So, yeah, TFA. By now you may be wondering how a doofus like me got in. Well, I will tell you. I am assuming I made it to the interview by virtue of my amazing application essay, which was honest in the same sense that supermarket meat that has been plumped up with water to make it look fresher and juicier is honest. It was a true story, just like that chicken breast is a real chicken breast, but the story was treated with a saccharine solution to…okay, this metaphor is dead. Never mind. Anyway, I told some really sweet story about how my school counselor never gave up on my punk ass, and how I’d like to be that kind of a person, and the story was true but I sent it through the Thomas Kinkaide filter instead of the (more honest to my upbringing) Hieronymus Bosch filter.
I was interviewed by a team of two people. One of them was a guy who pretty much personified TFA. If you have ever been to a TFA function, you have seen this guy. He was as Anglo-Saxon as they come, and looked like a lacrosse player. He had hair that was gelled just spiky enough to say “I am a professional, but I know how to have fun!” and had perfect teeth. The other interviewer was grouchy lady in a bad suit. I was also wearing a bad suit, so I took this for a good sign. I think maybe growly wasn’t her natural disposition, but that she was on Earnestness Overload at that point in the interview cycle, because during the group interview when they asked “What do you think the causes of poverty are?” and I said something like “Rich assholes have all the money,” she laughed and warmed up to me. The lacrosse guy looked confused. During my practice lesson about semi-colons, she sang along with the semi-colon song I invented, for which I am still grateful. So, kids, that’s how to land a job: show up drunk and swear at the interviewers.
I wasn’t actually drunk, that was a lie – I am naturally that socially inept, no booze required. There will probably be lots of lies in this blog, to be honest. I belong to an ethnic group well known for lying tendencies. No, not the ethnic group you’re thinking of, you big racist.
So yeah, I was surprised when I got the letter saying I was in – pleasantly surprised. See, I had applied to TFA because I really wanted to be a teacher, and had realized that, oh, halfway through my senior year of college. So I’d googled (well, given the era, probably I yahoo searched it, but “yahoo’d” makes a crappy past tense verb) “alternative teacher certification” because there was no way I was immediately going back for another degree full-time. I did not want to be a lobbyist or an administrator or get my foot in the door at Goldman-Sachs. I just liked the stated goals on the TFA website, and I wanted to teach specifically in a low-income district because I was (and am) scared of wealthy people.
Institute, therefore, was terrifying.
Per WordPress’ suggestion, I am tagging this post “saccharine solution” and “GOLDMAN & GOLDMAN, INC.”