training camp and teach for america interview.

When I left Georgia this morning it was dark and rainy, which was nice because I felt like crying. There is something special about the weather matching your mood – it just doesn’t feel right when you are sad and the sun is shining.

For the last ten days I’ve been volunteering at the World Race training camp, and while I was there everything felt so right. Sleeping on the floor with a bunch of other people, eating meals together at the same time every day, cooking and cleaning in the camp kitchen, teachings in the morning and worship into the night, drinking out of Nalgene water bottles and using headlamps when it’s dark, being surrounded by dirt and trees and water, falling asleep on the dock in the late afternoon, being disconnected from the Internet and cell phones, praying all the time, making new friends and not having a care in the world.

I saw 12 people from my World Race squad… we screamed when we saw each other from across the room and hugged so tightly we lost our breath. We laughed and cried and discussed our kingdom dreams. We fell asleep talking. We prayed for each other. We cherished every moment we had together.

I made new friends – though we never even introduced ourselves. After spending enough time working or eating or playing together, it felt like we had always known each other. I love when that happens, especially in such a short amount of time.

While I was there I kept thinking about how at home I felt, and how grateful I am to be leading a Real Life trip in January. I thought about how I should work at a camp or for Adventures in Missions forever. I wondered, is Teach for America really what I’m supposed to do?

I asked God for another sign, for a dream to confirm what he’s already told me. He said no, I’ve already given you enough signs. You must walk by faith.

But then he gave me a dream anyway, two days before my final interview.

On Friday morning I woke up and traded my jeans and chucks for a fancy schmancy skirt and black closed-toed shoes. My squadmates Emily and Brittany drove with me to Atalanta, where they prayed with me in the car before I went in for my day-long interview.

The first part of my interview was the five-minute lesson plan, which was probably the best part of my interview. I’m glad I didn’t use Silly Bandz like I originally intended, because two other people used Silly Bandz in their presentations. Some people went way over the top and tried to teach things like poetry and geometry and physics in five minutes… the rest of us just stared in confusion, and realized we should probably brush up on our 10th grade math skills.

The next part was the group discussion, where it seemed like everyone but me dominated the conversation. If you wanted to get a word in you pretty much had to interrupt whoever was babbling at the moment, so I mostly sat in amazement as everyone blabbed and interrupted each other. I probably interrupted a few times, just to say, “So wait…what did we just conclude?” because I was the person writing everything down. Thinking back on this part of the interview amuses me, because for months I’ve been praying that God would place me in a group where we would basically hold hands and welcome each other’s opinions humbly. BAH HA! That didn’t exactly happen. At all.

And then we all took a test. It was multiple choice, at least.

And then I waited four hours for my one-on-one interview. I wasn’t allowed to leave the building, because it was IBM and apparently they are very secretive, but thankfully the security guard let me sneak Emily and Brittany in so they could eat lunch with me. She gave them name tags and told us that if anyone asked, they were interviewing for TFA. Emily looked down at her skinny jeans and flip flops and laughed.

My one-on-one interview wasn’t so hot. My interviewer asked me what I’ve been doing since I returned from the World Race three months ago, and I responded by saying, “Applying for jobs and getting rejected every time.” Really? That’s all I could say? And then I was really thrown off because she asked a ton of questions about the job I had a camp over two years ago – I wasn’t expecting that, and I kinda made stuff up because I couldn’t remember. Also I kept burping up the tuna I ate for lunch. So. yeah.

When it was all over and I was walking toward the elevator, I felt a little bit like I had ruined my chances. But then God said, “remember when you finished your lesson plan this morning and you were feeling awesome and so sure you would get accepted? Well, if you had been awesome the whole way through the day you would’ve concluded that you were accepted because of you. Now you know when you get accepted it’s because of me.” Again and again and again he tells me, and again and again and again I have to be reminded.

But really, I have no doubt that I’ll be accepted. I’ll let you know on November 9 when I find out for sure. If I’m not accepted, I’ll probably cry a lot… and then laugh really hard because I’ll have a ridiculous amount of information about TFA in my head that will be pretty much useless.

And now I want to thank all the people who prayed for me and texted me and called me and sent me mail in support of my TFA final interview. You have no idea how overwhelmed and touched I was/am by your love. When I get accepted, it’s because of YOUR prayers. I truly believe that. One friend wrote in a letter to me, “I understand you may not know if you have the position yet, but I know God is placing you there!” Wow, talk about feeling loved. I want to believe in people like that. Thank you all for showing me how.

I have a lot more to say about life and boys and God and everything. But that’s for another blog on another day. It’s getting late and I’m ready for bed. Really, I’ll be sleeping in a bed. First time in ten days. And I’ll be sleeping alone. If I had in my way…I’d be back on the floor in the middle of a pile of people.


About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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3 Responses to training camp and teach for america interview.

  1. Rothman says:

    #1 I was soo pumped to see that you blogged about training camp… i have been waiting anxiously…
    #2 I agree that hard floors with fellow racers is much better than your own room with a bed
    #3 I love you… anddddd and going to email you my true thoughts now.. lol

  2. marissavilla says:

    Holy smokes I missed you. Well, I guess I still do. But at least now I can call and text you. And read your blog. I love you.

  3. B. Smith says:

    Awesome commentary

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