Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Coming up for a breath of fresh air.

I have been slammed the past few weeks.

I've been working about 45 hours a week (3 jobs) while also trying to keep up with the worst finals week of my academic career. Last week I turned in: a 25 page report, a 40 page report, and had two tests. This week 3 tests, then I'm out. So far this has been the only semester that has given me enough difficult workload to think that my degree might mean something. For the first time the assignments weren't just jumping through hoops. Then again, the time line was so short we had to satisfice for large parts of the projects. So we were really just jumping through hoops, we just stopped before each hoop and said, "if we were getting paid we would put a lot more time into this." I know, "bitch and moan, bitch and moan."

I turned in an application to study in Brazil next year. I would head out around Christmas and be there for one semester. I really hope this can works out. I had some doubts about the program initially because it would cost a lot of money and delay my graduation by at least one semester. As I typed the application I started getting really excited about it and realized just how much I want to go. In my application was included a letter explaining why I wanted to go, my opening paragraph was this:

In high school I once heard a joke that went something like: If you know two languages you're bilingual... If you know three languages or more you're multilingual. So what are you if you only know one language? A: An American. Since, I heard that I have had a strong desire to not be an average American. I want to be a citizen of the world, not just of the US. I am disturbed by the lack of respect we as Americans so often display for other cultures. I feel this lack of respect stems from two major factors: cultural chauvinism and ignorance. Ignorance is unacceptable if you plan on dealing with any sort of multicultural issues in your life (career or otherwise). I'm all for patriotism, but just because I like doing things the way I was brought up does not mean that they are the best way. Multiculturalism is one of the many spices of life, and I want to immerse myself in it. I want to be the minority, the person struggling to communicate their ideas in a 2nd language. I feel these experiences will be invaluable to my growth as a person. Reading about culture out of a book does not take you very far, you have to live it to believe it completely or begin to adequately understand it.

I should find out this week. If luck is with me: Brazil here I come. I look forward to any experience that will diminish my ignorance, even if this particular source of ignorance is met with apathy by the masses.

The day after I finish my test I am headed to my younger cousin's wedding. Later in the summer I will be my little brother's best man. Of the 4 Beckham cousins (one older than me, 2 younger) I will soon be the only one not married. That seems kinda bad, but I will also be the only one without a mortgage payment, massive ammounts of debt, and the rigidity the real world seems to give most people. I can still up and do what I want just about whenever I want to. Even after the umbilical cord is fully severed (when I am financially independent of my parents, which isn't too far away), I will still have the means and flexibility to live for me. Sounds a lot like retirement, doesn't it.

BTW, I don't have the patience to keep fish throughout their lifespan (I dumped the aquarium over my balcony a few months ago). I'm definately not ready for a marriage, kids, or even a dog (but I will have a weimaraner in the next few years). I feel it is best to end this post with some sage widsom from a well known philosoph.

So until then I'm just going to keep on keepin on. Life's a garden. Dig it.
-Joe Dirt

2 Comments:

Blogger Leisha Jo said...

study abroad is the greatest thing since... all the other greatest things. good luck!!!!!!!

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, we have to start a podcast this summer.

3:46 PM  

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