Here I Am and Where I’ve Been

Now that I’ve been back on campus for just around a month, I think it’s time for me to get back into this blog. I’ve been putting it off for a while now, mostly because I don’t know what to write, but it’s a lazy Thursday, and I’m relaxing by the fire in the Pit, so I decided that now is as good a time as ever.

So. Back at Wooster. Where to begin?

I guess the best method would be to do a sort of “highlights reel,” to bring you up to date on what has been happening in my life since I last blogged. So let’s start with that.

First of all, there were those six months that I spent abroad. You can read about them on my abroad blog, and I could write about them for days, but that’s not the point of this blog, so I’ll just touch on them ever so briefly. My experience in Paraguay was incredible. I was working for an organization called Amigos de las Américas, and just as my two previous summers with them have been eye-opening and life-changing, so was this one. I think it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was undoubtedly the best summer of my life, and it ranks among the very best experiences of my life.

My volunteers, the eight crazy kids that I spent my summer supervising. They taught me so much, and I'm incredibly proud of each and every one of them!

My volunteers, the eight crazy kids that I spent my summer supervising. They taught me so much, and I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of them!

Then there was Chile. Heading straight from Paraguay to Chile (essentially – I did stop back in the States for a few days to pick up my visa and swap out my wardrobe) was a decision that I gave a lot of thought, because such a quick transition can be rough, but in the end I decided that it would just be easiest to cram all of my time abroad into one window so as to only deal with reverse culture shock once, and also because I wanted to be on campus in the spring for various events, including I.S. Monday and graduation, due to how many of my friends are seniors and will be graduating.

Though I stand by my decision and 100% sure that it ended up being the best choice for me, I have to admit that, at first, it made things a little bit more difficult. Transitioning from living in rural Paraguay to metropolitan Santiago was a bit of a shock, and when you factor in the weird Chilean Spanish, let’s just say that I was met with some stumbling blocks during my first few weeks in Chile. Ultimately, though, it ended up really well. It was nothing like what I expected, and I truly believe that that made the experience all the more valuable. I learned a lot about Chile, education, and myself, and I got to see a different side of Latin America than that to which I had already been exposed.

One of those sides included a delicious Chilean drink known as mote con huesillo -

One of those “sides of Latin America” included a delicious Chilean drink known as mote con huesillo, sold out of metal carts such as this one.

Which brings me back to Wooster. Within days of rolling back into campus, I had set up a meeting with the chair of the Latin American Studies department in hopes of declaring a LAST minor. Although I am waiting on my abroad transcripts to come through before I do so, I’m looking forward to adding a new layer to my course work, on top of the COMM and Spanish sides that I already enjoy so much.

Speaking of COMM, this semester is an exciting time for me and my major, because I have started my Junior I.S.! The way that the COMM department does it, it is very much in my interest to stick with the same topic for Junior and Senior I.S., because we essentially start on our I.S. this semester. This just means, though, that choosing my topic was extra stressful, because I wanted to make sure it was something that I really wanted to study for the next three semesters. I actually ended up changing it after deciding on it, and I am currently in the process of tweaking it, but what’s new? I have this habit of finding general topic areas, selecting and re-selecting topics within that area, and continually whittling them into what ends up being the perfect one for me, so I’m not concerned. Right now, I’m looking at (three specific) voluntoursim organizations’ rhetoric on their websites. It’s a bit more involved than that, but that’s the general gist that I’m working on refining.

Beyond Junior I.S., I’m taking Argumentation and Persuasion in the COMM department, which I am really enjoying. It’s sort of refreshing to actually look at argument through different frameworks and explanations instead of just analyzing it on a surface level. I’m also in Structure of Modern Spanish – basically a linguistics course taught in Spanish about Spanish AKA the best – and Modern Latin America, which is a history class that is also hopefully the jumpstart to that LAST minor I mentioned!

All in all, it’s a nice class schedule, filled with topics that I like and good professors. It gets a bit tiring, because I have all of my classes MWF, with one hour gaps in between (AKA class at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00), but it means that my Tuesday/Thursdays are GLORIOUS. I’ve been making good use of them to catch up on sleep and work, so I suppose I can’t complain.

Other interesting updates in my life include the initiation of a new Pledge Class for Theta – yay!

PC14!

PC14!
Photo by the illustrious Kaitlin Starr!

They’re all lovely, beautiful souls whom I am beyond excited to get to know further in the coming years. I seriously have never met a more collectively chipper group of girls.

There are a few other exciting things going on in my life – potential conference paper edits, Fulbright apps, and excitement for my summer job, to name a few – but the longer I put off finishing this post, the less likely I am to actually post it and the longer I will delay my return to the blogsphere. Whether that would actually be a cause for concern is another matter entirely,  but for now I’m going to end this post here, signing off and sending my warmest regards to any potential readers.

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