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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In My Element....

I thought I would be in way over my head at grad school...especially an intensive program that pushes us into a language through saturation, but I have to admit I am not overwhelmed today. I am impressed. This program is well set up. I am right where I should be with people who are where I am much of the time.

Sure I have plenty of moments during the day when I don't have a clue but I continue to write, to listen and to try to piece out what is going on and what is said.

It is easy to do thanks to what I learned in Italy and Wales. I understood very little of the English around me while in Wales even though everyone had the same vague accent hints as my own older relatives from my childhood. But in Italy I hit my stride by being with patient people who regularly walked me through their language and showed me the joy of trying....and falling on my face...but getting up and trying again.

Because of the lessons of being abroad in foreign language saturation, I have been trying to put down my fastidious note cards and just get up and wing it. I volunteer early and listen while the others stumble through their tries. I bravely plunge in since this is what I have always wanted.

I had one moment where I was embarrassed and did not want to walk over and prove that I had not finished writing all the details on professions in Vocabulary. But what motivated me to just "do it" was the fact that the class is costing me over $4000 in loans. I better get my keister anywhere I could be to learn a drop more....damn the embarrassment!

I had an Uncle Tom, who used to say subtle, witty things that motivated me in times if stress....for some reason I think he is laughing at me now since he passed away last November. This is the sort of thing he liked to poke fun at me for...and he always helped me to see the irony in all that I obsessed over.

I think the thing that I am amused most by though at "living the dream" is that I am not hopelessly lost as of today. My internet connection was scrubbed last night for most of my prime study hours and I wound up being incapable of doing the work until after 10:00 pm.

It was not that bad. I was studying Arabic and loving every moment of it so I managed to stay up way past my bedtime. Close to 1:00 am I fell asleep writing out a conversation for my fluency class after lunch.

I don't have my housing set up, or my cell bill paid, but Gosh, I feel so happy and satisfied, I can't even help but smile in spite of myself.

A moment opened up yesterday when our professor brought up political changes in Qatar. My eyes must have lit up as my whole body was suddenly engaged in a conversation where we all contributed to trying to piece out a perspective from a native of the Arab World. The part that haunts me as I write this is how wonderful it felt to look around the room after being involved in this intelligent and thoughtful discussion, and realize that I was with a roomful of people who were also interested in International Politics....many of them are International Policy Studies majors like myself.

It hit home right in my eyes....I could feel them stinging. Of course I didn't let my emotions control the moment, I stayed engaged in the conversation as a fellow Political Science aficionado threw in his two cent's worth....but I knew in my heart that I was in my element.

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