Induction was only four days but it simultaneously felt so long, and so short. Even though I missed most of one day to go see my little brother graduate high school, I still felt completely engulfed in this awesome experience. And yes (as you may have heard), it felt almost exactly like college orientation.
I moderately love (and by moderately love, I mean obsessively love) that they gave us a little notebook in order to write down our thoughts, so I am so glas that I was able to quickly jot down a few thoughts in the midst of all the inspiration & amazingness that was happening.
I also love how ORGANIZED TFA has been so far. When they handed my my giant binder for four days of induction filled with handouts, daily schedules and transportation directions, a chorus of twelve tiny angels descended from heaven and sang Händel Messiah’s Hallelujah Chorus in perfect harmony. That’s all I heard as I started geeking out over the many color coded tabs. Is it bad that I had to refer to my binder now to even try to remember what we did on each day?
Despite completely forgetting that there is never any parking in the city, I managed to move in & the first day of Induction was completely and totally a HUGE welcoming experience. I got to meet so many current corps members, alumni, second year corps members who were finishing up their final year as a TFA corps member, and of course newbies like me.
Besides tons of informative panels & discussion sessions, we also went to Philadelphia Night Market, an amazing get-together of all the best food trucks which gather on a few compact city blocks for a night of food, fun & music, a mural arts tour of Philly, a morning of outdoor games with Outward Bound, and an afternoon of community service in Camden. Ending the week with a celebration BBQ in a Liberty Lands park, I can’t believe I only met everyone this week. I already feel our TFA Greater Philly family coming together in a big way, and I can’t wait for the rest of the summer.
Some takeaways (taken from my little orange field notebook):
too strong — too dedicated — too hype
This quote came from an alumni speech from the first day, and I immediately wrote it down. This pretty much describes every TFA-er I’ve met so far in a nutshell, and is something I want to keep reminding myself when things get hard. Definitely a mantra of sorts.
the days are long, but induction is short
Something I frequently remind myself, based off of Gretchen Rubin’s saying “The days are long, but the years are short.” I want to remember to be present here and that every moment is one I will soon be looking back on fondly as a mere memory in a few short weeks.
nothing in life is free
so when you get to the end
the least you can do is
This is part of a piece of slam poetry written by Antonio, a student of a TFA corps member, who performed it live for us at Alumni induction, a special night sending off 2nd year corps members who have completed their TFA commitment. The students who performed were unbelievably talented and it was seriously the best spoken word I ever heard. Which is saying something since I love spoken word.
and finally, some advice from Mom:
be the spark! but don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.
I can’t believe Induction is over. I’ve been lucky enough to spend the weekend recharging with friends old and new and, even though I woke up far too early on possibly my only day to sleep in for a while now, I know this is exactly what I want to be doing, and that the best is yet to come.