November 14, 2009 - 9:00 AM
Text Message from Byron Stevens, Tuesday, November 10, 3:06pm: Math in Phoenix. You here?
I had been checking the Teach For America website incessantly all morning hoping that they would post my acceptance status. Realistically though, I knew there wouldn't be any word until after 5pm. However, I was sitting in my Pioneers of Sustainability class when I received the text message from Byron. Byron and I work together for Teach For America, and were both eagerly awaiting our acceptance on Tuesday. Thus, when I found out he got in I was excited for him, and I knew beyond a doubt that I was accepted as well. I didn't even need to check the website, I just knew.
Class got out at 3:20 in the afternoon, but I stuck around to finish up a class discussion we were having even with the knowledge that my acceptance status was posted. My classmates, professor, and I were in a serious conversation about sustainability and our generation's lack of action to change the status quo as institutions crumble around us. In the back of my mind I was anxious to check my acceptance status, but at the same time I was deeply devoted to the conversation that my acceptance took a back seat to our conversation.
We stood in the Honors College's hall for a half hour talking about what made us angry, what had to change, and our feelings about all of this. Six other classmates and myself resolved to create a think tank that actually accomplishes things hands-on. In other words, a "do tank" (more on that to come in a later post). Our professor left to go to another engagement, but we vowed to meet that evening and parted.
I bounded down the Honors College stairs as my pending acceptance once again consumed my consciousness, and I needed to get to my computer as fast as possible. I quickly unlocked my bike, jumped on the seat, and peddled up University Street towards home as fast as I could. Within minutes I came sweating and huffing and puffing into my room, ripping off my rain jacket and helmet as I booted up my laptop. I punched "teachforamerica.org" into the search bar, hit the login button, and was greeted by a screen that read: "Congratulations! We'd like to offer you the opportunity to teach high school math in Tulsa."
Hands over my head in clenched fists, I whooped in sheer elation. My roommate Aaron heard me and came in to shake my hand followed by my other roommate Jeff. I quickly phoned and texted my parents, sister, family, friends, co-workers, with the good news.
I could not be happier right now. I have a job for next year doing what I want to do, and I get to move to Tulsa-which is actually supposed to be a great city. I breathed a deep sigh of relief this week, and now have a huge smile plastered on my face. I'm excited to move on with the next phase of my life.