TFA vs. Teaching

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:18 pm

duckmoney wrote:Most people who want to be teachers (along with most professional educators and education academia) despise the idea of teach for America. They don't like these no-it-all yuppies who think they're so smart and too good for teaching coming in to pack their resume and take jobs away from "real" teachers for 2 years before they go to law school.


Yeah but many "real" teachers are insufferable assholes who think their shit don't stink. Move up to administration and academia and that "many" becomes "most."

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:30 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
duckmoney wrote:Most people who want to be teachers (along with most professional educators and education academia) despise the idea of teach for America. They don't like these no-it-all yuppies who think they're so smart and too good for teaching coming in to pack their resume and take jobs away from "real" teachers for 2 years before they go to law school.


Yeah but many "real" teachers are insufferable assholes who think their shit don't stink. Move up to administration and academia and that "many" becomes "most."


+1
That's why I'm getting out!

Real Madrid
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:39 pm

I'm not sure why so many people think TFA is some incredible soft that's going to overcome a poor GPA or LSAT. Is it a good soft? Yes, probably one of the better ones. But in the end, LSAT and GPA trump all, and while it might give you a slight boost, I'd generally rather have an extra point or 2 on my LSAT score or an extra tenth of a point on my GPA than have TFA on my resume.

ETA: And as the TFA funding grows (and therefore the corps sizes grow), the "uniqueness" factor continues to decline, and the competition for the scholarships and spots at elite schools continues to rise. TFA is by no means a rare soft anymore.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:44 pm

Real Madrid wrote:I'm not sure why so many people think TFA is some incredible soft that's going to overcome a poor GPA or LSAT. Is it a good soft? Yes, probably one of the better ones. But in the end, LSAT and GPA trump all, and while it might give you a slight boost, I'd generally rather have an extra point or 2 on my LSAT score or an extra tenth of a point on my GPA than have TFA on my resume.

ETA: And as the TFA funding grows (and therefore the corps sizes grow), the "uniqueness" factor continues to decline, and the competition for the scholarships and spots at elite schools continues to rise. TFA is by no means a rare soft anymore.


Good point, except you're responding to an argument nobody made.

duckmoney
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby duckmoney » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:14 pm

3v3ryth1ng wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
duckmoney wrote:Most people who want to be teachers (along with most professional educators and education academia) despise the idea of teach for America. They don't like these no-it-all yuppies who think they're so smart and too good for teaching coming in to pack their resume and take jobs away from "real" teachers for 2 years before they go to law school.


Yeah but many "real" teachers are insufferable assholes who think their shit don't stink. Move up to administration and academia and that "many" becomes "most."


+1
That's why I'm getting out!


You're getting out of teaching because teachers are insufferable egotistical assholes... and becoming a lawyer?

Huhr?

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:18 pm

MrAnon wrote:I can't for the life of me understand why a TFA applicant, who can't get a more dynamic job and decides to take two years in a structured program, with a set exit point, is considered somehow better than someone who applies on his/her own to become a teacher and fully immerses him or herself into the school and the community. The TFA people are here-today, gone-tomorrow. The TFA applicant knows it, the school administrators know it, the students know it, the parents know it. How is that ever helpful to society in any way shape or form? "Here's our teacher Mr. Anon, its his second year at the school and at the end of it he is leaving forever for grad school." What sort of impact can be made in two years and how is it useful? The truth is that most TFA applicants could not find other work if they tried. Those I have met are not qualified for science jobs or finance jobs. The question for them is law school now or law school later?


1. we can get a more dynamic job. not all of us come straight from undergrad. i made about $10,000 more a year working in marketing before i joined tfa than i make now in tfa.

2. 67 percent of corps members actually stay in the classroom/education (go on to become principals, etc.)

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:19 pm

Real Madrid wrote:I'm not sure why so many people think TFA is some incredible soft that's going to overcome a poor GPA or LSAT. Is it a good soft? Yes, probably one of the better ones. But in the end, LSAT and GPA trump all, and while it might give you a slight boost, I'd generally rather have an extra point or 2 on my LSAT score or an extra tenth of a point on my GPA than have TFA on my resume.

ETA: And as the TFA funding grows (and therefore the corps sizes grow), the "uniqueness" factor continues to decline, and the competition for the scholarships and spots at elite schools continues to rise. TFA is by no means a rare soft anymore.


Agreed. I am a current corps member and don't think TFA will help my cycle at all.

