English teacher Brooke Wells got his tattoo in the fall of 1995 after he had completed college. The tattoo, which is on his ankle, is the Greek letter delta with an inscribed cotton flower.
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Q: What is the symbolism behind your tattoo?
A: The delta represents Mississippi (the Delta State), where I was doing Teach for America for two years.
Q: Why did you get it?
A: I was going to quit Teach for America. It was a really hard job. Sometimes (the class) would go wrong in the first few minutes and then never go right. I came in one morning and the windows were all shattered with bullet holes. I was picking up the glass when some kid came in and said, “Don’t worry. They were aiming for Ms. Williams’s room.” I figured if I got a tattoo, I wouldn’t quit because then I would have to get it removed.
Q: How did your parents react?
A: No particular reaction. They were glad I stuck with Teach for America. They actually found the tattoo rather amusing.
Q: Any regrets?
A: Not at all. I like it; I think it’s cool. I’m glad I stuck with Teach for America and education. Actually, (in the first two weeks after getting the tattoo), I was impulsively inclined to get many more tattoos.