One year ago today, I said yes. To TFA, that is. And what a year it has been. I already wrote a post about November 9, 2010, but I’ll copy-paste it here:
November 9th, 2010.
I had it colored in in pink in my planner, and I had written DAY OF RECKONING in huge letters all across it. I got my shift covered that night, so that I could deal with whatever emotions I would have to deal with.
I had been edgy all week, and had had trouble sleeping pretty much since my final interview 3 weeks before. I thought that my final interview had gone really well, but I had gotten to a point in my mind where I couldn’t believe it was possible for me to get in.
I had class from 8-10:45 and 11:30-2:15 that day, so I brought my laptop to school. I was supposed to find out by 2 pm, but for all of the previous TFA notifications, I had gotten an email around 10 or 11 in the morning. On my break in between classes, I took the elevator to the 5th floor of the Humanities Building, where my next class was. I sat in my customary spot on the floor in the hallway, got my laptop out of my backpack, and opened it.
I waited the seemingly endless five seconds it took to connect to the wireless internet, and checked my facebook, trying to calm myself down. Didn’t help. I screwed up my courage and clicked on the button on my “bookmarks bar” for gmail. It took the century it always takes to load.
From Teach For America. Subject line: Your Teach For America Application. What is that supposed to mean?! Did they have a problem with my application? Did I forget to put my middle initial or something somewhere, and did that disqualify me?!
I clicked on it, my heart pounding in my ears. ”Dear Elsa, I am pleased to extend you an offer to join the Teach For America 2011 Corps!”
That moment was the closest I’ve ever come to actually hyperventilating. I slid down onto the floor, my head against the wall, and I just sat there for a second. I actually teared up.
After about 15 seconds, I sat back up, took a deep breath, and read the rest of the email. Then I hit reload, just in case I was hallucinating.
I was at school, so I couldn’t call anyone, so the mass texting began.
To say that I couldn’t concentrate in my next class is a bit of an understatement. I couldn’t even process it – I just started making lists in the margins of my notes.
Actually, it still hasn’t quite sunk in. 2 months later. And I still have the email, starred in my inbox.
Exactly one year later, my life looks completely different. I have my own house, and a roommate, and a big-girl job. I have insurance, and I have 80 seventh-graders that call me their math teacher. I don’t have the time to ruminate on it too much tonight, but needless to say my life looks different.
I like it though :).