Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Signing Off for Year One: Bianca Delagado

With my first year of teaching now in the books and completing my first year of living in Memphis, I can’t believe the speed that these past twelve months flew by at. So much has happened since I pulled up to the University of Memphis for my summer training for Teach For America.

I loved getting to know the different seasons and emotions of Memphis. From the thrilling and historical moments like the removal of the Confederate statues, to the chill evening strolls through Midtown with my ice cream scoops from Sweet Noshings, Memphis gave me so much this past year. I loved Mempho Music Fest and Beale Street Music Fest, all the delicious eats with so many places left to check out, the different cultural events like Memphis in May and MusliMemFest, and taking a road trip over to Gatlinburg to hike in the Smokies for a weekend!

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I think I can speak for many recent college graduates, but making my way through life outside of the structure of a college schedule and social circle was a pretty weird and at times unnerving experience. Adjusting to postgrad life was tough at times but having friends that I met through Teach For America really helped. I think that period of time is going to be difficult regardless of the city you end up in after college and I’m glad Memphis was the city that witnessed that awkward stage of my life. Phew.

There was so much I wanted to do this year but never got around to because of the wild teacher schedule that consumed my life. My first year of teaching was intense and the most difficult thing I’ve done so far in life, but with all that mess in my past now, I’m so excited for my second year with the wealth of knowledge I acquired from my daily ritual of trial and error (shout out to my students that experienced my cringeworthy first lessons but still gave me “Best Teacher Ever!!!” notes and drawings…everyone deserves love like that) With that, I’ll be out and about this summer during my time off making my way around to Shelby Farms Park, Jerry’s Sno-Cones, The Word open mic night at Slice of Soul and other Memphis goodies I’ve been waiting to enjoy!

If you’re thinking about making the move to Memphis, come on over! It’s been so cool experiencing Memphis during a period of so much energy and excitement; there’s so many new projects, ideas, and progress going on here. Memphians are proud of their city and their love for this special place takes on many shapes and forms here in the cultural, social, political or economic aspects of the city. I’d like to think I can call myself a Memphian now, but I feel like it’s a title you truly have to earn. Memphis is truly a city of grit and grind! I think I have more work and love left to pour into this special city before I can earn that badge of honor.

I’ll definitely be here for several more years teaching my bilingual babies up in Highland Heights! I love the community I work in, the city I now call home, and the special people here. Thanks for joining me through my first year, Choose901’ers!

You can take a look back at all of my experiences here.

What is Year One? Go here to learn more.

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