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:23 pm

3v3ryth1ng wrote:From what I gather in these responses, It sounds like what I kinda expected (and feared): being a part of TFA is more helpful as a "soft" item than just becoming a teacher on your own. If you're in undergrad, on your way to law school, take note.


DO NOT do TFA just t get into law school. DO NOT give this advice to anyone. This is a 16 - 17 hour a day job. These students deserve better than someone doing it just to get into law school.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:32 pm

emkay625 wrote:
3v3ryth1ng wrote:From what I gather in these responses, It sounds like what I kinda expected (and feared): being a part of TFA is more helpful as a "soft" item than just becoming a teacher on your own. If you're in undergrad, on your way to law school, take note.


DO NOT do TFA just t get into law school. DO NOT give this advice to anyone. This is a 16 - 17 hour a day job. These students deserve better than someone doing it just to get into law school.


That's not quite what I was suggesting. I'm a teacher btw, and I know as well as anyone else how many hours it requires. I was more saying that, if one has any post-teaching law school plans (as you apparently did), TFA is more helpful than just getting into teaching on your own.

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:33 pm

3v3ryth1ng wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
3v3ryth1ng wrote:From what I gather in these responses, It sounds like what I kinda expected (and feared): being a part of TFA is more helpful as a "soft" item than just becoming a teacher on your own. If you're in undergrad, on your way to law school, take note.


DO NOT do TFA just t get into law school. DO NOT give this advice to anyone. This is a 16 - 17 hour a day job. These students deserve better than someone doing it just to get into law school.


That's not quite what I was suggesting. I'm a teacher btw, and I know as well as anyone else how many hours it requires. I was more saying that, if one has any post-teaching law school plans (as you apparently did), TFA is more helpful than just getting into teaching on your own.


good! (sorry for jumping to conclusions....)

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moneybagsphd
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:41 pm

danielhay11 wrote:
kwais wrote:I've heard that the attrition rate is fairly high for a program with such high admissions standards.


Just for the record, this is objectively false. TFA attrition closely matches the attrition rate of new teachers in low-income communities, and well over half of all TFA teachers remain in teaching beyond their two-year commitment. But the point of this thread isn't to argue with "no-it-alls" [sic] who make it up as they go.

Re the OP: I have no first-hand knowledge of how adcomms evaluate TFA, but I suspect what has been said here so far is accurate. But don't forget that you can use your PS/DS/resume to give adcomm members a better understanding of your teaching experience, and in the process strengthen your soft. Did you choose to teach in a low-income school or high-needs subject? Did you assume a leadership role within your school community? Did you go over and above to invest students and families in their education? Did you overcome obstacles with students, curriculum, administrators, etc? TFA has become a proxy for certain leadership qualities, but there's no reason to believe you can't demonstrate those same qualities in a traditional teaching route.

u mad, bro? Seriously, you're a fucking superhero for doing TFA. The point is that you deserve [i]nothing/i] for participating, asshole.

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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:44 pm

emkay625 wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:I'm not sure why so many people think TFA is some incredible soft that's going to overcome a poor GPA or LSAT. Is it a good soft? Yes, probably one of the better ones. But in the end, LSAT and GPA trump all, and while it might give you a slight boost, I'd generally rather have an extra point or 2 on my LSAT score or an extra tenth of a point on my GPA than have TFA on my resume.

ETA: And as the TFA funding grows (and therefore the corps sizes grow), the "uniqueness" factor continues to decline, and the competition for the scholarships and spots at elite schools continues to rise. TFA is by no means a rare soft anymore.


Agreed. I am a current corps member and don't think TFA will help my cycle at all.

Did you put it on your resume? Why? Because it's definitely going to help your cycle.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:46 pm

duckmoney wrote:
3v3ryth1ng wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
duckmoney wrote:Most people who want to be teachers (along with most professional educators and education academia) despise the idea of teach for America. They don't like these no-it-all yuppies who think they're so smart and too good for teaching coming in to pack their resume and take jobs away from "real" teachers for 2 years before they go to law school.


Yeah but many "real" teachers are insufferable assholes who think their shit don't stink. Move up to administration and academia and that "many" becomes "most."


+1
That's why I'm getting out!


You're getting out of teaching because teachers are insufferable egotistical assholes... and becoming a lawyer?

Huhr?


