Just withdrew my job application from another city and committed to a third year in my placement school. I think about 3/4 of my cohort of 26 will likely be doing the same. I’m thrilled for many reasons – just one of which is that in staying a third year, I’m proving so many of those TFA critics wrong. I didn’t do two-and-out. I’m in it for the long haul.
The weeks since Winter Break have been crazy; I’ve been swept up in a flurry of summer applications and various other projects. I’m applying to three different summer roles and I also got nominated for a teaching award so the various application processes have been taking up much of my outside-of-school time. I’ve also gotten to do a bit of traveling – I’m heading to visit some friends in the Northeast for Spring Break/my 23rd birthday! – which is helping this semester go much faster.
I finished my last full observation earlier this week and things with To Kill a Mockingbird are winding down to a wonderful, bittersweet, beautiful close. My kids have gotten just as into the book as they did last year and our “Question Wall of Fame” is nearly overflowing with the incredible things students have asked. My favorite line of the book comes up on Thursday.
“Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”
Be not unkind to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.
In other news, I think I’ve grown up a lot over the past few months. Last year, my school friends were the center of my world. We did everything together. Happy hours, weekend coffee dates, school trips, everything. This year, things are…more balanced, I suppose. I have a healthy friend group outside of school. I’m meeting new people. I’m taking a class on The Aeneid at Rice, I’ve been going to poetry slams, I’m joining a flag football league, I’ve been going to the gym at least three times a week. In a way it makes me sad – to have lost the way things used to be last year, I mean – but in a way, I know this is what it means to grow into the person you are meant to be. At the end of the day, though I love my job, it is a job and it is not my life. I can build a full and healthy life outside of it.
My TFA Graduation is in three and a half months. I can’t believe it. Time flies when you’re having fun.