making sense of mathlissa

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 23 2013

Introduction to Induction

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

bring Change.

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.


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    melissa's take on math and mastery and making sense of it all

    Greater Philadelphia
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