costa rica, FuHsing

On account of my journal/scrapbooking habits that I gained in Costa Rica I haven’t written much lately in this here blog. So here’s some thoughts about the end of time. And by that, I mean my last year at Meredith.

I have been home from Costa Rica for about two weeks. This is so surreal to me. After spending seven weeks with my biggest worry being whether or not I remembered to pack my bug spray and flashlight in my daypack, being home full swing into real life is quite the opposite. The past two weeks have been filled with sorting through student loans and figuring out how to pay off all the bills I semi-ignored during my seven week rainforest adventure, not to mention caring for eight precious sixth grade Chinese-speaking fireballs. This part is definitely more enjoyable than the financial things, even when they try to sneak into my room to scare the dickens out of me.

In eleven days the FuHsing program will be finished and in seventeen days I will be moving into apartment 1209-D for my senior year of college. Can we talk about how frightening this is in comparison to senior year of high school? Not frightening in a scary movie way, but in a everytime-i-think-about-it-i-get-a-little-short-of-breath-and-lose-feeling-in-my-feet way. I am so excited. I think people speak a lot about moments they wait for their entire lives and honestly, this is one of them. This is the pinnacle of childhood… the months before you become a grown up. This time next summer I will be preparing for my first real job as someone’s teacher…. unless of course America self-destructs due to the outrageous economy and sketch political things going on. Good to know I have a job waiting for me in Taiwan, right?

So as a child, where did I think I would be at 21 1/2 years old? At age six, I probably would have told you that I would be married with seven children and in my free time I would restore the exhibits at the museum of life and science (sidenote: they are building a new dinosaur trail!). Beginning at age eight I would tell you that I would undoubtedly be signed with Curb Records as the newest country singing sensation and there I would remain until the age of 23 when I married and settled down because, well, 23 is old.

So, it is senior year in college. Honestly, I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I am so excited about my job in the apartments (and the ladies I’ll be working with!) and the classes I’ll have in the fall. I’m 50% terrified and 50% about-to-jump-out-of-my-skin excited about student teaching in the spring. Working with these kids this summer has been such encouragement for teaching. I am constantly able to apply things that I’ve learned in my education classes, it is so exciting to see it work. I am not one of those girls who knew since birth she was meant to be a teacher. Honestly, I kind of added a licensure on a whim because it was a few extra classes, most of which were psychology classes that I was interested in taking anyway. Strangely enough, the education classes and experiences I’ve had so far feel so normal. I actually enjoy doing the work for the classes. Granted, I’m sure that a few years into teaching I’ll be tired of lesson plans and Spanish Vocabulary games, but right now I totally love it. My group of FuHsing students constantly request phrases in Spanish, it is hilarious. They have actually remembered No llevo la ropa interior (I am not wearing underwear) and soy guapo (I am handsome). Yesterday one of my guys requested how to say you are so he could tell his friends they are handsome (and probably to tell the skimpily dressed Governor’s School girls they’re guapa) and it warms my heart so much to watch them appear interested in it. For them, it’s just funny to say things in Spanish (they informed me that Spanish sounds funny. I informed them that Chinese sounds funny), but it still makes me happy. Especially when my group announced that “Spanish lessons” was their favorite part of the day a few days ago. Warmed, student teacher heart.

I am so excited. I am not excited that I am not sure if I have been approved for student loans yet. Or that in December of 2010 the first payment will come due. Or that I have to figure out how to apply for jobs and well… do that. Not excited for Praxis II exams. And I am pretty positive that at 11:59pm on April 30, 2010 I will begin sobbing and probably cry for two weeks straight. But I’m excited for what comes after that two weeks.

I intend to enjoy every second of this coming experience. The stress, the laughs, the tears, the arguments, the memories, the everything. Having the opportunity to go to Costa Rica I think was God continuing work in me He started when I went to Spain. I feel like I have such a better grasp on what is important. It’s not a career, it’s not your checking account balance, and it certainly isn’t the length or depth of your resume. It’s about doing what you love, and loving what you do and enjoying and loving the people you come into contact with everyday. One of the last days I was there we went white water rafting and our guide was telling us about the different companies that have tours on the particular river. The highest paying tours don’t allow them to go into the higher class rapids, so he works for a lower paying company but gets to ride the fun rapids. He said, “No estoy aquí para ganar dinero; estoy aqui para disfrutarme la vida.” I’m not here to make money; I’m here to enjoy life.

And me? I’m here to enjoy God’s creation and not to stress out about the things that we’ve created in the midst of it. Honestly, I believe that if we took time to just enjoy the things we have instead of worrying about the things we don’t have or things we haven’t done we would be a lot better off. And probably not 114 on this list. Also, the man at the Dole Banana Plantation, suggested that if Americans would eat more bananas they’d be happier. Something about some amino acid that encourages serotonin production. So if you learned anything from this short novel I have written let it be this: eat bananas and enjoy your life.

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