Tomorrow, I have an interview withTeach for America. For forty-five minutes, I'll be answering questions and discussing my interest in teaching over the phone. This has the potential to be a really awesome, engaging conversation... or a little awkward. Obviously, I'm hoping and preparing for the former.
I'm nervous. [This is supposed to be my nervous face, but I look more like I'm constipated.] I want this position more than I will admit to any of you. This is evident to me because of how much I have tried to prepare for tomorrow. Normally for interviews, I wear a cute outfit and smile a lot hoping that will get me the job.
Tomorrow, however, is different.
This position is such a chance for a daring adventure, an amazing opportunity to teach in a low-income school system. A few months ago, I would have never considered applying. But reading Wendy Kopp's [the founder of TFA] books, talking to corps members, and seeing the significant impact this organization is having on our nation... my ideas of teaching were changed.
I want to be a corps member of Teach for America because I want to be a part of something great. And really, what's more important than making sure every child in America, no matter the color of their skin or what city they're born in, has the same chances and educational opportunities as the rest of the nation?
If we're supposed to be a land of equal opportunity, shouldn't this be evident in our schools? Shouldn't each child, no matter their socioeconomic situations or their geographical locations, be able to dream, to aspire to achieve greatness?
The answer is yes. Yes, they should.
If you think of it tomorrow, please pray for my interview. This is one daring adventure I very much wish to be apart of, but they only accept 12 percent of those who apply. So I obviously don't want to count my chickens just yet.
For those of you who don't know, I work at the University of Oklahoma Press as an Editorial Assistant. Basically that means I'm the manuscript editors go-to girl. I do the "toilet scrubbing" of the editorial department, the editing no one else [ever] wants to do.
I'm making this sound absolutely terrible, but really I love it. Sure, random searches for en dashes isn't the donut at the end of my rainbow... but most of the time I thoroughly enjoy what I do. It's one step closer to the actual editing I want to do, manipulating the text to find the perfect words, the ideal plot, etc.
Yesterday, I was doing a first check for one of the editors. [This entails looking over a set of proofs that the production team has given us and making sure there aren't any blatant grammatical/typographical errors.]
The book is called, "Don't Shoot the Gentile," a man's memoirs about teaching at CSUtah, a university riddled with students whose allegiance lies with the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. In laymen's terms, the student body is 90 percent Mormon. I found myself laughing as I read his description of life in the small town of Cedar Hill, and the eccentricities of the Mormons he came into contact with. His writing was brilliant.
By chapter five, I had nearly forgotten that I was supposed to be "looking for errors." It felt too much like pleasure reading [and let me tell you, this is a rarity at OU Press where we primarily publish snooze-and-cruise historical/Native American research].
All this to say, sometimes I think editing really messes with my perspective. I'm so accustomed to looking over a text and merely reading to catch the mistakes that I feel this mentality can sometimes cross over to my everyday life. Automatically I look for what's wrong and what can be fixed instead of enjoying the good, the well-written parts [if you will] of my life.
It's a dangerous path to tread. It's the difference, I believe, between hurt and hope. For if we choose to tango with discontentment, we will be disheartened. We will always be looking for what can be altered and ways to improve our situations; we will never be satisfied.
We must choose contentment, stilling the anxious "red pen" in our hearts that desires to rewrite the story God has already written for us. The perfect story that requires no editing.
February 14 makes some people want to vomit. Or slit their wrists. Or stuff their head in a paper bag until they can no longer see the color red or think about the word "love."
Until yesterday, I could go either way. Honestly, I love a good excuse to have flowers in my house or to loosen my belt buckle from gorging myself with chocolates. And though I've never stuffed my head into a paper bag, Valentine's Day was just never a big deal.
Yesterday was our first Valentine's in the same city. Last year, Grahm was still in Tampa and I was here. Last night, he made me dinner. He walked into my house with all the necessary ingredients for caesar salad, garlic bread, asparagus [my favorite vegetable, even if it does make your pee smell] and fettucini alfredo. He even made the sauce himself!
As if that wasn't enough, he brought in these lovely flowers. Daisies are my favorite.
And some yummy dessert from Cheesecake factory!
After a wonderful meal, we exchanged gifts. I was super lame this year. I tried to make three different kinds of cookies [his favorite food group] and only one type [sorta] turned out. So, he got a plate of chocolate chip rocks and the audio book for Harry Potter V.
He, of course, was much more thoughtful. His card said "I hope you enjoy wearing your gift as much as I will enjoy you wearing your gift."
...And then he hands me this bag.
My heart fell. He saw the disapproval written all over my face. Why in the world would he think this is okay? I started to protest even opening it, because I was so upset. Before I could say anything, he reached for the bag and told me to open it.
A few weeks ago, I made some off-hand comment about not being a real girl because I only had a bottle of $2 body spray from Walmart, which [to be honest] doesn't even smell that great and even if it did, it lasts about as long as it takes me walk to my car.
So he got me three new perfumes from B&BW and matching lotions and the Pink spray from Victoria Secret [hence the bag].
It was a mean trick, but funny in the end. :)
So sorry to be one of those annoying my-life-so-wonderful/Im-so-in-love kind of girls... but I can't help it. He's the best Valentine in the world, and I don't deserve him one little bit.
Because I am nothing if not entirely UNoriginal, I thought I would share the PhotoBook I made for Grahm [Thanks for the idea Jamie] Though it took an ungodly amount of time to put together and [much to my chagrin] there are a couple typos, I am beyond thrilled with the way our book of memories came out.
As much as I would like to say it's handmade, there's no point even pretending I slapped some glue on the back of these photos and called it a scrapbook. [I don't think I would be sharing that version with you.] Shutterfly truly is the savior for people like me who don't have a crafty bone in their UNartistic body.
I'm giving it to him on Saturday, our "official" one year anniversary.