Stir Up the World

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 30 2012

2012 corps: summer travel advice

First of all, good luck you guys!

Here’s a little piece of advice that I wish someone had given me:

If at all possible, take a trip between Institute and the beginning of school.  Whether it’s going home or just getting away for a few days, do something to get some perspective and feel like a human again, however briefly.

I didn’t do that last summer; after Institute, I went straight to my town and worked like a maniac for the 2 1/2 weeks I had before school started.  Not the best choice.  It did make me feel pretty well prepared  for the school year, which was good, but I was EXHAUSTED still from Institute, and I didn’t really recover until Christmas.  That’s a long time.  Institute kind of blended into the first semester in a malaise of exhaustion and burnout because I didn’t do anything to break it up.

Institute really isn’t that bad.  This was only my experience and I can’t speak for everyone else, but it truly wasn’t that bad.  The days were long and getting up at 4 am was not fun, but everyone was really nice and genuinely wanted me to succeed, AND you had all weekend to recover.  Plus, it was only 5 weeks.

But Institute did take weeks to recover from: the culture shock, the bug bites, the sleep deprivation — they all took their toll.  So if you are making your summer plans, I would highly recommend scheduling some sort of break for yourself.  Otherwise, you’ll never stop working.

Please email me if you have any questions! [email protected]

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    the title

    "If one desires to 'stir up the world,' it is easy to be impatient with work for the sake of work. Yet no story's end can forsake its beginning and its middle." -Joshua Wolf Shank on Abraham Lincoln