Sunday, July 01, 2007

Putting stuff together

As this year continues, I have gradually been feeling more and more situated with regards to my current activities and my future plans, with a kind of sureness I haven't had in quite a while. This, I'm starting to realize, can be quite comforting. When I left the states and came down here, I didn't really know what to expect and I wasn't even attempting to think of my long term future, which was exciting. It's wonderful to see your adult life opening up, free of plans and constraints. But after awhile, you start to get concerned about your lack of direction. What do you want to do with yourself, really? Where would you like to be in five years? In ten years? I've learned enough by now to know that whatever those goals are, you aren't likely to achieve them without planning. So then you start to look for opportunities, see what catches your eye or your interest, and you necessarily are forced to set constraints on your own freedom in order to follow any specific path. It's a trade-off, for sure.

I had gone a long time without any clear idea what I wanted to do besides work in a scientific field. I was never real sure about it, besides the fact that I enjoy science and simply pursuing knowledge. In retrospect, I can say that the indecisiveness that has so long plagued me had a lot to do with not having enough real-world experience to base my judgments on (although, more than other people perhaps, it's also just a part of my character). Then, through the course of this year, I've finally grabbed onto the idea of wanting to be an educator of some type and I feel pretty darn good and pretty certain about it. It was an idea that before I'd always held in reserve, as a kind of "If things don't work out, then..." but I got to a point where it just seemed really appealing to me. Then, the more I thought about what my goals in life really are, the more sense it made.

I noticed from Sam's last email (some of you may have read it as well) that he's experiencing something similar to me right now, like a feeling of purpose, and I find it interesting that we've both, in our own ways, gravitated towards working with the development of youth. I'm sure he was exposed to other possibilities during his studies and time working with natural resources and tourism, and I even remember a time when he and some of our other friends talked about having their own guided outdoor adventures company or something of that nature. But I think Sam, like myself, always had a nagging suspicion that something better waited over the horizon, something worth waiting for and investigating.

A lot of those necessary constraints that are already starting to make me feel tied down again have become more defined in the past month or so, which is exactly what I was expecting would happen, but on the whole I feel pretty darn good about things. At the very least I should be extremely busy until december or so, which is how I like things to be anyways.

This month of July, I first have to go to Chicago for grandpa's funeral which is going to cut into some of my plans here but really, it can't be helped. I thought about it and feel good with my decision. After that, I need to advance as much as I can in finishing my little projects in Agua Fría (mainly the finca maps and a proposal to get state funding for an all-week middle school in Agua Fría), and try to set up the rest of this school year for my 9th graders. Starting July 30th, I will be working as an "acompañante" (helper) in the peace corp's new volunteer training program for the new group of trainees. I more or less know what to expect since I passed through that program myself two years ago. It should keep me very busy and be an excellent experience in adult education.

Between that and wrapping stuff up in Agua Fría I doubt I'll have time to catch my breath before October and my (hopeful) vacation with The Bro and return to the States. Then I need to put myself full-time into college applications (maybe find a temporary job, though that's hard to think about right now). My undergraduate grades aren't the most superest so that means I need to own it up on the GRE, which I plan to do.... I already started studying. Hopefully I'll find an interesting program with a Peace Corps Fellows school (You can get a master's degree and a teaching certificate in two years with this, even if your undergraduate study had nothing to do with teaching). Maybe I will be able to figure out more specifically what kind of environment I'd eventually like to work in.

We'll see how things work out, I guess. At least we finished the FORCUENCAS proposal, yay! They're going to review it for approval next week. If it passes I will have been a key factor in getting this coffee cooperative $35,000 to work with. :)

Love to everyone,



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