I decided to force myself to post here as a break from my thesis. Right now, I have just woken up from a three hour nap that was the first time I slept in two days. I have been horrifically sick, and so to take advantage of that I have only been eating these granola bars that I don’t particularly like and bought on accident one time–because now I can’t taste them. I eat, sleep, and dream my thesis. I live and die my thesis, and I most certainly cry my thesis. This is all exacerbated by the fact that I spend twenty hours a day reading about torture and women who have survived it or whose children have not survived it. Basically this was supposed to be done Monday but with this cold I’ve been struggling and it’s been making me pretty loopy. If I’m not done by the end of this week, I don’t know what I’ll do.
Something that has slightly more to do with Teach For America. Something that I have been following, first for personal interest reasons, then for an Argument class I’m taking, and then again out of interest–is anyone following the state of ETHNIC STUDIES in Arizona currently? If you’re not, essentially what has happened is a law has been passed to ban classes that “Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treatment of pupils as individuals,” “Promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” “Promote the overthrow of the United States government,” or “Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.” Now, all of these sound like pretty terrible things. I for one would be upset by a class promoting the overthrow of the USG. But here’s the kicker: Arizona has actually managed to convince itself that the Mexican-American Studies programs in Tucson are in violation of this law. Seriously. So they’re shutting down the whole operation. Reasons that they believe this to be true include that one of their textbooks is written by a Marxist (!!) and that they used the word “La Raza” one time to describe the content of a class. They are also upset that the students are taught such HISTORICAL FACTS as the real way we got a huge portion of the Southwest US (i.e., we stole it from Mexico. Haha, Mexico, haha.). The classes are open to any and all students, and do not do ANY of the things that this law describes. It is another infuriating instance of racism with far-reaching implications that scare me.
So Tuesday night was the Newark “On-Boarding Call” (cute, Newark staff ;]) and we had quite a bit of information thrown at us. I kind of like that though, because any presentation that comes with a Powerpoint is good by me and because I’m craving information about this whole process to assuage my feelings of trepidation about this new direction I’m going off in. It was really great to hear from a teach in the classroom and be able to ask her some questions. Turns out the Newark Corps is going to be comparatively HUMONGOUS this year, which is awesome and inspiring and all of that. Also there is going to be a second alternative certification track “unveiled” tomorrow? Looking forward to seeing my options!
Speaking of option, TFA rocks. I submitted my transitional funding request like two days ago (in a state of delirium) and I checked back today just for the heck of it and they had already processed my request. The grant/loan package that they gave me was very reasonable and I’m very grateful to be going to work for a company with offerings such as that (as well as paying for my room and board during Induction/Institute/Orientation) to really make it viable to do something like this–and in a way that’s fairly hassle-free and transparent. So thanks, Teach For America!
I know that I shouldn’t, but I am starting to get worried about jobs. It’s only the start of interview season, but several people I know and several people here are already in the swing of interviewing (and I’m happy for and proud of them!). I love interviewing, weirdly, and I really think that it’s something that I do well–an underrated skill, if you will. I’m just getting antsy to start getting out there and seeing what different interviewing processes are like–my better half and I both hope that when I move in I’ll have some sort of idea what’s going on!
My situation is a little different from many of the Corps members in my region, it seems. It’s awesome that so many are from New Jersey, some from in the same town or just one over from where my boyfriend lives. But my taking this job was with the understanding that I’ll be commuting from the mutual home of myself and said boyfriend–so I’ll be doing a pretty long commute for the first month or so regardless, while we wait for J’s lease to run out, and then we’re going to attempt to find a mutually convenient place to settle down. Either way it’s probably going to be a longish drive, though I really want to take the train (New Jersey Transit isn’t bad); which county I get put into has impacts on whether I lease or buy a car, what kind of car, etc., and I can’t really plan anything. Planning Limbo is my least favorite of places to be.
All that said, I am aching to meet my kids. I want to know how old they’ll be most of all, so that I can start thinking about lessons and their needs and desires and how to engage them and what have you. Excited. Anxious. Ready. Completely, totally unprepared. Ahhhh.
So, here’s to finishing this thesis, sleeping in a bed and not on the floor of the debate lounge (where I keep pillows and a toothbrush; what a faithful lover the debate lounge is), and to productive coughs that do more harm than hurt. Here’s to figuring out my life over the next couple of months and to meeting my kids.
And here’s to acceptance and cultural balance, and never being ashamed or pushed away from learning, understanding, knowledge, the hard questions.