Author Archives: Noa

Teach For America: Friday

Teach For America’s final application deadline for this year is Friday.  I have wanted to take a chunk of time to blog more in depth, but for the moment I need to settle for this:

If you see no flaws in Teach For America , talk to someone who can help you.  If you don’t know who to talk to, try Professor Anu Sharma.

If you think critically, reflect on your own participation in cultural narratives, and see problems and complexities as well as strengths in what an organization like Teach For America does, I want you at the helm of this movement. TFA is in a powerful position right now. If you are thoughtful, then you can positively impact the world in more than a few ways by being and shaping this organization. If you are thoughtful, that is, and also willing to work your ****ing tail off, and interested in committing to a low-income community for at least two years.


Shit’s complex. Don’t abandon ship, grab the wheel.

-Noa (Wes ’10, TFA ’10)

Teach For America: Alum Perspective & App. Deadline

Dear Wes Seniors,

I’m taking a break from grading science projects to give you a heads up that the second application deadline for Teach For America is coming up this Wednesday (October 27th). I’m teaching through TFA in Denver, Colorado. It’s hard work. It’s good work. It’s different every week. It’s important because educational inequality sucks. It’s important because Brian and Jasmine and Luz deserve to be heard, and more people will hear them if they can read and write.

I also appreciate this opportunity to strengthen my own instrument—Teaching, and TFA in particular, is the most legit leadership training I can imagine.  Despite the fact that being a new teacher (maybe regardless of training) is kind of like bench-pressing an angry cop while hang-gliding through a herd of stampeding elephants looking for a small donut and calculating the ten-thousandth digit of pi as you work fiercely together with others to build a playing card house to the moon… despite this fact, I can already see my capacity for making things happen deepen by the month.

If you’re considering applying and want to chat or have any questions, feel free to call me.  If you’re interested but unsure about Teach For America as an organization, I’d love to talk. No approach to tackling social issues is perfect, but I’ve developed a solid respect for this organization and am as down as ever to work through critical questions or concerns.

As for applying, I was thrilled to have applied in October because the final decision gets made in early January, which is nice. If this work catches your interest, go for it. Also check out the various city teaching fellowships around the country (Denver Teaching Fellows, New York Teaching Fellows, etc). And enjoy your year. (I think you’re lovely).


Noa Wotton ‘10

(510) 710-1151

Apply for Student Activities Positions

Ahem. On a different note:

1: Apply to be on the Usdan Center Activities Board (UCAB)!

Want to help plan fun activities at Usdan? Gain valuable leadership and organizing skills while making Usdan a comfortable and social place for students. UCAB members work to provide entertaining and creative alternative programs for Thursday nights and some weekends. Recent events have included open mic night, spa night, and free salsa dancing lessons.

To apply, click here (
Questions? Contact the Elisa at the SALD office at

2: Apply to be on Student Activities Event Staff for fall 2010!

And get paid $9.00/hour to go to your favorite events!

Event Staff are students representing the Dean’s Office and assisting Public Safety as a positive peer presence at student organized and student run social events. Event staff assist event hosts in managing entrances and exits of event venues and maintaining safety and organization throughout the event.

To read the job description, click here (
To apply, click here (
Contact with questions.

Vagina Monologues Hit Main Street

Local artist and friend Erika Arneson has been working on a production of The Vagina Monologues and it’s going up on Main Street this Friday! With some live music and an art show beforehand. Sounds like a brilliant excuse to get off campus and check out a different Middletown scene. Meet some neighbors, even.

  • The show is at the MAC650 gallery (650 Main Street) on Friday, April 30th.
  • Doors open at 6pm- come and enjoy musical performances by The Invisible Harps and Erica Hulme. See artwork by John Morfis, for his solo show, “New England Oils” currently up in our gallery.
  • Play begins at 7pm and runs 90 minutes. Suggested donation is $10.00 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and also Women and Families Center of Central Connecticut who will also be present during the event. Performed by an ensemble of thirteen women from a variety of backgrounds. Produced by Erika Arneson. Directed by Kelly DiMauro.

