with love and squalor

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 14 2011

frantic panic time!

It is utterly AMAZING how time passes.  I remember back in January when I got the news that I had been accepted into TFA, it seemed like June 20th would never, ever come.  Now it’s (almost) here.  In between January and now, a lot happened to me.  I finished my thesis and all of my classes, secured valedictorian and gave the commencement speech/graduated, took a *long* road trip with my best friend from Massachusetts to Knoxville to DC, and so many other things, large and small.  This has been a very emotional few weeks for me, mostly because I really loved my college and was exceptionally sad to say goodbye to it.  I’m still kind of trying to get used to the idea that I’m not going back in the fall, and everyone keeps reminding me that I’m moving on to bigger and better things.  Oh, AND I just got my wisdom teeth out last week, something that sooo needed to happen.  That kinda put me out of commission for a few days so I’ve had a lot of deep introspection time.  I’m about healed by now, but I have two huge bruises on my face that left me looking like I just lost a fight.  I hope they’re gone by induction.

Of course, all of this transitioning hasn’t been easy.  For one thing, I still don’t have an apartment and I have to say that searching for one has been very frustrating.  I lived on campus at college for all four years, so I’ve actually never had to do this before.  My brother and I are planning to live together in Baltimore together and have isolated a neighborhood we definitely want to live in.  Beyond that, it’s been incredibly difficult to find a suitable place, and it’s funny because we live in DC and thus have the ability to go and visit/sign a lease at virtually any time.  I don’t think we are going to find a place before induction, which starts next Tuesday.  Unfortunately, for the Baltimore corps, institute starts immediately after induction and so my timeframe is somewhat restrictive.  He may have to choose an apartment without me while I am at institute.

Another worry has been the fact that I am currently unplaced.  Although the TFA staff has consistently told us not to worry about it yet, it’s still kind of alarming, especially after we received an e-mail today from Baltcorps telling us that, due to budget cuts, there’s a decent chance that the 65% of us who are still unhired will not be hired in the content areas we’ve been assigned, and may need to take additional Praxis tests/be extremely flexible.  This is kind of scary because I’ve spent the past 5 months preparing myself for ECE.  I know it’s important to be flexible and I will be, but I am pretty sure that I am actually unable to teach something like, say, high school math.  I haven’t taken a math class in YEARS and barely got through math when I was in high school.  I want to be available for a high needs area and appreciate the necessity of some amount of self-sacrifice to make that happen, but I was pretty excited about ECE and I’ve been kind of daydreaming about my future pre-k or kindergarten class/classroom for almost half a year now!  I really hope that everything works out, and they said not to worry, but it is impossible not to.  No placement and no apartment has given me lots to feel anxious about for the past few weeks.  I just want induction to get here so I can start channeling this nervous energy into something positive…

On the plus side, I’ve spent the past two weeks updating my wardrobe into acceptable-for-adulthood items.  This has been surprisingly difficult!  At my college, it is socially acceptable to wear blankets (yes, blankets).  Not that I did, but that should give you some idea of how much effort I’ve put into my wardrobe up until now (very little).  It’s been hard to find clothes that fit the relatively strict, formal guidelines we’ve been given for institute/induction while on a budget (and not mention finding clothes that are both formal and appropriate for Baltimore/Philadelphia summers).  I finally finished assembling my wardrobe today, I believe, so at least that’s one big project out of the way.  I am also almost done with the pre-institute work, which I’ve found really engaging and inspiring so far.

One week…!

One Response

  1. always an adventure

    I am so glad that you mentioned the wardrobe issue. I feel better knowing that I am not the only one trying to figure out what a teacher wears!

    Also, you have a great attitude about the placement situation!

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