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What are you about?

16 August 2015

July 12, 2012

I’m one month out of college and one week into Boston and this new career. Outside of BTR, I know exactly three people in this city. I’ve never before been to Boston except for Selection Day. In high school words: New things are scary. But BTR won my heart quickly. Jesse Solomon talked to us on the first day and said almost nothing else before he said: It’s not about you. It’s about kids and kids’ learning, because we believe every kid has everything to offer this world. Jesse didn’t say that last part, but I heard it in his speech, and in everything said by BTR staff that week. To me, it is invigorating, living in an environment focused on kids’ learning and social justice.

On the first day, I was three sentences into a conversation with another Resident when she asked, “So, what are you about?” I blinked at her. “We could talk for a while and eventually get around to it,” she said, “or I could just ask you.” I told her about national parks and music and dancing and intentional community. We talked about what we’d learned so far in adulthood, about mentors and our families and gender stereotypes. Since then, I’ve had several more conversations with Residents that delve quickly into the personal: the things we love, the ways we grew up, the sadness and confusion we battled as teenagers. By the end of the first week, I felt the security of membership in a community. We are here to make something happen, together.

This place feels right. I love talking in class and at lunch and on the bus with people who both challenge my assumptions and affirm my commitment to this work. I can’t wait to see the collective knowledge of this group interact with kids, classrooms and intellectual challenge.

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