Sunday, April 27, 2008

End O the Year

Well exams are over, the school year has ended, and my scheduled date of departure for home is this Tuesday. I had planned on spending my summer driving vehicles for my dad, teaching summer school special ed, earning money, and learning Chinese in anticipation for my voyage over there come August, where I would be teaching English in Shenzhen for a full year, but this exciting prospect has unfortunately faded into dark oblivion. Due to the Olympics, applicants (ie me) who are applying for teaching programs in China are required to have an undergraduate degree (ie not me). When I was informed of this I was devastated.

China was my warm, red, rescue beacon, the lucky break, adventure, change, that I had been waiting for and looking forward to. I had used the prospect of China to motivate myself to finish the year strong, after a semester of skipping classes, flunking tests, recklessness, drugs, despair, etc.

It worked too. I pulled myself out of the tail spin of failure, got an A in one class, and B's in the rest. But now there's no reward, nothing earned, nothing gained, nothing to look forward to for my effort.

I'm still planning on taking the year off, but I just have no concrete image of what I'll be doing. I'll probably go back to teaching autism again. Work for my dad. Maybe even find a job with state dept or the Smithsonian. The year off actually won't be that bad. I'll be able to indulge myself with subjects I want to learn about, not prescribed and required to read. I'll have some money in my pocket again. And Ill be able to escape to the woods and hills of Virginia again. Go kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking again. I have missed nature terribly since I moved to this city. The only escape is Mount Royal, which offers a serene view of the city skyline, but the park itself is too full of people, orderly, and welcoming. Its like central park, a quick escape from the hustle bustle of the city, but you still feel surrounded by it, an animal in a zoo cage. Its not the untamed wild of the wilderness.

I also hope to refine my writing this summer, as it has become an odious and painful activity. Words still have an appeal to me, as they are certainly incredibly persuasive and useful, when you have mastered the art of manipulating them, but words have somehow lost their allure to me. I want to write expressively, but there's this constant pressure to write impressively, and well to do that, it seems, you have to imitate or (to cover your tracks) synthesize the style of writing or writers that you admire, and I find that, (shameful is too strong of a word), unfortunate.

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