Lone Star State of Mind

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 10 2010

and so it begins…

An awful lot has happened since my last post. Which is perhaps why my last post was so long ago! Right now, I’m about to go to bed on my second night of Teach For America institute. Institute takes place in your placement region, so a few days ago my mother and I drove 13 hours from El Paso to McAllen. (On a side note– all of my st. louis friends, many of whom are from the east coast, heard I would be in Mcallen, TX and had 2 reactions: 1)oh, isn’t it going to be scary on the border? and 2) at least you’ll be close to home. I’ll address point 1 later, but just to clear up point 2: Texas is ginormous. GINORMOUS. It took me 13 hours in the same state to get here from El Paso. That’s like driving the length of Rhode Island… about 13 times.)

Induction is also our introduction to our region and to TFA in general. So while much of the time is spent in development sessions, a lot of it is also spent simply getting to know your fellow corps members. It has been an enlightening experience. Everyone I meet here with TFA is warm and friendly. They’re the kind of people that think in big ideas and the small details needed to accomplish them. They’re world-changers, really. It’s a little overwhelming– I do wonder where I fit in.

At a pre-institute pool party, I had a very long conversation with an ’09 corps member on his second year. He is, like me, a high school english teacher hoping to make it as a screenwriter later in his life, and an avid writer in general. He gave me pretty much nothing but excellent advice, but this stuck out to me. He asked me, “so when do you write?” and I was stumped. Other than here (and stuff required for school or TFA) I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote for fun. So I told him, “oh I’m sure I’ll write more when things settle down, we’ll see…” and he reminded me that “we’ll see” is just not good enough. I need to take the time out to write, if only just to keep myself sane. So I’m adding that to my goals for the next month. In the meantime, I’m taking all his advice to heart and I’m excited for what the future holds.

On another note, I went by my school today. The staff is wonderful, as is the campus. Also, I’m officially assigned to English 2. I was going to be in that or English 1, so now I’m definitely placed. Also, I may have volunteered to coach cheerleading. It happened very quickly. It’s hard to tell.

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