out of the frying pan, into the fire

This past week has been the busiest week of my life.  I’m talking Camp Nikos times 10.  Every morning I wake up somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00, depending on whether or not I actually care enough to shower that day.  I check my email, make some coffee, and get dressed in my professional clothing.  I brush my teeth, do my hair, and put on makeup, and then I try to squeeze in a quick quiet time before packing my backpack and running out the door.

I walk up a somewhat lengthy hill to the dining hall, where I leave my backpack outside, take my lunchbox, and get in line to pick up lunch.  (Side note: they gave us lunchboxes.  Huge, bright blue lunchboxes.  Everyone has the exact same one.  We look really cool.)  I swipe my card and choose from the rarely-changing lunch options.  Then it’s back outside to put my lunchbox with my backpack and into the dining hall to grab breakfast.

Our breakfast choices are cereal, bagels, english muffins, and toast.  Not exactly a power breakfast.  I usually have time to eat at a comfortable pace and drink a second cup of coffee before heading to the bus.  My bus is the late bus, so we don’t leave until 6:50, but the bus leaves at exactly 6:50 and if you miss it you have to take a cab at your own expense.  Needless to say, I’m usually at the bus around 6:45.

We head to Grady High School, where for the past week we have been sitting in sessions, learning all about planning and literacy and vision-setting and all kinds of things.  We’re generally in sessions or working on lesson plans from 7:00am – noon, have a half hour lunch, and then are back in sessions until the bus comes to pick us up at 4:30pm.  The dining hall is open until 8:00 and the rest of the evening is spent planning lessons and completing whatever other tasks were assigned to us that day.  This week I usually made it to bed somewhere between 11:00 and midnight, and then it started all over again the next day.

Tomorrow things change a bit.  Instead of taking class all day, we will now spend part of the morning teaching summer school.  I will be teaching 9th grade English literature, focusing on poetry and drama.  We’ll start of tomorrow using Langston Hughes to talk about theme. (Let me know if you want to see my lesson plan.  Then you will understand why they take so long to create.)  I feel like I should be more nervous, considering 9th graders in Atlanta Public Schools are not really the same as 8th graders in Denton ISD, but I’m just not.  A little bit of nerves would be good right now – I think I need a sense of urgency.

And now, a list of awesome things God has done:

  • Every school TFA is at has a staff assigned to it.  Ours is by far the best.  Our School Director (SD), Curriculum Specialist (CS), Literacy Specialist (LS), School Operations Manager (SOM), and especially my Corps Member Advisor (CMA) are all amazing.  From conversations with other corps members, this is the exception to the rule.
  • The 2 things we were told could make or break your Institute experience are your collaborative and your Faculty Advisor (FA).  My FA is awesome.  She’s already given us a bunch of resources and I think she will be a really great mentor teacher.  My collaborative only has one other person in it (most have a total of 4), which makes the decision-making process much simpler.
  • My collaborative partner loves Jesus!  We work really well together, even when we disagree, and I love her so much!  On Friday, when we finished setting up our classroom, we spent a couple minutes praying for the class and our students and our own fears and apprehensions and it was so wonderful!
  • The Lord is really leading me to a place of trust and dependence on only him.  Being in Atlanta has been lonely and difficult.  I’m really starting to miss the church in Denton, especially since I wasn’t able to go to church today or last week.  Other than my collab, I haven’t really met any other believers who I’ve clicked with.  At the same time though, the Lord is the one who sustains me.  Community is wonderful and we are meant to live in it, but maybe sometimes community is only meant to be one or two other people.  I can’t wait to get to Memphis and dive in to the community there, though!

This is super long, and it’s a quarter to midnight here, so I need to head to bed.  Keep the prayers coming – I am definitely feeling them and will continue to need them.

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1 Comment

  1. Molly

     /  June 15, 2009

    so glad to hear about life, my love. you’re awesome. because God who lives in you is awesome.
    love you


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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

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