Ryan Erdmier

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 23 2009

Game On

I cannot say how often I will keep up with this.  I will just say that I started it and now you, the reader, need to motivate me by posting or responding, even if it’s correcting grammatical errors or to just say hi, so that I don’t forget about this.

So, in all honesty, what better way to go out than a New Orleans omelet from Al’s Breakfast, courtesy of my little yellow book (thanks Mom and Dad)?  I just had to say that because although the grease-saturated omelet is uncomfortably sitting in my stomach and it is 92 degrees out, it packs an unmatched flavor that everyone should know about and satisfies me even in this stifling heat.

My suitcase is sitting at the door and I am ready to leave.  It is an odd feeling being in the comfort of a small room, staring out at a small black box that I am expected to live out of for the next month or so.  However it is not about the material suitcase that sits there.  It is the intense training, knowledge, motivation, determination, frustration, and other intangible feelings that I will be able to tackle and utilize in the near future as I enter the classroom teaching 6th grade mathematics in August.

Never before have I had such intense reflection on what has happened in my life, both in the past and what lies in the future.  In reality, I understand that it is the wealth of knowledge I have deposited and the vast experiences I have had in my life that I owe this new, intense reflection to.  Each memory and experience has been a building block to amass the person that I am today, allowing me to better myself in the hopes of ultimately bettering the lives of those around me.  One of my best friends from my Ecuador program sent me a quote that I later read in its original context.  It lies on a bold parallel to my feelings as I get ready to head off.  “Strength is for service, not for status.” – Romans 15:1-3.

As I am exposed to the problems or inequalities that face this world, I realize that it is less about myself and more about those around me who may be suffering in one way or another.  Furthermore, as my altruistic urges develop, the comfort in my life continues to strengthen.  These developments congrue to create an unmeasurable strength.  I will need to tap this strength to become a better leader and impact those around me during my time in Los Angeles.  I know that there will be positive events and negative events, but as a true economist, it is important to understand where the end result will lie.  The strength I have assembled over the last twenty-one years tells me that anything is possible (holla Kevin Garnett).  Therefore, creating a positive-sum game is the Big Goal for myself, but the benchmarks needed to reach that goal will lie in the successes of my students in the next two years.  I say, game on.

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