My roomie informed me yesterday that she was passing by the international programs office and saw a sign outdoors saying "spring opening for Thailand program still available!" I told her it's not possible because they specificially told me that the program wouldn't start until the spring of 2007.
24 hrs. later and I have in my position about 6 sticky notes of rushed writing about information regarding the Thailand program THIS UPCOMING SPRING. I spoke with the director in a lengthy phone conversation (he is currently in Pennsylvania recruting more ppl. to go on the program). He was extremely helpful and enthusiastic in making this opportunity work for me if I want.
Apparently The Thailand Program collaberates with many other Universities to create one large group to attend the overseas program for a semester. There is only one other Pepp* student attending this upcoming semester, and I would be the second Pepp* student.
Wow. So this is a radical turn in my thinking with this new information. I don't feel quite as confident about any decisions right now, as I did with a feeling that I should attend the DC program. . . but I do have some random desire. . .
The way I see it: I am paying Pepp* a looot of money right now. . Pepp* being one of the most expensive colleges in the US to attend. I figure that I might as well put that money to good use and see the world while I receive a degree. Not only that, but I realized *last night* while writing a personal reflection paper that indeed I am supposed to pursue program coordinating. More specifically, I want to be involved in program coordinating where I have an impact on helping individuals realize their potential, and help a community/world? at large. This is really relieving as I feel like I have been struggling constantly with myself regarding what I ought to do after graduation. What's interesting too: I told this to my mother today, and she said, "well that sounds like it fits exactly into what Pepp* would desire for their graduates to do." It was then that I was reminded that a large part of my decision to attend Pepp* was specifically as a result of wanting what their mission statement claimed that they strived to do.
Here I am 4 years later having received the vision and drive to do exactly what I hoped I would be doing. I wonder how I ever felt deterred in my vision to begin with. Sometimes it just requires slowing down, reflecting on how God has worked in my life.. and suddenly realizing.. "God... you have already made it so CLEAR to me what I should be doing!! What am I doing here still questioning what you have always presented to me as my clear calling??" And it's then that I feel God smiling upon me, shaking his head.
I looked upon my resume today that I am editing at the last minute as employers/graduate schools will be here on thursday to recruit. I laughed at myself as I looked through every job and it specifically required myself and program coordinating - since 1999! How have I doubted what I should doing so long! As I was telling my mother about this ridiculous (but relieving) catharsis, I realized that all of my previous jobs that I had to show on my resume revolved around coordinating programs to some extent because these are the type of just *I* naturally gravitate toward and apply myself to. I haven't applied to positions such as IT, medical, etc, because these are areas that I may be *interested* in, but not areas that are personally rewarding to me.
A little rambling, but back to Thailand.... ..
this could be great, if I can work a little magic with fulfilling the necessary credits I need to graduate over in Thailand. heh. It really kind of seems doubtful, but then again.. I think I *could* make it work if I put a ton of effort into this... I'm just not sure how badly I really want this or how much of a good thing it is to do *right now*. Currently things are pretty darn great at school. I am having a blast .. loving every minute that I have to spend with my friends, and my schedule is far from being too difficult this semester.
A huge consideration that I have: going to Thailand may help me get around the politics that I would run into with trying to get into an area or program coordinating in LA. Essentially I am trying to justify how going to Thailand may be give me an edge with finding a job in the US. Well.. I am required to learn Thai while I'm there.. and would be living with a homestay family so I think I'd really pick up the language (better than Italy because I was living with all Pepp* students). Besides any small language advantage, the director is trying to insist that I will have plenty of opportunity to work closely along a professor where I could work on creating a major research report consisting of psychology, program coordinating components, and the culture of Thailand. Not only that, but it may be easier to demonstrate initiation if I can get coordinated ideas to work on a minor scale during my stay there (I imagine this would be more difficult than I see it to be atm). In LA I don't see much opportunity for initiation outside of an already established company. Plus, attempting to show initiation of programs in a foreign country would be pretty ambitious.
At any rate... lots of ideas... I'm happy to stay here on the Malibu campus next semester.. but if the opportunity seems right... I just might be headed over to Thailand in January.