I have been blessed with a five-day break in between the end of Part I of school-specific training and the beginning of Part II, with Part II leading right into the first day of school. I’ve spent much of the time just doing the mundane things you have to do to move into a new place. Dealing with credit card stuff, electricity, wifi, a shower curtain, a water filter pitcher. I’m still sleeping on an air mattress (and will be, for the foreseeable future) but my book collection has made it intact, so all is well.
Speaking of books, I stopped by one of the local secondhand bookstores after grocery shopping today, to see whether they have some sort of educator’s discount (as my school has no central library). Not only do they love teachers, they love teachers so much they are willing to literally donate books right then and there. One of the managers loaded three boxes with books (perfect for my students’ range of reading levels!) and literally put them in my car for me. People are good. And people want to find ways to help. So in addition to all the in-school goals I have for myself, I also want to bridge a little bit of the gap I see in the world right now. I want to connect people who want to help with concrete, tangible ways they can help. I want them to see the good they can do if they choose to open their eyes and see what is right in front of them. Houston doesn’t even try to hide its inequality. It’s right there, plain as day.
I’m continuing to struggle with death but things do get better, day by day. I’ve always tried to be very intentional about valuing relationships and people and time and meaning. And the week’s events have served as an even stronger reminder.
I’m going to spend the next two days exercising, having coffee with various Houston friends, and attempting to organize my thoughts/life in advance of orientation (which begins on Wednesday). I’m having an introduction with my MTLD over dinner tomorrow night (our entire MTLD group has split into groups of six for these dinners) and I’m excited to get back into the TFA zone. As exhausting and overwhelming and confusing as Institute was – I really do miss TFA people and the types of discussions we had together. They say the most important thing in your life are the people you meet along the way. I don’t have a shred of doubt that this is true.
The plan for tonight is to look up the lexile levels of the three boxes of donated books now sitting in my apartment and begin figuring out which ones are most on-level and appropriate. Quite the evening, I know. Other action items include washing our new Target dishes and trying to fit in some exercise. I kind of appreciate the mundanity of life right now. It’s exhausting to constantly be stressed/anxious/worried/overwhelmed. I need to get better at handling this sort of stress. I need to learn from other people in my TFA-life who handle it really well.
Just a final thought that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately:
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”