Excessive Talk and Disruption

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 30 2010

Teacher Boy Swag

This. Right here. Is my. Budget: $0.00

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:

  1. Nike Air Penny Hardaway 1′s (Orlando Magic Editions)
  2. Stephen Curry Jersey
  3. A’s, Phillies, and Mets on the field New Era 59Fifties
  4. Like 14 pairs of NBA socks (assorted colors)
  5. Another watch (probably Michael Kors)
  6. One of those bathmats that feel like a dream when you step out of the shower (Ben knows)
  7. Star Wars DVD Box Set
  8. The complete collection of Planet Earth on DVD
  9. The complete collections of Transformers Beast Wars on DVD
  10. That Lego jet plane I’ve always wanted
  11. 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.

Still Fly

Jets. Swag.

12 Responses

  1. Erica

    Teacher Boy Swag. I’d like to see a picture of your D&G watch. i’d like to know whereto find #6 because I too would like one. this is me commenting on your blog. first one. holla!

  2. iTeach

    I hope this is a joke. Welcome to the real world!

    • jlasol

      I wouldn’t call this a joke as much as it is a lightened perspective. Just like I wouldn’t necessarily call this experience my introduction to the real world. Thanks though!

  3. Stephanie Appiah

    Lol. Oh Joel, it’s so true. My check, was so small, it covered 1 months’ rent. My family loaned me a little to help out, but it has been hard. At least you have eggs.

  4. Basement dweller

    How come i dont see anywhere on your list anything for our apartment. How about before you purchase another watch you purchase:
    1. Dining room table so we dont have to eat in pretty princess lounge.
    2. A stereo system so we can beat the beat back in the confines of our own living room.

    I guess assorted NBA socks for a colorblind kid is more important. Anyways it must suck watching Planet Earth without being able to TRULY experience the breathtaking and colorful scenery.

  5. Kenny Likis

    Yo, Joel: my son will probably lend you his complete Planet Earth. That will lighten your load a little bit?

    • jlasol

      Haha. I miss you Kenny! How goes life in the Island? Did you get placed?

  6. Quyen

    LOL, this blog is kinda funny…I hope I won’t be extremely explosive with spending (trying to get it out of my system) but yeah, they did say that you needed to pay for transitioning…

  7. adriana

    love i love you!

  8. Mel

    Jlasol, you are not alone. I find myself in the same predicament. Thousands of dollars in debt, and the bills keep coming! :( Hidden graduate class fees, certification fees, and half of my grant went to the plane ticket alone! I guess we missed the fine print on the contract?…lol

    Granted, this is an AMAZING opportunity and privilege. We have the ability to influence our students lives in a very positive way.

    I’m counting down the days until my first paycheck is deposited. Until then, i’ll continue scraping the bottom of the pb&j jar to hold me over…

  9. Real Mr. Z


    P.S. I’m a very reputable person.

Post a comment

About this Blog

Just Enjoy This Science – JETS

Greater Philadelphia
Middle School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)