I get it, (wo)man. I get it. You know, it’s a reality. This TFA Induction business is awkward territory all the way around. Especially for an area like Philadelphia that’s a little large with approximately 180 new corps members. And, we’re only given one highly-structured week to maintain involvement with all the demanding–and sometimes useless–sessions that we have to go to all day long, but are also expected to meet each other, many of us looking for potential roommates. It’s just awkward.

Every introduction goes like this: “Hey, how’s it going? What’s your name? Where are you from? What school did you go to? Oh! Really! That’s cool. I had a friend who went there…yeah, did you know Jane Doe? No? Oh well, your school’s so big I don’t know why I thought you’d know her. Oh me? Well, I’m John Doe, and I’m from State 51, and I went to University of State 51. Yeah, it is really far away, but I really pref-ed this city because I wanted a real change of scenery and a big challenge. Yeah. It’s cool. Yeah. … … … OK! See you later!”

And really, you found out nothing. You could learn more looking up people’s facebook profiles, but it’s not like we have time for that. Because let’s be honest. I don’t care about where you’re from or what school you went to. I care about if you’re cool, if I could possibly live with you, if you think you’d want to live with me, and how soon can we start looking for a place because I want to find a nice one and that’ll take some looking around.

That’s what’s important. And I haven’t been asking about what books or movies or music people like (because it’s not like people even give honest answers about that anyways, deferring to Latest Indie Artist Person X Heard About [Shearwater], or Fashionably Intelligent Foreign Film from Oscars [The Diving Bell and the Butterfly], or Atypical Novel from a Surging Popular Author [All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy, because everyone’s been reading The Road or No Country for Old Men], and they’re just being impressively independently fashionable in a self-conscious way, and if they really said [boyanswer/girlanswer] Miley Cyrus/Coldplay, The Little Mermaid/The Departed, and Anything Dan Brown/Twilight they’d be embarrassed about how people would judge their really favorite things so they don’t let them out to this world of strangers) because that search is usually fruitless, honestly.

But seriously, if one more person compares this to how awkward their freshman orientation was, I will get so annoyed I’m probably going to choke an Asian baby. That’s how mad I’ll be. I’m tired of that analogy more so than the darn same introductory question I’ve been using for the past two days. Geez, it has only been two days and people are already stating self-conscious ironies as a way to make awkward moments less awkward.

Note: That never works.

PS. It’s great to be a Florida Gator in Philadelphia. Go Marreese Speights!