Yesterday I woke up at 5:30, folded the last of my laundry, hugged Loren & Auntie goodbye, and moved to Mississippi.
The ride was fine, all 14 hours: I tiredly talked on the phone, jammed to Justin Timberlake, and screamed every once in a while. Arriving on campus was a bit too real. When I got in my room and saw my roommate’s stuff piled on the floor, I put my registration packet on my bare mattress and started pacing & crying. I wish my mama could have driven with me, though I bet if she was alive I would still be too “mature” and “independent” to ask for her company. I just wish I could call her. My panic was momentary. I walked through the bathroom to meet suitemate Jessica, later her roommate Andrea and my roommate Lucy. All are wonderful.
Woke up this morning almost surprised at where I was. Delta State University, Okra card, big binder, business casual. Induction was dry but necessary. I debated complaining about being tired but recognize that I will likely be tired for the next month, and two years, it’s just a matter of getting used to it again.
I’m making it my mission to be totally real here. No fronts or trying to impress people or modifying behavior to fit a standard. I’m ready for absolutely real conversations, absolute focus on my students and the task at hand, and a better sense of personal balance than I’ve ever had. Yes, I will be professional in my manners, but I’m ready to be confident in who I am, what I want, and what I believe in.
My missions for institute include running three times a week with new friend Sally who I adore, blogging at minimum once a week for any existing readers and my own record, and doing all assigned work as immediately as possible. Loren gave me excellent advice to write down exactly why I want to do Teach For America and what’s driving me right now; I’m going to sit, think and write it down before Sunday.