Adventuring Abroad

So, a specter that has been looming over me recently has been my obligation to go abroad as a part of my studies. I’ve been scouring circles of friendship, professional networks, and the ever-expanding internet. I’ve talked with Kim about what I can afford to do – both for financial and physical/emotional (my/her) safety.  I’ve sectioned off parts of the world and am following up with all sorts of potential groups.

I’m getting close to being six months out now, and have run into a lot of disheartening dead ends.  I will continue to wheedle my way through the channels of Invisible Children and Resolve Uganda to get my way there. But in the mean time, I’ve found a plethora of internships that are no-gos. The high courts in The Netherlands, Sierra Leone and Tanzania have all turned me down. Cambodia is still a possibility.  The Australian Human Rights Commission has turned me down. I’m still waiting to hear back from a few others. State Department decisions go out in December. And I’ll be hitting up some research groups in East Africa asking them to shorten their internship requirements. I need to work with Gisela to figure out what I can do. Maybe I can just go work at Huruma in Nairobi.

I just want to find something that I’m interested in that will actually work out with everything going on here at home. Africa would be nice. Research or aid would be nice. But who knows? Maybe I’ll end up teaching English to a bunch of Austrians or something. I’ll probably end up talking to my friend Kevin about getting help from AISEC. Hopefully they can put me in touch with a development group. Here’s to a decisive next month or so in figuring all of this out!

Academic Overload

On Wednesday, I get to register for classes. Today the honors college got to start registering, so I’m watching like a hawk lest my classes fill up too quickly. While I do this, I am also restlessly charting out the next few semesters, making sure I do everything right.  Every time I do this I try to figure out how I went from about-to-graduate-a-year-early to scrambling-to-graduate-on-time.

My freshman year was pretty uneventful. I took a few upper division classes to keep myself busy but had a light schedule overall. Since then I’ve been putting together booked semesters with a mixture of easy and difficult classes. This coming Spring semester is no different. I’ll be going back into my placement, probably in a middle school, so it will be different. I’m choosing a few classes that are supposed to be extremely easy (at least one promises to be so) and a couple that should be moderately difficult.  And I probably need to start up with the German.

Hopefully, while I’m gone on my internship I’ll be able to take a couple courses online. But this will require that I have internet in Tanzania or Indonesia or wherever.  Hopefully everything pans out. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. While I wait, I’ll stare at classes and charts some more!

Reading. And reading and reading…

This week, I am cracking open my fourteenth and fifteenth books of this semester. And that’s not counting at least a dozen articles for a few different classes and a whole book of excerpts (courtesy of Dr. Peskin).  I think this is the point where a lot of people start asking why the heck I am taking so many classes.  I’m really not all that sure, but I think it stems from a couple of things: a weirdly strong thirst for knowledge and a sense of economics.

I’ve thrown around the idea of three different majors and four different minors in the past year or so. I’m set to have two majors and one minor, and we’ll see if that shrinks or expands in the coming years.  I went into college taking a quick glance at other majors and penultimately planning to graduate a year early. I started the teaching program at ASU early and kept up my hobby of trying to save the world. Then it dawned on me that I could do a lot more, and since then I’ve gone full speed into busy semesters and an even busier life – probably much to Kim’s dismay.

I’m very lucky in that my parents pay for my tuition. Even though I am not paying for school, knowing that my parents are makes me want to get every penny out of it. At ASU, tuition increases per credit up to 7 credits, and then it’s all the same. So whether I am taking 9 credits or 19 credits, it’s costing them the same. I decided pretty quickly to simply pack my schedules and make college worth the money. Hence, the full schedules.

Well, now that I’ve explained myself, I should probably go read some.