I love you very much, but I’m looking to expand my horizons this fall. I hope you’re not the jealous type, because we’re about to enter an open relationship.
On September 12th, I’m flying to Amman, Jordan, to start my fall semester with the CIEE Jordanian Language & Culture program at the University of Amman. After months of waiting and countless explanations of where and why I’m going, you could say I’m a bit anxious.
My aunt recently sent me a chain letter summarizing the Dalai Llama’s message for 2010, part of which stated, “Measure your success by what you gave up to get it.” I’m still not sure if I understand, or if I agree. I’ll contemplate it during my 16-hour travel time. Here’s my vague knowledge of what I’m giving up:
-standard wardrobe (I had no idea so much of it revolved arounding showing my legs or shoulders)
-freedom to wander off alone for hours (I’ve found that Colorado Springs has some unexpected sprawl to its trails)
-vegetarianism (I’m hoping my meat will have had a happier life there than on an American factory farm)
-vocalized opinions about American politics
-playing sports (unless women’s rugby is popular among Arabs?)
However, I think all CC students can agree that we possess a relentless thirst for adventure. Mine is taking me to a country in a region that I’ve never come close to, to a language I don’t speak, and to a religion I don’t practice. From the interested and sometimes perplexed looks I get from people I explain that to, I often wonder whether I should be scared. Instead, I am excited to the point of recklessness.
I’m writing this post in my friend’s off-campus house. Since I haven’t left Colorado this summer, I’ve been hanging around Colorado Springs and I tagged along to her class, HY200: Topics in History: Islamic Cities for two days. Prospective students reading this may be wondering, why bother? Why go to class for such a short time? The answer is because on the block plan, you really can learn so much in two days. And I did! Over those two days, I explored the concept of a city, read about the customs of Arab households, and watched some documentaries about the city of Cairo (or Le Caire), Egypt. It was great to get a bit of background about what my life in an Arab city such as Amman might be like, and even more helpful to reflect on what I love about the environment I grew up in. For the record, that would be in a house on a hill in a dense forest, located by the Connecticut River, fostering in me a deep appreciation for nature and mild hostility toward concrete jungles. In fact, I almost didn’t consider Colorado College, simply because its location was classified under “urban.” Good thing I reconsidered!
Life is a continuous cycle of pushing aside pride and embracing new experiences. I have so much pride in my school; I’ll miss the block plan. I’ll miss finding way home by looking in the direction of the mountains. I’ll miss lunch after class in Rastall. I’ll miss the rugby bruises. And I’m sure I’ll miss whatever else has become second nature to me at this time of year. But there is so much to gain. I’m going for it!
Peace out, America! Follow my journey on this blog: http://jettingtojordan.blogspot.com/