teaching tales hailed from the city of angels

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 09 2010

From entertainment to education

Though I have a personal monoblog where I dutifully document life in the grander scale (including my journey with Teach For America), I felt prompted to commence a TFA-isolated blog. Therefore, teaching-centered posts from the monoblog shall be reposted here. And thus, it begins.

Today marked the end of the nine-to-six era.

As much as I fancied my job and the blog-worthy anecdotes that ensued, I felt certain o’er time that a career in entertainment would not persevere. Even if I initially presumed we would be in a committed relationship (After all, I dated Tinseltownian internships throughout college.), ’twas, in actuality, a capricious fling. As peachy as babysitting middle-aged executives has been for the past year and 8 months, I realized that if I were to baby-sit, it’d be more fulfilling to do so for human being young’ns (who actually need it).

But in all seriousness, I dove into the entertainment biz with starry-eyed dreams of revolutionizing the mass media and vanquishing perpetuated stereotypes. Thence corporate studio bureaucracy and mediocrity catapulted me to earth, convincing me that a more fitting means to such an end would be to educate our young’ns in media literacy. However, I grasped the frivolity of such a venture when confronted with educational inequity. The audacity of me to entertain the luxury of media education when there’re children reading, writing, and doing arithmetic 2-3 years behind grade level!

This conviction, coupled with the fervent yearning for God to use me elsewhere to more directly and tangibly make an impact for His kingdom led me to apply for Teach For America, “the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity.”

By God’s mercy and grace, I emerged out of the shark-infested waters known as the TFA application process as an accepted 2010 corps member placed to teach middle or high school English in the City of Angels! Lovely chums have been inquiring as to why I haven’t broadcasted the tidbit of news here, ’cause apparently, it ain’t official till it’s publicized on this monoblog.

Though I received the decision in mid-March, I’m still daily floored by God’s exceeding kindness in enabling this marvelous opportunity, and for answering prayers to be placed in Los Angeles so that I need not mosey too far from homey home. Though ’tis a proposal not to be passed up, I’ve tarried the last few months at the nine-to-six dwelling upon the blessing it’s been to work for one of the most influential media entities on the globe, but particularly learning from my bosses who, though they’ve a kooky and scatterbrained flair, are the most caring, generous, and supportive characters this side of Tinseltown.

INT. BOSS 1′S OFFICE – 3 MONTHS AGO

I’ve just imparted to them my decision to accept Teach For America’s offer.
BOSS 2
Why are you leaving us? Are you unhappy here?
BOSS 1
What can we do to convince you to stay?
But after I divulged my intentions for moving on, they granted me their maximal support. Which lasted for a couple of weeks.
INT. OFFICE – MORNING
BOSS 1
(makes a beeline for my cubicle)
Helen, I changed my mind.
HELEN
What?
BOSS 1
(shaking his head)
You can’t leave.
HELEN
(stares at him)
BOSS 1
I really don’t know what I’m going to do without you.
HELEN
Boss 1, you’ll be fine.
BOSS 1
Helen, you don’t understand. I woke up today in a panic.

Thence came the endearingly persuasive tactics.

INT. OFFICE – EVENING
ASSISTANT 1
So what exactly are you going to be doing at your new job?
HELEN
Teaching.
ASSISTANT 1
Underprivileged kids? Special education?
HELEN
Yep. Inner-city kids.
ASSISTANT 1
Oh, so they’re just kids with social and economic challenges?
HELEN
Yeah…?
ASSISTANT 1
‘Cause I was going to say, if you’re going to be doing special education, we have special kids around here (motions to my bosses’ offices). You don’t have to leave to do that. Just take care of the ones we have here.
And more kindness-laced undertakings that elicited a firestorm of emotions, specifically, a classroom-themed surprise farewell gala yesterday afternoontide that radiated kindness, thoughtfulness, creativity, time, and effort in decorating, setting up, baking, and cooking in order to piece together an office-wide bash that brought me to a teary mess.

Golly molly, thence came a barrage of farewells that assaulted my emotional stability even further.

INT. BOSS 1′s OFFICE – AFTERNOON
BOSS 1
You know, Helen, I have one regret about you.
HELEN
Oh! What is it? I can take it.
BOSS 1
I regret that I never got to meet your parents. I know I got to meet some of your family and friends who’ve come by to visit you here, but I wish I could have met your mom and dad so I can tell them how proud they should be of you. You are a blessing. Just know that you bring a lot to the table. Wherever you go in life, you will be great. You know, I have daughters – I love them and they’re great, but I do hope they grow up to be like you.

Yessiree, that was when I discovered my superhuman ability to turn an office into a puddly pond with my tear ducts. All of the aforementioned account snippets are traces of God’s goodness through the nine-to-six; I am so undeserving. I am overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and I pray God used me in some form for His cause. It truly has been an amazing niche with warm-hearted people to commence the post-college phase of life. I’ve learned bushels through this stepping stone that shall serve me at the next. Which is all part of God’s perfect plans.

Yes, it shall be odd not looking after the bossmen anymore. But I’m gratified to know that thanks to my replacement and dear chum, they’ll be in good hands.

Am I excited for this spankin’-new season of my life? Indubitably. Am I nervous? Incredibly. This shall be the most challenging endeavor I’ve e’er embraced, but I rest in the hope that by God’s grace, it shall be a grand adventure!

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    Subject
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