Teaching in Memphis

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 05 2012

To Memphis!

Tomorrow’s the big day!

Okay, it’s one of several big days to come. But, it’s the first big day, so it counts all the same. Tomorrow is the beginning of Induction, which is Teach For America’s pre-Institute “get-to-know-you” period. We have four full days in Memphis before heading (further) south to Mississippi.

The last time I was in Memphis was in February 2011, and I was singing with the St. Olaf Choir. There was a man in the audience who, after every piece we sang, said “praise God.” He didn’t shout it, but he didn’t whisper it either. It was a plaintive, matter-of-fact utterance that threw everyone for a loop the first time we heard it. The Memphis concert was the first after an unplanned day off. We had been scheduled to sing in Little Rock, AR, the day before, but (lalas, say it with me now), we were stuck on a bus for 17 hours, because the weather was so out-of-character for that part of the country. We missed the Little Rock concert, and it was that point in the tour where everyone was just ready to go home. Memphis gave us the boost we needed to keep on singing. I wonder what the city will have in store for me tomorrow?


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