in Vanessa is based there and we haven’t seen one another in a few years. From Seattle I will bus down to Portland, Oregon to visit with my grandmother. Two great former Missoula friends, Tucker and his girlfriend Kristina are living there so we will most definitely be catching up. Another bus to Seaside, Oregon is in the plan because two great Missoula buddies in Kyle and Charlie are living there. Kyle just turned 30? yesterday, so happy birthday!

The return back to the Bay Area on October 18th will be sweet, but very short. Hopefully if I have studied enough between now and then I will take the first Subtest on October 19th. If studying derails during the trip I will keep going and aim for a future date. The next day, October 20th, I’ll be flying East to New York. The plan will be to visit with one of my best friends, Jack Colombo, and new Harlem resident Kelsey Lamberto. Josh, Mark, and some scattered friends/family are based in New York so hopefully we will be able to get together.

After four days in the Big Apple, a final plane will be sending the CSET booklet and myself on another study field trip…

…to Lisbon, Portugal.

Two days ago I booked a one way ticket to Europe. It’s less expensive to book a round-trip ticket but I like not knowing the return date. One of Sausalito’s sister cities, Cascais, is only a thirty minute bus ride from Lisbon and it’s been a major goal to go there.

Only a couple days will be spent in Portugal because yesterday I enrolled in a month-long part-time Spanish course at Cervantes College and the first day of class is November 1st. Cervantes College is an affordable language school located in sunny Murcia, Spain and this is where I worked as an English Language Assistant last year. Lola, my former landlord, has reserved a room for me and it will be absolutely great to be back. Murcia has become a home away from home so being there again makes me feel very fortunate and blessed.

It’s time to stop writing and start reading through my future travel companion.

To those in the Bay Area, let’s hang out before I leave 🙂 To those whom I’m about to visit, I can’t wait to see you! To those in Murcia, nos vemos pronto achos!!

Thank you for reading this blog, more updates are coming.

Have a great day. Do what makes you happy and stay wanderful.

-Daniel Catena

One Reply to “The Wandering CSET Booklet”

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