That was Tuesday for me.
I thought I would take the time to share a bit about my terribly thrilling 8 AM class every morning this summer. Thankfully, it's a short class and the final exam is on July 3rd, just in time for me to celebrate my freedom with the rest of America on July 4th.
But until then I'm stuck in Dale Hall Room 107 every weekday from 8-10:10 AM. Those last ten minutes are especially excruciating.
The class is overwhelmingly male, most likely due to the subject matter: The Ancient Art of War. Our textbook is actually called "With Arrow, Sword, and Spear." Riveting, right?
The majority of the points are received for attendance and group participation and I find myself asking the other 4 members of the my group (again, all male) to explain the battles over and over to me. I'm hoping they continue to find it endearing/not annoying for the rest of the term. The entire concept of strategy is decidedly foreign to me in all things war, except for Battleship. I can sink a mean destroyer. The only two thoughts I had really had in that classroom up until Tuesday were:
- Alexander the Great was 20 years old when he began his reign in Greece. And while he was fighting Persians and ruling the world, I can't even paint furniture without ending up with splatters on my arms and legs for days. I'm not really sure how I feel about my inadequacy right now.
- And, the ancient wars seem incredibly dumb. We discuss various battles and one in particular on Tuesday seemed ludicrous to me. First, Alexander marched to the Persian territory. Which makes sense, but how did they know he was coming? Did he send an invite, "hey so could you guys meet me at this river? I wanna fight"? Did someone in Greece have a loudmouth and blog about the impending march? However it occurred, there was a Persian army waiting for him at the specific river. And the book we read said they literally stood on either side of the river and stared at each other for some time. Until Alexander decided to REALLY win the staring contest and attacked. The whole concept is just ludicrous.
On Monday night I spent a significant amount of time researching English teaching jobs. I left my email address for program after program, inviting an influx of spam and information on careers in Greece, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Argentina, Tanzania, and even Scotland. It feels good to have a direction for my life after university.
So you can imagine the goosebumps on my skin when a representative for the Fulbright Student Program spoke in my class on Tuesday morning. The program funds recent college graduates to teach, study, or conduct research in 155 countries worldwide. I'm going to apply for an English Teaching Assistantship grant and, if I receive it, I would serve alongside a more senior instructor in a classroom overseas for about 20 hours a week, providing conversational practice and access to American culture. They cover costs of transportation and living expenses for 8-12 months. She left her information at the bottom of a flyer so I emailed her as soon as I got home from class and arranged a meeting with her for later today.
I had never heard of the Fulbright Student Program until that morning. Chances are I wouldn't have heard about it if I hadn't been in that specific class. I wouldn't have been in that specific class if any other history topics were available. I wouldn't have had to be in a summer class if I hadn't spent the spring semester in Scotland. I wouldn't have spent the semester in Scotland if I had stayed at TCU in 2010. I wouldn't have gone to TCU if I hadn't moved away from Raleigh. The list goes on...
It blows my mind to know that nothing is an accident.
I firmly believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to do and I'm becoming who I'm destined to be. Sometimes the magic of life takes my breath away. And even though I hate my alarm every morning because of the damn summer class, I'm going to go with a smile. Even the Ancient Art of War can be used for good in the life of A Very Lucky Girl.