Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unlit "highways," sticky, hot summer weather, 1,000+ miles away from the places and people love

ow that I am away from the Delta (currently on a brief visit out of state)and everything in the title, and left out by the limitations of the title, all i want to run back to it all. I am the proud resident of 5225 Moon Lake Road, Dundee, Mississippi 38626. This residency is actually a refinished barn located right on the Moon Lake! I have 4 lovely roommates, a dock, a portiocny (porch / patio / balcony), a garden and so much more to look forward to when I return to this new address of mine. I must admit, I am in a bit of a mixed state of emotions over all of this. I am so excited for the next 2 years, I am missing a lot about being a college student in New York, and I am missing the easy commute around my New England states to some of our country's most beautiful locations. What trips me up the most, it probably the fact that I really and in love with the fact that the unlit "highways" make me feel like a tiny speck of dust under the most enormous starry night sky. That I love the sticky, hot summer weather that still somehow does not deter my neighbors from making friends with my roommates and myself. That although I am 1,000+ miles away from the places and people love, I know I'll still be able to keep in touch and bring some of them to the Delta and a whole lot of the Delta and the people of the Delta back to these old familiar people and places in NY and New England.

There is a magic here, a certain mystery and excitement in the slow rhythm of life here. Admittedly the state of Mississippi (an many parts of the South) still has a lot that isn't so great (without naming specifics) ingrained in its culture, but there is just as much that is really great. When one is forced to life life a little slower, a little more organically, a little less reliant on technology, and a little bit rustically a lot is learned about the self. I have already learned so much. For example, I have learned how to kayak on my little Moon Lake in replacement of TV watching. I have learned how to "yes ma'am" my way around convincingly enough to make pleasant conversation with locals and even a few friends.

I've appreciated being in darkness and daylight in a whole new way. The nights are darker than anything I've ever seen...even darker than the inside of my eyelids I could swear. The brightest days are not blindingly bright, but bright enough to eradicate just about every shadow lurking about in the fields. The weather is both a chore and a blessing. Smooth, steady rhythms push their way through the thick air to make it into my ears and then don't stop until they are tapping on my soul. Sweating it out at an outdoor performance quickly becomes a labor of love, instead of an inconvenience at times like this. The many miles of space between myself and the many new friends I've made only makes the Delta feel smaller. I know this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but try to think of it this way. The Delta is said to have approximately 200+ mile radius. I know people who are living and teaching at the top, middle, and bottom of this area. Each town and community in the Delta is very similar, but secretly very different (only insider's who've paid their dues, warmed up to locals, or discovered for themselves know this). We all share via our generation's various technological gateways of communication positive negative and just pain silly experiences quite often. So, at the end of a weekend, I feel as though I have not only been all over the Delta, but I know what is going on where, with who, and why. Distance is only a limitation and a divider if you are willing to let it be. The Delta has already taught me this, too!

I am in solid like with the Delta, maybe on my way to love. If it wrote me a note asking me to prom, I'd for sure check yes though.

And, not because she requested it, but because I truly miss her and all of lovely witticisms and general outlook on life...LYNN I missssss youuuuuuu and I hope new apt. and YPFP are treating you well!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Institute, check. Orientation part I,

Well, i'll keep this one short because I am tired and still trying to give my body the rest it needs to i can be at my best for when the official start to the school year comes in a few weeks!

1) I am going to be a proud English teacher for Marvell (in Marvell, Arkansas) Public's 7th and 8th graders this year.
2) I live at 5225 Moon Lake Road, Dundee, Mississippi 38626 (pretty sure that's the correct zip code...still getting used to it)
3) I survived institute (and 2 days of fairly moderately paced orientation to my specific content of teaching )and have of this morning that those 5 weeks changed me for the better and quite dramatically.

i "survived" because the schedule remained as i previously described for all 5 weeks of summer training institute. i did, however, manage to learn a great deal about TFA, the job I've signed up for, and myself as a person and a professional.

I am proud that i did well, but i am dismayed by my failures as well. My 6th grade class this summer did really well overall and made tremendous gains in their education 5 out of our 16 students met their ambitious reading goals and a few more than that made their math goals too! I am very proud of these students they are representations of my hard work paying off. To the same token, I feel dismayed and frustrated because not all my students made their goals. They made growth, which is comforting, but I cannot help but still focus on how i could have done better by them. In the end, what's done is done, and I will take the lessons and memories of this extremely difficult summer with me as i move into my year long placement at Marvell public this fall semester.

Pictures of the moon barn (my house is really a barn that has been remodeled for human living!) very soon. Pictures of the classroom soon too, hopefully!

Now?...well, now I prep for my room with big goals, long term plans, a first unit plan and assessment, and general class room poster making..lesson planning, etc etc. ahh the life of a first year teacher. I'm lucky to have the lake and a kayak to de-stress with from time to time.

Next post...hopefully in a week or so, will be on the Delta itself and my growing affection for this region. This proud New Englander still surprises herself sometimes at how much she likes it here and how well she does just about anywhere once she finds a few quality people! :0

PS- JENNI I misssssss youuuuu!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Tentative...means tentative, but doesn't mean I can't be excited about possibilities!!

I am currently tentatively placed in Marvell, Arkansas as an upper middle school reading teacher. The entire school district is 1000 kids from tiny tots to high school. I am so excited just to be placed, but also at the idea of being in a place where I can make huge ripples...if not a splash in the water.

Google it. I'll update soon. For now, simply join me in the fun daydream musings of what could lie ahead for me! :)