Honest Applications

I was once told the best way to lose your job is to lie on your resume, so this weekend at the Teach for America 25th Anniversary Summit, when people asked why I chose to join the Milwaukee 2016 Corps, I couldn’t do anything but tell them the truth.

And the trust is that I didn’t choose Milwaukee at all.

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Where the Heart Isn’t

My writing desk vibrates with the hum of Florence + the Machine, the echoes of her voice as it thralls and throws the air, a soft vibrato all the way to my fingertips, my toes.

My toes sit soft at the ends of my shoes, slightly sweetened by sweat and the long walk across campus I made today–twice–beneath the blistering North Carolinian sun.

My right shoe is pressed flat against the floor of the faded maroon carpeting of my new campus apartment, only the ball of my left foot hitting the floor, my heel raised as I lean forward, poised for creativity, ready for my words to rewrite the world.

I’d say it feels like home, but it doesn’t. It isn’t.

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I Smell Stress and Candy

It’s no secret how stressed I’ve been lately–in fact, the past few days I’ve felt flat-out overwhelmed by everything–but I don’t think I realized just how much it was messing with my head until I fell asleep last night.

I almost feel like posting this on Silent Soliloquy instead. It feels more like fiction than reality. But didn’t my grandmother used to say fact is stranger than fiction anyways?

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F is for Father’s Day

Father’s Day for a boy is full of wonder: I’m celebrating my dad–the man who took me camping with Cub Scouts, the man who eats chips and salsa with with me, the man who reclines on the weekends and is sure to answer “yes” to anything.

As I child I couldn’t imagine Father’s Day any other way. I didn’t stop to think, what will I do for my brothers after they have kids? I never considered what Father’s Day would mean when I have my own kids–or the obstacles I’d have to face to get there.

Father’s Day as a man is all of these things–and most of them are anything but wonderful.

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Grand Unifying Theory

The fault in my stars made me a Gemini. Not only was the sun in this sign on the day of my birth, at the minute of my birth the earth watched as Gemini rose on the horizon. Expanding outwards through the solar system, three of the other nine astrological planets also stand in my first house.

I was destined for duality from the start.

In its most basic ailment, this often manifests itself in my having clearly delineated inner and outer selves, one known only to myself while the world witnesses the other. But as my particular brand of fate would have it, it doesn’t end there.

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Ethics in the Periphery

I’ve been procrastinating.

I read this week’s teaching for the first time more than a month ago–and I knew I’d loathe the moment I got to it. When the week opened at a conference in DC and continued with a maddening rush to pack my room and move on campus, procrastination came easily.

But as Hillel might remind us, “If not know, when?”

So anxiously I plow forward. One last teaching to end them all.

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Origami of the Soul

A little more than two years ago I wrote The Plight of Paper People, reflecting on the coming close of one chapter of life as the new pages unfolded before me. I described people as paper, able to be torn and taped back together, able to be colored upon or crumpled up and tossed aside.

The changes I spoke of looming on the horizon are all the changes that have now happened, and like those paper people, I feel torn up and taped together, stained and set aside.

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Deep in the Kitchen

Imagine two cooks deep in the kitchen, working so closely it’s like they’re cooking hand-in-hand. Now shut yours eyes for a second and think about all the moments that come to mind.

For me, it’s a lot of time in front of the TV. Food Network is a favorite of my family’s, and we often spend our time watching shows like Chopped and Food Network Star together–and we’d probably cook together, if our kitchen could hold us. At the moment, it can’t.

Think deeper. Think back to the moments growing up when the kitchen was alive with the heartbeat of working hands and the warmth of the oven overflowing. What do you see? What aromas fill your lungs?

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Return

I feel frustrated and slightly overwhelmed. Tomorrow I return to Raleigh to start my second semester, and in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’m more anxious or excited. I haven’t accomplished all the goals I wanted to make before going back to campus, but those I haven’t reached I’ve planned to do elsewise. And although today is Saturday and there are only four more lessons in the third book of the Pirkei Avot, I just haven’t felt in sound mind to write about that today (and when I read what it said, I felt it even less).

I need focus. But focus is hard to find in a world full of Facebook.

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