As I look forward to beginning my career as a teacher I look back at the path that led me here… specifically the flight across the country, the living (and necessary social) expenses, and the deposit on my apartment. Now I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m not really coming from money and so the transitional funding that Teach For America gave me was bittersweet. It was sweet because it was a cool amount of cash, but bitter because it wasn’t hardly enough to sustain me until my first pay check. When asked about it they replied “Please remember this funding is to aid in your transition, not pay for the entirety of it.”
Ok TFA… I get that, but also realize you placed me ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY and I specifically stated that I was close to $20,000 in debt with a bank account that boasted a total of $35 in it.
Regardless of all that. Here I am. And TRUE: the D&G watch, new BlackBerry, Lacoste towel set, Ralph Lauren pillows (which are way to firm) and mahogany bed frame etc. weren’t necessary per se. But I am a firm believer in enjoying life (J.E.T.Life) and I believe that a little luxury, raising one’s quality of life, can offer comfort in an emotionally tumultuous transition such as the one I am going through now.
That being said I’m close to broke and I still have to buy supplies and decorations for my classroom. This brings me to the real point of this post. TFA: if you really want to encourage diversity and include members from all backgrounds and experiences you need to be a little more proactive in finding and supporting them. I’m lucky because my parents somehow found a way to move around their finances to scrape together some extra money for my knowing I could pay them back in the upcoming months. Not everyone has that privilege. I’m not saying I’m not at fault for my spending practices, but in all honesty I wasn’t that irresponsible and you didn’t really provide that much for me, considering the context of my transition, in the first place.
But I’m here now, and despite how many nights I’m going to go eating eggs and rice until my pay checks start coming in I’m going to make it.
And when I do make it. Here’s a list of things I’m going to buy for myself:
- Nike Air Penny Hardaway 1′s (Orlando Magic Editions)
- Stephen Curry Jersey
- A’s, Phillies, and Mets on the field New Era 59Fifties
- Like 14 pairs of NBA socks (assorted colors)
- Another watch (probably Michael Kors)
- One of those bathmats that feel like a dream when you step out of the shower (Ben knows)
- Star Wars DVD Box Set
- The complete collection of Planet Earth on DVD
- The complete collections of Transformers Beast Wars on DVD
- That Lego jet plane I’ve always wanted
- and the biggest dinosaur stuffed animal I can find
Basically, Teach For America, you have provided me with an amazing opportunity for which I am incredibly grateful. It has been a little strenuous financially but I’ll be fine. In the end, you are offering not only a life-changing and fulfilling learning and growing experience… but one in which I will work incredibly hard, and definitely appreciate the rewards.