You Can Call Me Chaco

The first week of institute is over and I’ll actually start teaching on Monday (tomorrow!) #NervousButExcited

But, I want to detour from tales of TFA to tell you another story…

There were two roads diverged in the woods and WE took the one less traveled by.

I assume most people recognize these words from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” While this poem is definitely my favorite and I always try to apply its message to my life choices, I must admit that literally living it out is not quite a fun experience…

Yesterday, a small group of us decided to venture out to find this natural pool that was about an hour and a half from ASU’s campus. After our drive, we arrived at the entrance and parking lot. We saw a good number of cars, lots of children, and a few dogs on leashes.

We noticed there were two separate trails from the parking lot and foolishly went to the right trail (meaning the direction, not correct). This trail took us on a trek an hour into the woods with no “real” path. This is where I earned the nickname “Chaco.” Apparently, simply wearing Chacos while the rest of the group was in flip-flops and Toms made me the leader of the pack and the chosen one to go ahead and check for an actual path. After hiking in the wrong direction for about an hour and running into more and more difficult paths we decided to turn around and go back out the way we came because we had obviously chosen the wrong way (lesson #1: learn when to admit you’re wrong).

After what seems like multiple hours to get into the woods, it only took us a few minutes to find out way back out to the parking lot. We then chose the right (correct) trail to the left and after about a half mile we found the Water Wheel water falls and enjoyed relaxing and cooling off after such an….adventurous….day.

This trek really taught me a cheesy lesson about life. We chose the road less traveled and it turned out to be hard and not nearly as fun as the correct trail, but the whole time our group was lost in the woods we leaned on each other for support and affirmation. It would have been very easy for one or all of us to become frustrated and get angry with someone or the whole group. Instead, we kept our heads up, we followed the river, and eventually made it to our final destination.


As I’m embarking on a new two year journey with thirty (used to be) strangers, I’m blessed to know that I can lean on them for support. Yesterday’s adventure was (to me) a foreshadowing of the next two years:

We’re going to face challenges inside and outside of the classroom

We’re going to get lost

We’re going to take a few detours

But, in the end we’re all here for one another and hopefully will continue to be for the next two years. The end goal of educational equity in our country is not something an individual can tackle alone. It’s not something our South Dakota core can tackle. It’s not something TFA can tackle.

BUT, the fight for educational equity is something that I am proud to be a part of and I’m very honored to be working for that common goal with everyone surrounding me

I’m excited to begin my time in the classroom tomorrow and I’ll be sure to update everyone with how the actual TFA process is going!





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