Saturday, October 9, 2010

Buckle down for a long one!

So, for those of you who are just joining my blogging attempts, let me catch you up. I'm in my 2nd year of Grad School at the Univeristy of Idaho, Moscow, ID, I teach English 102 at the university, and am in the midst of the Teach For America interview process. Teach For America is a group that works at lessening the education/achievement gap in low income areas throughout the United States. They have hundreds of corps members (also known as teachers) who teach for two years in disadvantaged areas while earning a teaching certificate, furthering their education, earning money to pay back student loans, and make a difference in the lives of their students. So, yep, I'm trying to join this crew.

I've successfully completed the application and interview process and will be completing the day-long interview, teaching, etc. process in a couple of weeks. I should know by the middle of November if they want me or not. Either way, at least I'll have something settled. Either I'll have a job next fall or I can shift my attention to planning the rest of my life in a different direction.

I went online and picked my "preferred geographic locations" to teach in if I'm accepted. Most of them are in the east or south. It looks like the program is hoping to open up a post in the Seattle/Tacoma area (which would be nice since I have family there), but ultimately I decided it's not my first choice because I'd like to travel, live, and see other parts of this country to see if the Northwest really is the bees-knees I think it is. In my preference order I asked to teach high school, then middle school, then Pre-K to elementary. Here's how my geographic preferences broke down, in case you were wondering:
  • Highly Preferred: Eastern North Carolina, Mississippi Delta, Nashville, South Dakota, and South Louisiana
  • Preferred: Alabama, Appalachia (Eastern Kentucky), Las Vegas Valley, Seattle & Tacoma Area, Charlotte, Colorado, Kansas City, Hawai'i, New Mexico, Memphis, Newark, Rhode Island
  • Least Preferred: Everywhere else. Pretty much this list is way too long for this blog.
So there you have it. I'll let you know what happens and IF I'm recruited (which is highly competitive because, according to their site, only 12% of applicants get offered a position).  Fingers crossed!

And the second half of this marathon-long posting:

As usual, I've been feeling as though I am constantly running around and not really accomplishing anything. I'm treading water in the classes I take and eeking by in the classes I teach. It's not the best feeling for my spirit and peace of mind. As I was reading a friend's blog I appreciated the message of one of her postings:
 Try Harder.
I can, and do, whine and complain about how hard my life supposedly is, but am I trying hard enough to accomplish what is necessary or my goals? I could try harder to plan lessons ahead, spend more time reading and comprehending required readings, run farther on the treadmill, try harder in strengthening relationships, etc. We all could try harder, but oftentimes we don't.

Television and the Internet are huge time sucks for me. I can't tell you the number of times I've sat down to watch television for only half an hour and then, two hours later, I'm still in the same place. My apartment just got satellite and I can honestly say that I didn't miss the year without television. I spent less time goofing off and more time preparing and learning. This is all an excuse, I know. I should try harder to avoid the tv at all costs. Why not? I know it's a black hole vortex of time, but I don't try to stay away.

I just need to try harder in every aspect of my life so that I can be the most successful, centered, and grounded person I can be. Wish me luck on the journey and, repeat afte me, TRY HARDER!


Jodi said...

Good for you! What a great program! I wish you would come to Florida and teach my Lauren :) I think 90% of the children in her school qualify for free lunches! It's amazing what a poor area Miami really is compared to how it's so glamourized it is on tv and movies.

Patty Cady said...


Miami was on the possibilities list, but I'm more a rural than urban kinda girl. I seriously thought about Miami (because of you guys), but couldn't be sure I'd be in your area. I figure if I do I'll be in the Mississippi Delta region and I'll be a lot closer than Idaho, so some visiting of your family should occur!