I realize that I completely forgot to update about my weekend in Philly. I’m going to consider this my first weekend in Philly considering the first time I was there was with the fencing team which involved running up the Rocky steps, and then huddling in Temple for the rest of the weekend while our players slowly got cut round after round. So, I’m just going to start over…now…pretend I’ve never been.

Unlike that disastrous first time I flew to Paris all by myself and couldn’t figure how to do anything right and six hours later ended up at my apartment, this trip was comparatively uneventful. I landed, I picked up my luggage, and I got on the shuttle (only $10) and got to the hotel to nap before the really subpar pizza that TFA served arrived. I was out of it in a major way, considering my sleep schedule of 4AM-12PM was interrupted by this “professional” weekend. But, oh well, I got over it.

At the first night’s meet and greet the people were nice, and I like everyone I talked to the whole weekend. It was almost impossible to not make comparisons to everyone I knew from UF. There was a girl just like Blakely onl not as loud (I’m calling here Blakely Light), and there was someone, I kid you not, just like Jordan Loh with a vocabulary just as expansive and a posture just as politic. There was a dude who was a curious cross between Dan Hobbs (formerly obsessed with stocks) and Joe Schuessler (ran the Boston Marathon, placed in the top 70) which was weird considering last year’s living arrangements, but it got weirder because he ended up being the guy I was rooming with at the hotel, almost by accident.

And there were others but those people really stood out. While most people were from around the area, I was glad I wasn’t the only non-NorthEasterner. There was a dude from Cali, a girl from Texas, and there were even a few Wisconsonians around. (Joe: They have never heard of Mayville, or whore-icon, or Beaver Dam.) And there was a girl who went to Vandy, but she did not count because she doesn’t even drink sweet tea–I crime where I come from.

I got to interview with several different hiring committees, I got actually a lot more interviews than I was expecting, and I felt very blessed by the whole situation. Especially because everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and especially because I was the weirdo from Florida. After all the formality was done, I had dinner with MacKenzie which was great, because I was eating with exclusively TFA people, and it was just a little weird to be introduced not by my own name, but by “Hey, this is an ’08 here in Philly.” It felt so personal. But what was weird was people responded with “Oh, nice to meet you! I’m an ’07 so I’ll be around next year.”

This is going to be a weird culture to assimilate into next year. It’s also going to be weird because so many of these people have personality coming out their ears. But I figure I’ll manage somehow. Especially after this weekend I realize that not everyone is crazy. Just some of them. Or maybe this process makes one crazy.

Who knows. All I know is I’ve been praying to the Lord God Almighty a lot more than usual.

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