I know, right?
It's hard to explain, but since your success is so inextricably linked to the efforts of other people who aren't held accountable in any meaningful way, it's hard to get anything done unless you get to handpick every single colleague. My department is great (I hired them all), but what I hear about other departments pisses me off so much. "My contracts says...My union rep said..." blah blah. Never doing their lesson plans, trying to debate every single non-issue. Then the people who've never stayed past 3:15pm start talking about what "these kids" need...
That's not the only reason I'm getting out, but I won't miss dealing with teachers.
Last edited by 3v3ryth1ng on Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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happyshapy
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby happyshapy » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:46 pm

duckmoney wrote:However, a non-TFA teacher doesn't get this benefit, and is still considered a grunt in a noncompetitive, nonprestigious, and easy job.


duckmoney wrote:while teaching in the same school is no better than any other work experience, and may be worth even less.
.

While I agree with you that TFA is a better soft because the application process is so competetive I highly doubt that adcoms think that teaching is worth less then other WE or somehow an easy, non-competitive job choice. Maybe elite people on wall street and doctors, and maybe even most lawyers think this way, but adcoms aren't just elite people. They actively seek people out who demonstrate community service and those who have diverse backgrounds. The same people who look down on teachers probably look down on poor people and minorities. Although as a teacher I might be biased, but I think adcoms look at teaching as a respectable job choice.

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:51 pm

moneybagsphd wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:I'm not sure why so many people think TFA is some incredible soft that's going to overcome a poor GPA or LSAT. Is it a good soft? Yes, probably one of the better ones. But in the end, LSAT and GPA trump all, and while it might give you a slight boost, I'd generally rather have an extra point or 2 on my LSAT score or an extra tenth of a point on my GPA than have TFA on my resume.

ETA: And as the TFA funding grows (and therefore the corps sizes grow), the "uniqueness" factor continues to decline, and the competition for the scholarships and spots at elite schools continues to rise. TFA is by no means a rare soft anymore.


Agreed. I am a current corps member and don't think TFA will help my cycle at all.

Did you put it on your resume? Why? Because it's definitely going to help your cycle.


It is all over my resume and the subject of personal statement and 1 of my lor's. but TFA is nothing more than a good soft. i do not think i will get in anywhere than my numbers would have gotten me into otherwise. (i welcome adcomms to prove me wrong.....)

i have 5 friends who went through last year's cycle. none of them got into a school they wouldn't have anyway. one of them DID get into harvard, but she also had a 4.0/175.

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IAFG
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:53 pm

3v3ryth1ng wrote:I know, right?
It's hard to explain, but since your success is so inextricably linked to the efforts of other people who aren't held accountable in any meaningful way, it's hard to get anything done unless you get to handpick every single colleague. My department is great (I hired them all), but what I hear about other departments pisses me off so much. "My contracts says...My union rep said..." blah blah. Never doing their lesson plans, trying to debate every single non-issue. Then the people who've never stayed past 3:15pm start talking about what "these kids" need...
That's not the only reason I'm getting out, but I won't miss dealing with teachers.

This and so, so, so much more.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:53 pm

happyshapy wrote:The same people who look down on teachers probably look down on poor people and minorities.


Predictable comment is predictable.


happyshapy wrote: Although as a teacher I might be biased, but I think adcoms look at teaching as a respectable job choice.


Yup.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:54 pm

Well, now that we've departed from the original topic...
It probably makes a difference whether your teaching experience (or work experience in general) involved leadership, advancement, or making decisions of consequence in some capacity. If you taught "study skills" and basically baby sat for 4 years, I'm sure that would matter less than if you designed your school's AP calculus curriculum or guided your students to a national debate championship.

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:55 pm

IAFG wrote:
3v3ryth1ng wrote:I know, right?
It's hard to explain, but since your success is so inextricably linked to the efforts of other people who aren't held accountable in any meaningful way, it's hard to get anything done unless you get to handpick every single colleague. My department is great (I hired them all), but what I hear about other departments pisses me off so much. "My contracts says...My union rep said..." blah blah. Never doing their lesson plans, trying to debate every single non-issue. Then the people who've never stayed past 3:15pm start talking about what "these kids" need...
That's not the only reason I'm getting out, but I won't miss dealing with teachers.

This and so, so, so much more.


This is why i'm leaving.

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emkay625
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby emkay625 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:57 pm

3v3ryth1ng wrote:Well, now that we've departed from the original topic...
It probably makes a difference whether your teaching experience (or work experience in general) involved leadership, advancement, or making decisions of consequence in some capacity. If you taught "study skills" and basically baby sat for 4 years, I'm sure that would matter less than if you designed your school's AP calculus curriculum or guided your students to a national debate championship.


agreed. none of my 3 interviews (vanderbilt, georgetown, nu) asked about tfa/teaching in general. they did ask about specific achievements listed under that tfa bullet.

although, i would not describe teaching any subject in any school (even if it was a wealthy district) as study skills/babysitting. it's laughable that you wrote that. (aren't you a teacher? you know that's not how it is....)

