Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 08 2012

Spring fever.

The tips of my fingers, nails, cuticles, tiny creases, are a sickly greenish-blue, something likely to stick for a few days, from the eggs we dyed earlier.

I woke up this morning at eight, Laura hovering in my door, “You wanna get up?” I kept my eyes shut through our living room yoga routine, thinking about my rumble-tum and the dream I woke up in the middle of. At nine-thirty I texted AL, “LET’S MAKE EASTER EGGS TODAYYYY”, an attempt to shake the headache and chest ache I woke with. I ripped my sheets of my bed and resolved to vacuum today, maybe that will eat my morning allergy symptoms. Spent Easter breakfast with Leaf in the McDonald’s, getting invited to church and barbeques, but staying put for two hours instead. When I got back home I realized what it was: I’m depressed. I miss my mom. It’s a holiday. It’s been a decade (?!) since I woke up to Easter baskets and church clothes, sugar cookies and ambrosia salad at a late lunch with my Dad’s side of the family. Even before my mom died we stopped the family traditions (the youngest, I always fought that I got five less of everything family-related), so there was no reason for me to be dragging. I was regardless.

I think I haven’t updated in the past week because I’m embarrassed, and I don’t know how to articulate it.

When I had the prospect of leaving, when I was juggling schools and trying to impress principals across the country and had my kids in spot number one all the time, I had my heart in the perfect place for this blog. I was aching for TFA; I was TFA. Semi-finalist Lehmann, interview juggler, meeting initiator, applying for more and more TFA positions.

But there’s this switch that flipped when I said yeah, I’m staying.

Imagine a balloon being blown up in a cube glass container. Starting small, surrounded with space to grow. Watching the edges get closer, pressing first with just the smallest circles against the centers of each glass pane, then surface area expands, corners fill, the balloon stops. There’s no reason to pop; it just stops. Then gradually deflates.

That’s me, maybe.

I haven’t adequately planned for my students since before spring break. I haven’t created a unit with a vision or a concrete end product since before I can remember. I haven’t fit into the TFA mold I was so obsessed with for countless weeks, which leads me to back away from everything. This past week I spent three of five days coming home and sleeping from 4:30 to 9:30, eating til 10:30, then going back to bed for the night. I can give any excuse (field trip, test prep, day off, burned out), but…

Here, approaching TFA alumni, approaching lone TFA third year in Dumas, approaching CMA, approaching summer, approaching state test, approaching … I fell into summer mode before spring break hit, and I need something to knock me back into place.

 

3 Responses

  1. els

    You KNOW I’m in summer mode too. Just 6 weeks.

  2. Wess

    “I haven’t fit into the TFA mold I was so obsessed with for countless weeks, which leads me to back away from everything.”

    That’s me in a nutshell. Since before before spring break. I never ever thought I’d ignore emails from my MTLD or begrudge ProSats or find excuses to not do the TFA things I used to worship.

    It’s like senioritis, only I’m not leaving.

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