:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

dinsdag 26 september 2006

Excitement of the week: turns out John was telling the truth about the South Africa thing: there really is a graduate assistant who accompanies the UNC honors program undergrads on their Honors Semester in Cape Town every fall. I've exchanged a few emails with the coordinator, and it seems like I'd basically be an RA - keeping an eye on the undergrads in the dorms and helping them get used to being abroad (ah, how well I remember!). I'd be funded through the honors program (rather than through my department, so no fighting there), and my airfare and housing would be paid for, plus a stipend. (And the South African currency, the rand, was something like a tenth of the dollar last I heard, so money goes a long way over there.)

The only thing I'm not totally clear on is the academics; I've been told that I would be registered for a 'placeholder' study-abroad course to keep me registered as a full-time grad student but that I wouldn't be taking actual courses while abroad. (The up side: I wouldn't be charged any tuition.) Most of the past assistants have apparently used the time to do research - which I could theoretically do, since I do have to take some credits of 'thesis' and my thesis will probably be on some Dutch-English-Afrikaans-general Germanic theme anyway - but I'd need to chat with my department about that. I'm only required to take 10 courses for the degree and I'll have 7 of them completed after this year, so a semester of no 'real' coursework was probably in the cards anyway, but for most of the other grads, it will probably be their fourth semester rather than the third.

Anyway, so there are some potential kinks to work out, but if the opportunity presents itself I'd be crazy to turn it down. As I've said before, this is probably the last chance I'll ever get to travel internationally on someone else's dime - airfare included! - and I've been dying to go to Africa ever since I started working with the South African counselors at Ton-A-Wandah in 2001. Nothing is certain yet, or even anywhere close to being certain - the coordinator has to speak to one of the main professors, whom she says may already have someone in mind - but if he doesn't, I'd have a very real shot at it. In my own mind, anyway. Maybe I flatter myself, but I really feel like I am exceptionally qualified for this - not only have I studied/lived abroad before, but I speak fluent Dutch (which is very similar to Afrikaans). I'm not saying I'm a shoo-in - not even I am that arrogant - but my application would definitely make them sit up and take notice.

Anyway, not much other news - I have a killer midterm tomorrow (phonetics) and seriously, if I believed in any sort of a god, I would be thanking him or her profusely right now for the existence of the other three linguistics graduate students, with whom I had a two-hour study session this afternoon. I swear I understand less and less of what our teacher says with every passing day. We also get our syntax midterm on Thursday, but at least that one's a take-home. No midterm for Persian (we've only just finished learning the whole alphabet, LOL), and nothing for Mayan languages either, since we've just turned in our first essay. So after this week things should lighten up until after fall break (the 19th) - knock on wood.


Blogger Robin said...

I realize South Africa is a big place but if you are going,let me know where and I will ask my best friend how close you are to her father in law. He's really nice and originally from Virginia.
He's lived there for years and years.

Sounds like a great plan if it pans out. Definitely travel on someone else's dime when you can especially if you can add it to your education.

I'll keep my fingers crossed!

1/10/06 14:34  

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