Friday, November 6, 2009

Pondering my next journey..........

Brief forewarning, this post was started around 4:30 in the a.m., so if it's incoherent, blame the insomnia. If more than 80% of the words are spelled correctly I will consider it a success.....with that said, enjoy!

I'm sitting by the computer for something like the 4th time tonight as I've been hit a little by the insomnia bug and can't seem to drift off. See, U get a little anxious sometimes and lately I've been thinking "what am I doing with my life? what should I be doing with my life? what's after this?" While I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of being in South Korea and I'm signed on for another couple of months or so, I know that what I'm doing here isn't for me. I notice this even more as Winter and its dry air, is starting to creep into the picture. So anyways, let's look back at the question at hand and try and answer it as best as possible.

One thing that I will be grateful for about Korea is that it has made me realize how much I like Spanish, something I learned fairly early on here as I missed being able to converse or listen to Spanish anything. I get it, I'm a nerd for Spanish, and I'm cool with it. For me, sitting down with flashcards and memorizing words in Spanish has never felt like a chore because it's something I'm passionate about.

Ok, so we know I'm passionate about Spanish which is a good start. Since I have that passion for Spanish, it's always seemed like a good idea to teach Spanish and hopefully share that passion on to others, right? And this is right about where a 8,452 thoughts enter my mind and create a logjam (and yes that is an exact number).

Teaching Spanish to high school students was always my number one until the last couple of years. I always wanted to be like my high school Spanish teacher, but I feel like I would be discouraged teaching "me llamo (enter cheesy chosen Spanish name like Nacho or Chuy) y tengo 16 aƱos". This leaves me with the idea that I'd like to teach at a higher level, to teach adults or university students and hope to be able to teach at a high enough level to hold a decent conversation. In order to teach at an post secondary level, community college or accredited 4 year university, I would at least need to go back and get a masters, if not a doctorate as well. Shall we delve into this some more? Lets.....

So now, I'm fairly certain that I want to go back to university to obtain a masters in Spanish Linguistics (Spanish nerd, I get it). I figure it will help me going forward to teach at a higher level and at worst, I could still teach at a high school level or do something else since it would just be an advanced degree of what I already have. Please note that the previous 2 sentences may sound like I'm confident in my decision, but I am wavering like a flag in strong wind. Anyways, the past 8 months or so, I've been looking at programs all over the U.S.A., some in Mexico but mostly concentrating on some programs in Arizona, Ohio State, and a few in Argentina,. Why not?

Recently, I had been seeing a girl in Korea, let's call her Carmen, who is a Mexican-American. Well, Carmen's contract had ended up just recently and she had wanted to go to Spain to study so we decided that we could meet up in Spain. Makes sense with me wanting to study Spanish and well she speaks Spanish, so yeah seemed like a no brainer. Well a couple of weeks into the distance thing, she being in Germany and me being in Korea, and we decided to break up. Another thing I've learned is that I suck at long distance relationships, which stems from my long standing hatred of talking on the phone.

With the end of the relationship, surely the Spain option has to be out the window, right? Not so fast. Stay with me baby birds (thanks Daniel Tosh). Ironically, I wasn't too keen on Spain in the first place, their accent isn't too ear-appealing to me, and from what I remember, the food wasn't the best, definitely not in my top 5 of cuisine across the world I would say. Both of which, I consider vital in choosing a place to live. But, after some research, Spain looks like it would be a great place to go to (which is what most people would think initially, but I'm weird). The pictures I've seen look amazing and it turns out that there could be some programs that would fit what I'm looking, so why not.

That right there threw a wrench in my plans as I was just getting to pick out universities and now I have a few more to choose from. Blah! I'm now thinking I'll definitely apply to ASU and have actually started the ball rolling with that, and that I'll apply to at least one school in Spain and possibly one in Argentina.

With that said, provided I get accepted to the programs I apply for, I still have no bearings on where I want to go. Part of me thinks Spain would be really cool and it would be an awesome opportunity, even if I do pick up a silly accent. But I get worried thinking about whether a degree from Spain will help me in the U.S., will it be recognized? Because in the long run I see myself living in the states. Plus, what if I get to Spain and am not really big on it, end up not liking ham even more than I don't already and don't want to be there? The good thing about Korea was that since my airfare was taken care of, the trip was kind of like playing with house money.

On the other hand there is the comfort blanket of A.S.U (Arizona State). With A.S.U I know what I'm getting into, maybe masters program I don't know, but living in Arizona is not new for me. I have a good network of friends, two potential soccer teams to play on, decent to good mexican food and no thoughts of snow. But would it be too easy? I also wonder if I would regret not going to Spain? Arizona will always be there, but how many opportunities do you get to spend a few years in Spain?

On one hand I feel like I've become a little cautious and reluctant to take another risk, to take on more changes. Is this what it feels like to grow up? On the other hand, I feel as if this could be one of my last big risks, that I should take advantage while I still can?

Basically, I could give reasons and doubts for choosing one over the other but eventually I'm going to have to make a decision. I know I'm not the only one my age who feels insecure about what they should do, and I won't be the last, but I thought I'd write to help clear my mind if for nothing else. Interestingly enough, halfway through writing this I thought I was starting to make some headway, only to coerce myself into thinking I was crazy and back into my realm of questions. Anyways, keep tuned as we (you and myself) have no clue of what's going to happen. I could be in Spain or in Latin America, or I could try and just get emergency licensure to become a teacher in high school. Or I could just come back to the U.S. of A and join one of the 10.3% of the nonworking class (sorry if that joke hits a little too close to home, but that's possibly me 6 months from now)............

And on that note, I think I'll wrap up my rambling as I just heard the wake-up alarm go off for the guy who lives next to me. Seriously, it's 6:15 in the a.m. and I'm contemplating life's path......I am awesome........