Bienvenida a….

As the eloquent Rachael Wagner said this afternoon via voicemail:

“Can I get a ‘hell yeah?'”

Hell yeah. I was beginning to think that maybe I just sucked at life lately, with my odd allergic reactions to stress, humbling meetings with advisors, and a general blah-ness in the job search.

This weekend, I spent three days straight in the INSC working fervishly on my Spanish thesis, rearranging the whole thing and re-writing a good deal of it as well. i got back up to the length requirement, and somehow managed to say something coherent. Nobody’s exactly sure how that happened, but hey–it did. I was happy with it, and it turns out that (por fin!) my advisor was too. Clearly it’s not done, but I’ve got three days to make my final corrections and get it bound/polished.

Yesterday, in a preemptory celebration of the thesis, Kaitlyn and I tried to go shopping. Suburban Square was closed. Bummer, and raining too. King of Prussia Mall, the paragon of capitalist consumerism, was also shut down for Easter Sunday. What the fuck? Is nothing sacred any more? We thought that malls could be counted on as bastions of tension-releasing shopping, but we were clearly mistaken.

Our choice of pop-culture was then the movie “Honey” ($5.50 at Blockbusters, those fuckers), which turned out to be a hilariously riotous success. Pretty decent dance scenes, with moments of pure moviemaking genius, including the phrase “I’ve/she/he’s got flow” used 20+ times in the script. Ha. Ha. Ha. We watched all the DVD special features including a “Dance Like Honey” instructional video. Ha. Whew.

The rest of Sunday was problematically non-productive, with much musing on my future plans, and several phone calls. Mom decided that since she hadn’t talked to me in over a month, she’d call at 7:30, right when I’m trying to get out to the gym, and ask me “So, Thea, what’s your thesis about?” Are you kidding? You’ve got to be kidding. Well, mom, it’s about some books. How about we leave it at that for now. “Oh, then you must be feeling pretty relaxed, right? I mean, your stress level is coming down?” Right, mom. Right. Sometimes I forget how much she really doesn’t understand what life is like here at school, especially now.

Stayed up way too late trying to figure out the meaning of “career” and the relevance (or not) that it has to my life, so a rainy cold Monday morning came way too early. Plus, all I could think about was when I’d be able to check the mail. I got out of bed later than I wanted to, allowing myself an extra half-hour of sleepytime on account of the happy email from Graciela, then had to high-tail it to Bryn Mawr for an eternally long film class. I skipped out earlier than usual to grab a snack at Starbucks, and a much needed latte to perk me up for English class. Braved the rain on my way to the campus center, and ran into an ex-Customs Group member on the way.

Rob asked if he could with me go check the mail, looking worried that I’d kill him if the news was bad. He then proceeded to tell me that a bunch of Haverford people had already found out…”and it wasn’t good news.” Gee, thanks for the upper. Thoroughly wedged inside of box 1315, along with a package slip, was a large thick envelope with “TeachForAmerica” on the outside. I vaguely hear a “You got it” from behind me as I tear open the package with shaking hands. All I see are Miami restaurant menus and I drop the envelope on the ground, along with my thesis jump up and down a few times and give Rob a hug. Wow.

Had to call the parents, Mandi, Rachael, and Dave before it actually sunk in. R. also told me not to mention anything to my roommate for fear she’d be pissed off, but that seemed like a stupid idea. I mean, she’s one of my closest friends here, and I’m not going to sneak around and hide things. I don’t exactly know what all of this means with regards to my courtship by CHC, the alma mater, but I think I’m ethically bound to let the dean know what’s up before they ship me down for an interview.

So, Miami. First of all, I’m excited as all hell to be living there, although frankly the rest of it scares the shit out of me. I’ve heard from another Prof. involved with TFA recruiting who says that 40-50% of the people that he sends there (over the past 10 years) have had “negative” experiences or something like that. Klu seemed surprised that I’d opt for that over a cushy private school position, but I’m not sure that the nascent coke-addicts in the Cape Henry Upper School would be the motivated, engaged students that I’d love teaching. I honestly don’t know if I’m capable, but they seem to think that I am, so that counts for something, right? I’ve also heard great things about the teacher support network that TFA tries to construct with the corps, and I’d like to think that they’d be able to help me out if things really got hairy.

There’s a part of me that wants to tell them “Hey, you know I’m a little white girl from suburbia, right?” but I’m not sure how that would be productive. I know that the next two years would be challenging, depressing at times, and exhausting, but I’d like to think that it’s the kind of challenge that I’m up for at this point in my life. There’s also something to be said for living in a new city, a truly bi-lingual community and (hopefully@!) getting back to Cuba in some way. I miss the beach, I miss the water, and am ready to start a life of my own, instead of moving back in with my parents.

I’m not mailing in my acceptance right this minute, but I’m psyched. Somebody wants me, and thinks I’m an asset to their program, and that feels good. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that. Now, off to tutorial, I’ve got to be an “authority figure” or something.


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