RECAP:  Friday, April 30  /  Music and art at 6 pm, play at 7 pm  /  650 Main Street (just north of Washington)  / Donation encouraged.

Live music + Artwork + Theater + Neighbors + Good cause.

Mindful Meal (Thursday Dinner)

Please join Full House and Buddhist House for a mindful meal this Thursday, April 29th, from 6-7:30 pm at Buddhist House, 356 Washington St. We will meditate, eat a home cooked meal in silence, and discuss the effects that mindfulness has on our daily activities. It’s free, vegetarian, and open to everyone – no experience necessary! Bring your friends.

  • When: Thursday, April 29th (6 – 7:30 pm)
  • Where: Buddhist House (365 Washington)
  • Cost: Free and Yummy
  • Conversation with Teach For America Founder

    If anyone wants to learn about Teach For America beyond the flashy posters, here’s a chance. I was initially turned off by their corporate aesthetic but have decided that they do really good work. On top of bringing teachers to districts that need them and giving future leaders experience working in under-resourced schools, TFA has done more in recent years to start conversations about educational inequality than any other organization I’ve encountered.

    Achieving Educational Equity:
    A Conversation with Wendy Kopp

    Wendy Kopp launched Teach For America twenty years ago to address a great injustice in America – the disparity of educational opportunities provided to low-income children and their wealthier peers. Learn more about this pressing social issue while hearing first-hand from Teach For America’s founder and CEO.

    Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic majors, backgrounds, and career interests who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity.    •    Learn more about Teach For America by attending an upcoming online event. •    Full salary and benefits. Relocation funding available. Federal student loans deferred during two years of service (learn more).    •    All majors and professional experiences.

    I should probably mention that I’ll be teaching through TFA next year in Colorado.  I’d be glad to chat about it or talk critiques/concerns; feel free to shoot me an email (nwotton at wes).

    Fourth Quarter Strikes Again

    Under cover of distracting early blossoms and annoying post-break midterms, that lusty menace known only as “Fourth Quarter” has crept over campus yet again. Its victims? Regular students like you and me, who totally forgot that they were enrolled in Squash. If you still want to take it, I’ll see you at the second or third class. If you’ve changed your mind, take heed!

    “Students have five days from the start of the class to add or drop a fourth quarter course. Drop/Add forms are available at any of the windows in the Registrar’s Office and require the signature of the instructor, your advisor, and your class dean.”

    Outdoor Farmer’s Market!

    Celebrate Springtime and Local Food with the first OUTSIDE FARMERS’ MARKET this Wednesday in the Usdan Courtyard.

    Get Fresh. Get Local. Get outside and bask in the sun while you eat delicious food from area farmers providing you with cheese, yogurt, bread, jams, baked goods, sweets, honey, maple syrup, soups, produce, and more.

    Bon Appetit will be there cooking up a local lunch so you can use your POINTS to support the market!

    There will be live music and straight up chilling, you don’t want to miss it.

    • When: Wednesday, March 24th, 11am – 2pm
    • Where: Usdan Courtyard

    A Conversation on Music and Buddhist Practice

    A conversation with David Nelson, Artist in Residence and Professor of Music.

    Professor David Nelson is a stunning South Indian percussionist, author of the Solkattu manual, and longtime practitioner of Zen Buddhism. We will begin with a meditation at 6:30 pm, after which Professor Nelson will speak about the relationship between Buddhist practice and artistic practice, between creativity and attention. Snacks and tea will be served. I hope you see you there.

    • When: Wednesday 3/24. Open meditation at 6:30, followed by talk at 7:00
    • Where: Buddhist House (356 Washington Ave.)

    Mindfulness in Education Conference

    There’s a Mindfulness in Education conference in Cambridge, MA this weekend.  Sweeto. I’ll be driving from Wes on Friday and back Sunday, let me know if you’d like a ride (nwotton[at]wes). Check the website for more info:

    They have a half-price scholarship, which we probably qualify for as students, which brings the cost to $30 (Saturday) and $17 (Friday). Email rbrady44 [at] for scholarship info.