Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 03 2010

Step Taker

With graduation out of the way, one would expect some mild relief from the pressure of academics, deadlines, and filled days. That expectation, in my case, is entirely wrong.

Saturday was graduation. My last real “final” was Wednesday afternoon but as a design major, continued to work on my portfolio, helped my classmates, and attended meetings until Friday evening. I’m still not finished (my own misfortune, also my own fault). Wednesday my graduating senior class leaves for New York City on a professional development trip– visiting studios, getting our portfolios reviewed, and soaking in the big apple. When people ask Are you excited yet?! I feel a heavy guilt when I say “No, not really.”

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn more about design, see studios, and spend quality time with my peers and professors before we disband forever, but I’m also stuck with a huge Teach For America cloud hovering over my head. My prework is not finished. I have not done my classroom observations. I do not know my PRAXIS scores. I do not know how I am getting to the Delta. I do not know where I am going to live, what I am going to teach, who I am going to rely on, or how well I will perform. I’m not feeling negative, I’m feeling anxious.

Graduation was amazing because a good chunk of my extended family arrived. Uncles from Chicago, Grandpa from Warren (MI), sister from Philly, brother from NYC, Auntie from the Carolinas. All was full of love and celebration.

Despite my worries, I know I am on track and going to do just fine. I registered for the computerized PRAXIS I this afternoon, the only available day being May 22. I arrive in Chicago from my 8 day vacation to Taiwan on the 20th, and had intentions of visiting with old friends for a few days, but now must rush back to the east side of Michigan to take the exam at 1pm in Livonia. At least it’s scheduled.

I emailed my roommates mother, a high up administrator in Kalamazoo Public Schools, to schedule my observations. My fingers are crossed that I’ll be able to see a classroom before school is out, even with my crazy travel schedule. Think TFA would be unhappy if I used my pseudo-sister Shoshana’s English classroom in Taiwan as an observation? I just might have to do it.

I bought a car, and insurance. Thank God for the gift of a strong supportive family. My uncle took care of everything with the car, and my dad sat next to me as I clicked through Progressive to get a $300 6-months of insurance. Slowly, so slowly, I am getting my chicks in a basket? Ducks in a row?

Yesterday my siblings and I took a trip to the Michigan News Agency downtown and my very literate brother recommended I buy The Oxford American. The issue is about food, a touchy subject for vegetarian me, something I thought would be all recipes and restaurant reviews. Glad I took his advice, however, because all the articles not just expose me to foods of the south, but attitudes, history, culture and very current issues that I am sure to face in my classroom. Obesity, availability of fresh food, geophagy, and chicken on a stick.

I’m excited, I promise, just a little worn out.

One Response

  1. Cindy

    a journey of a million miles starts with a few stpes – go Caroline go!

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