Take a photograph
Save it for a rainy day
Then wipe off your tears
Take a photograph
Save it for a rainy day
Then wipe off your tears
Why do you want to study abroad?
In a world that is often concerned with what bizarre and curious extraterrestrial life lies above our heads and below our oceans, it is easy to overlook the fact that there are thousands of different nations on this planet – all with a different culture and way of life from what we are used to – just waiting to be explored. Growing up in a bilingual family, I have traveled to the picturesque country of Greece several times in my life. I know the art, music, and literature. I have been exposed to a group of people with a completely different philosophy than my own.
It is my academic goal to expand my familiarity with other cultures for this reason. I want to achieve the knowledge that cannot be acquired through textbooks and lecture halls. I want to go above and beyond taking a foreign language course and instead find myself in that foreign country, learning more about the statue of David by looking him up and down in person rather than on a computer screen. To see the words in my history book come to life on the grounds in the society that wrote them. There is much more knowledge to be acquired when you are standing in the middle of it, rather than through the looking glass.
It is my personal goal to submerge myself in a country that feels otherworldly. I want to seek out personal enlightenment by living like I would have if I were born at another latitudinal point on the globe. How do people in other nations spend the same 24-hour day as I do? What foods have I never tried and what music has slipped my ears? I want to know the world outside my comfort zone. There are friends I have not met, stories I have yet to share, countless adventures to be taken, none of which I am prepared to miss out on.
It is my professional goal to gain the skills that may not be available to me if I never leave the country that has raised me. I am bicultural and therefore have the advantage of being nurtured in more than one way of life, but that does not mean that I have had all the cultural experience necessary to succeed professionally. As a teacher I will have small children in my classroom; young minds from different backgrounds. It is my job to relate to them as well as be able to teach them beyond what they already know. I want to culture them as well as myself.
A semester abroad in Florence, Italy is exactly the kind of experience that I am looking for in order to achieve the goals I have set out for myself. I will be in the midst of a culture that emphasizes family values and a love of food built by an ancient civilization highlighting fine art. There is a new world to be discovered, one that it is only a continent away.
Your friendship means more
to my heart than foolishness
that drove you away
I spent all of yesterday swinging from trees.
I signed up for this trip to Adirondack Extreme through my college, it was completely free and worth every second of my time. It’s located in upstate New York, one of the most beautiful places to hold an outdoors obstacle course.
We were at least 50 feet off the ground, swinging on ropes and skateboarding in mid air. We tested our strength, balance, mind and body. I discovered a side of me that I never had the chance to set free.
I love hanging in mid air with nothing but a harness to hold me up and the most beautiful views below my feet. My favorite part, zip lining through the branches of the trees I just conquered. We made it through all six courses, including the “black course” which not many even dared to try. However, it completely destroyed my upper body. My arms are still aching as I type.
All together, I never felt so alive or strong. I was flying. It almost feels unnatural not to balance on suspended blocks of wood and metal rings for half the day. My aura is rejuvenated and my sense of adventure is heavy. The understanding I have of myself and my limits are deeper. I somehow feel more confident as a person.
I was upset that my friends bailed out on me at the last second. I was crushed when I thought I might not be able to go on this adventure.
Screw it, I said to myself. I’ll conquer any social anxiety I may possess and make some new friends on the trip. Which, I can honestly say I did. Allison, John and Madison were some of the most motivational people to take on the forest with. I’m so glad they had my back throughout the entire trip.
~Professor’s Done It Again~
This is a continuation of my last journal entry, just because I’d like to fill you in on how Van Ornum’s midterm went.
Remember how I mentioned teaching to the test is not really his style? Well, apparently teaching us anything is not his style. The man gave us a study guide filled with topics and terms that actually had something to do with Measurement and Evaluation, even though he never went over any.
I thought, “What the heck. Let me study this thing, maybe i’ll learn something.” So I took my notes, my flash cards, and spend an hour looking them over. It felt nice, pretending I had a real instructor instead of the nutty professor I knew him to be.
I walked into class with confidence up my sleeve. No tricks, no BS, that’s what Van Ornum promised. Amanda is sitting next to me in the front of the class, she is just ready to get it over with. I see Erin to my right, vigorously checking over her notes. Van Ornum Is shuffling the tests in his hands, waiting for the clock to hit 9:30.
And so it does. He shuts the door and tells everyone to put away their notes. “As future teachers,” he begins, “you must be prepared for anything that comes your way.” Two feet in front of me, I see the slightest smirk on his face. I’m not sure why that is, until he passes out the tests.
I don’t have to put on the ceremonial gown till tonight, so I slip on my hunting boots and grab my spear.
It’s heavier than I remember.
I look down and see Dimitri tugging on the other end, a smile on his chubby little face.
“Are you keeping me here hostage, Mimi?” I put the spear back on the wall and pick up my little munchkin of a brother. I cradle him in my arms and press my forehead against his. Our noses touch and he giggles. I hope his eyes stay blue like my fathers, they suite him well with his light blond curls. “Still can’t talk, huh? That’s all right. You’re the best listener in this house.”
“Gah!” he waves his pint-sized hands around my face before finally knocking off my father’s deerstalker. It makes only the faintest noise.
I pick up the hat just as Opal walks in.
A small snippet, not trying to give much away. I know I said I would stop posting these for a while, but I have moved further along in my writing and felt it was safe enough to post a few more from chapter one. You all keep me so motivated, and I am more than appreciative.
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