By ∆ Michelle

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 29 2013

Moving to the Delta: Packing for Institute

Moving to the Delta

Step 1: Packing for Institute

Hey. I’m just packing my life into a storage unit while I complete my 5-week Institute Training in Cleveland, MS, which is quite scary enough for me thankyouverymuch. It is overwhelming in many ways, two of which are very distinct.

First, packing is scary because I realize how many things I own. Me. Just one single person. I own enough stuff for probably three or four people. I don’t even wear half of my clothes, and my furniture holds stupid stuff like extra pens and spray paint I used one time and like, bobby pins. And I don’t realize how much stuff I have until I actually have to do something with it – take responsibility for it, in a sense, and validate its existence. And because I never actually use half of my things, the only time I interact with them is when I’m moving them to my next apartment, and I’ve already done that twice. I usually just keep all my junk in their drawers and throw them into my next apartment in a way that doesn’t interrupt my style of living (which I refer to as Hoarder Chic). This time is way different, though. I’m not simply changing my place of residence as I continue working my way through school. I am totally relocating my car and my stuff and transitioning into a job and lifestyle with which I am totally unfamiliar. I’m changing my entire life.

And that brings me to the second reason why this particular bout of boxes and packing tape is so overwhelming. I’m getting ready to start a 5-week intensive training program with the Teach for America Institute. The program is designed to prepare me – a totally inexperienced and uneducated English-degree-having college graduate – with the competence to teach in a classroom this upcoming school year. THIS upcoming school year. (Yesterday I had to Google images of lesson plans. That’s how little I know about anything.) Needless to say, Institute represents the vast universe of information and skills vital to my job which I lack entirely. I would love to say more about how and why the prospect of learning and mastering everything I will need for my job in a matter of five weeks is terrifying, but I don’t think I need to. Teach For America encourages me to “just don’t worry about it” because “there are lots of people in your position,” which is true, I’m sure. I’m just not totally clear on the whole “don’t worry about it” concept. I have to adapt to a foreign lifestyle in a new state with people I don’t know by the end of the summer. I’m going to worry about it.

I do recognize that this is an opportunity for me to refresh and re-organize both my stuff and my life. I am throwing away half of my clothes and getting rid of extra furniture in a super symbolic display of self-reinvention and renewal. My habits and motives will be changing to align with a powerful and meaningful job alongside lots of brilliant and dedicated people. I can’t wait to totally give myself to this job.

But for now, I’m only packing for the transition, which will be really hard. I can only keep moving forward and on to the next step until I can start preparing for my classroom, which I seriously can’t wait to do.


One Response

  1. mariann

    say hi to a tall guy name Kevin there

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To whomever is interested in my TFA adventure

Mississippi Delta
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