I figured it’d be appropriate to make my first blog post about what exactly I’m doing this semester and a few other side notes. So here it goes…
This semester I am doing an abroad program called International Traveling Classroom: Europe. I will be with about 30-40 students mostly from UW-River Falls, with a few from some different UW schools (that includes me). I will only have two professors, one being my art teacher, and our lead professor who will teach my film, international studies, and theater class. I’m not taking any music classes this semester (gasp!) but you best believe I will be going to operas, musicals, and many orchestra concerts. My classes will be held in hostel conference rooms, libraries, and other places so I won’t be at a specific European university. But I will definitely be experiencing the city life more than I ever have in my life. Every week and a half or so, we travel to a new city to continue our classes. These cities include Edinburgh, Scotland, Stratford Upon Avon and London, England, Paris, France, Berlin and Munich, Germany, and Verona Italy. Between each city, we have a few days to get there so I will definitely be hitting up some additional cities like Dublin, Prague, Venice, and Vienna (at least those far). I won’t have data, but I’ll have a regular functioning smart phone (minus texts and calls) when I have WiFi. Many who have iPhones, however, will have the privilege of messaging me at their leisure comfort because Apple is the bomb dot com.
I’ve spent (most of) my January preparing for this trip, buying things I thought I’d use like clothes and boots but didn’t end up bringing, writing papers (ugh), getting asked a ton of questions like, “have you seen the movie Hostel or Taken” and “how are you paying for this,” and, of course spending time with my friends and family.
To answer those two questions: No I haven’t seen the movie but I’m fully armed with uncles with shotguns, and for the other question: well, I’m not really sure yet, but I’m doing it anyway because I want to. It’s kind of similar to my other two favorite questions…”why do you work at camp when you could be making more at Kwik Trip or waitressing” and “why do you want to be a (music) teacher when you know you’re not going to make a lot of money.” the answer: because I want to. First off, I know all 3 of these are going to make me a better person, and I hopefully am making a difference by working at camp, traveling, and being a teacher. And Secondly, I’m a firm believer of the saying “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you really want to do something like go abroad, or “have always wanted to work at a summer camp,” you’ll make it happen. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. Sure I have a low paying college-kid job who wants a low paying career who also likes to travel, but so what? I’m saying that I’m making it work, so I’m sure many others can too. So many people have told me they wish they could do something like this. Well like I said, you can.
So to get the point of the title. On Sunday at church the sermon was about the beatitudes and being the salt and light (Matthew 5:1-16). There are people around the world who are hungry for justice, who are mourning, and are poor in the spirit. I’ve been encouraged to be the light for those I am going to meet in Europe and those I’m going along with. There are also peacemakers, the merciful, and some who are pure at heart, and I hope that God puts those people in my life as well when I’m over there.