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happyshapy
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby happyshapy » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:01 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
happyshapy wrote:The same people who look down on teachers probably look down on poor people and minorities.


Predictable comment is predictable.


happyshapy wrote: Although as a teacher I might be biased, but I think adcoms look at teaching as a respectable job choice.


Yup.

I think it's laughable that adcomms in anyway think teaching is worth less as work experience then food service, retail, or even sales and marketing.

Adcomms are not the same "elite" people who look down on teaching like the previous person I quoted was talking about.
People see "teacher" and don't think "this person wanted to work hard and give back to the community," they think "this person couldn't do any better than a low paying job that gives you tenure and a 3 month vacation.
I highly doubt that they think this about teaching as a profession, especially since they work for an educational institution.
Last edited by happyshapy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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AreJay711
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:02 pm

My full time experience consisted of working construction and drinking beer (not listed). I think I got a scholarship because of that shit.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:04 pm

emkay625 wrote:
moneybagsphd wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:I'm not sure why so many people think TFA is some incredible soft that's going to overcome a poor GPA or LSAT. Is it a good soft? Yes, probably one of the better ones. But in the end, LSAT and GPA trump all, and while it might give you a slight boost, I'd generally rather have an extra point or 2 on my LSAT score or an extra tenth of a point on my GPA than have TFA on my resume.

ETA: And as the TFA funding grows (and therefore the corps sizes grow), the "uniqueness" factor continues to decline, and the competition for the scholarships and spots at elite schools continues to rise. TFA is by no means a rare soft anymore.


Agreed. I am a current corps member and don't think TFA will help my cycle at all.

Did you put it on your resume? Why? Because it's definitely going to help your cycle.


It is all over my resume and the subject of personal statement and 1 of my lor's. but TFA is nothing more than a good soft. i do not think i will get in anywhere than my numbers would have gotten me into otherwise. (i welcome adcomms to prove me wrong.....)

i have 5 friends who went through last year's cycle. none of them got into a school they wouldn't have anyway. one of them DID get into harvard, but she also had a 4.0/175.


Consider that there are actually many people who are qualified by their stats. You might want to stand out among these applicants. That's where I feel you're undervaluing your TFA experience. It could mean the difference between getting admitted and waitlisted, or getting straight up denied.

I know it's different at every school, but softs can amount to something numerically (eventually), which is to say that once they've decided to seriously review your application they can add points to your index score. The guy with 173/3.8/no experience loses out to the guy with 173/3.7/TFA because the TFA adds 2 points to his index score. Again, it varies by school and what they're looking for, but I didn't just make that up. It's also completely compatible with "numbers>all," so don't think I'm disagreeing with you about that.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:08 pm

happyshapy wrote:I think it's laughable that adcomms in anyway think teaching is worth less as work experience then food service, retail, or even sales and marketing.

Adcomms are not the same "elite" people who look down on teaching like the previous person I quoted was talking about.


I didn't say adcomms, or anyone else, think that. I said it was funny, and typical, for a teacher to equate any knock on their profession as the equivalent of bigotry and hatred of the poor.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: TFA vs. Teaching

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:12 pm

emkay625 wrote:
3v3ryth1ng wrote:Well, now that we've departed from the original topic...
It probably makes a difference whether your teaching experience (or work experience in general) involved leadership, advancement, or making decisions of consequence in some capacity. If you taught "study skills" and basically baby sat for 4 years, I'm sure that would matter less than if you designed your school's AP calculus curriculum or guided your students to a national debate championship.


agreed. none of my 3 interviews (vanderbilt, georgetown, nu) asked about tfa/teaching in general. they did ask about specific achievements listed under that tfa bullet.

although, i would not describe teaching any subject in any school (even if it was a wealthy district) as study skills/babysitting. it's laughable that you wrote that. (aren't you a teacher? you know that's not how it is....)


"Study Skills" was the title of a course I had when I was in high school. They put me in a room away from the other kids 3 times a week. I would typically draw, or sleep off a hangover.
You can't honestly rename a course like that on your resume. Anyone somewhat familiar with educations knows that "study skills/support/opportunities" are euphemisms for babysitting class, or at least "special education."




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