It’s finally here! The moment has arrived and I am a mere two sleeps from leaving for China! My son is so excited he is having trouble going to sleep. I decided to come online and share my thoughts at these last moments. (Wouldn’t you know, this is the moment my Apple keyboard decides to die on me).
It seems like a really long wait although Im sure I won’t remember it that way. Last week I spent my time working as a substitute in a grade four class just to keep myself from going crazy (and my bank account from going to zero, truth be told). At least this wait let me get all my vaccinations up to date. (Ouch!). I’ve gotten caught up on my course work (Im taking an Additional Qualification course from an Ontario university) and even studied the courses Im teaching (English 11 and Intro to English Lit). I feel ready to go!
On the other hand, this is when all the insecurities come out too. Am I really ready for this? Will I be strong enough and flexible enough to handle this, these changes? Will I be able to stay positive when things are going wrong? Having recently failed in the “stay strong” department in the great Canadian arctic, I now have new doubts about my abilities to handle “anything”. The scary thing really is that I don’t know. I don’t know what’s coming even though I’ve done my best to arm myself with knowledge. Never having been overseas, I don’t know if I can handle it. I don’t know if I will fall back on negativity when things go awry. I will have to find out the hard way.
From all this it may sound like I already have given myself over to doubts, fears, and negativity. However, most of the time I haven’t. Here’s what I think about most of the time: I will get to meet adventurous people like me. I will get to see and understand the oldest surviving culture on the planet. I get to discover one of my dreams, to travel-teach throughout the world, my journey is just starting. Almost everything I’ve learned about myself so far has told me I can handle another culture shock and will come out stronger. I will gain a new perspective on the world and world events.
I will hopefully be able to answer these two questions: 1) where is world education going and what is the essential goal of it all? 2) a more personal question, “Why am I doing this?” About the last one: I have been trying to answer this one for years. I read some books about the “Power of Why” and other articles about the question “Why?” being the most important question in anything. However, if I’m honest with myself I don’t really know WHY I’m driven to explore this world and its people.
One of my friends tonight asked “Why ask why?”. I feel that is a deep philosophical question, best left to hindsight but provoking much thought along the way.
I will let you, my readers, know about my progress in answering these questions throughout my journey.
Next time hopefully I will be writing from China!