Jun 13 2005

Houston Institute: Day 2

Houston Institute: Day 2 (06/13/05)

It’s really amazing how much of a difference fitted sheet can make. Last night, after typing the above I trudged downstairs to grab the Target shuttle. It never came but I did manage to catch a ride to WalMart with some of the guys from my corps. It was a fairly death defying highway ride but when we made it I was glad I went. I got the necessary hangers (well, some of them anyway, hangers were in short supply) and then made myself feel a whole lot better by buying some bedding.

I got a fitted sheet for $2.69 (it’s slightly rough, but not too bad) a comfy looking brown throw to replace the cardboard blanket and a firm queen sized pillow with … a Betty Boop pillowcase. Some of the guys walked out with the reversible Batman cases. I considered Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears, but I though that might be carrying whimsy just a bit too far.

Today was our first actually day of institute. It went quite well, all things considered. I do notice a disturbing trend toward group chants and whistling. My head was killing me on the bus and there was some overly enthusiastic man yelling “Gigantic … (clap, clapclapclap) … Jackson … (clap, clapclapclap)…” over and over. I was, as you might imagine, relived to discover that he was not my CMA.

We had a learning packed day today, and I definitely drooped a bit after lunch but, for the most part, I feel like I held up pretty well. When we got back to the building I got through late registration, getting my Ethernet cord (Haaaaaa –le-lujah), getting a meal card, and picking up my mail and packages without throwing a snit fit. The package was really a relief, seeing as it contained an extra blanket from home, and my warm slippers and PJs. Hopefully I wont wake up cramped from the cold tomorrow like I did today.

This evening we had welcoming ceremonies. More with the clapping and screaming, of course. Some of the corps went waaaaay overboard. It was deafening in the auditorium and they kept up the screaming well past when it was acceptable. The ceremonies were run pretty well for the most part. They had about 5 current corps members reading from their “diaries” and it was extremely interesting. The other speakers were bearable.

In the middle of Wendy Kopp’s speech, however, my cell phone (which I was positive I had set to vibrate) went off, causing me to mutter “shitshitshit” as I searched for my purse under the seat in front of me. The message actually turned out to be from Erin. Placement needs have changed at [My School District] and they only have one English spot, and both Laura ***** and I are placed there, so they may want me to switch to social studies. I would be totally cool with this, as I feel I can think of a lot more interesting and fun things to do in a Social Studies classroom than an English classroom. At the same time, Social Studies feels less … essential to me. Like somehow I wont be making as big of a difference teaching SS. Which is silly, because I didn’t really join TFA to “make a difference” precisely. Not in the broad, social movement sense that most people here did. Anyway, I was kind of miffed earlier at being placed to teach English and now I’m kind of miffed at having it taken away from me. I’m so contradictory.

Also, and I just thought of this, I’m teaching 8th grade English this summer. Hmmm … could be interesting.

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