11.16.2011

Indebted Gratitude

I came, I read, I conquered all these books.
All I can even begin to say is "Thanks". I've successfully completed yet another quarter at DePaul, and this time, it was quite an accomplishment. This past quarter I've taken some of the most life-changing, inspiring, and not to mention challenging classes I have in my entire collegiate career. I've learn valuable concepts, research techniques, and life-lessons from some of the best professors I can imagine.                                        

This quarter has truly opened my eyes to what the future might hold for me. I've always ruled out MA programs on the account of their insane price tag, but I realized that limiting myself is not what is in my best interest. After talking with one of the most difficult, yet fantastic professors I have ever had, I realized that I really do have many options open to me in the next year. Although I'm still somewhat optimistic about landing an awesome humanitarian aid job after I graduate, I'm still keeping my options open and have begun looking at MA programs in Forced Migration and International Studies/Relations abroad (specifically in South Africa). I never thought I'd be in the position I find myself in today, which is a pleasant surprise!

My classes this quarter have blown my mind. Although the past 10 weeks have involved sleepless nights, the consumption of literally pounds of coffee, and getting locked in a library for 13 hours without food for the sake of research, I can truly say I am not just a better student and researcher, but also a more conscious person.

I'm confident that one day, after I have spent years in African war zones establishing cholera camps, organizing vaccination campaigns, and partaking in food drops, I will write a book on my experiences. When I eventually get to this point, I will dedicate it to the professors to whom I am so indebted (and please hold me to this!). 

One course I took this quarter was Evolution of the Modern Nation-State. I had no idea what chaos I was signing up for. I began the quarter terrified of the class and intimidated by the professor. I remember showing up every day hoping I would not get called on in case I didn't understand a concept or if I couldn't summarize a 50 page reading well enough in 300 words or less. But after a few weeks of pure insanity and minor panic attacks, I began to make sense of the madness. I took from this course so many life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life, and to my professor who aided me along this journey, I truly cannot thank enough.

I took another course this quarter on Philosophies of Post-colonialism. Before starting, I was aware of colonialism and what it had done to screw up Africa, but I was largely unaware of post-colonial critique and the anti-colonial movements that took place in the tricontinents. Again, because of a profoundly knowledgeable professor, my eyes were opened to the pervasiveness of neocolonialism in the world and I was also introduced to the anti-colonial writings of many liberation leaders. This course also shed light on the neocolonial aspect of humanitarian aid work, which completely blew my mind...but I'll save that concept for a later date.

Quite honesty, the first 10 weeks of this school year were the most brutal I've ever had to endure, but what resulted would have never occurred without the amazing people I have met along the way. I'm definitely ready for a "break", and by break I mean heading to Sierra Leone for the next six weeks to intern in a medical clinic and conduct research on medical humanitarian aid; Sierra Leonean politics; and the influence of the neocolonial relationship between China and Africa. 

As I have internet, I'll be writing my findings, thoughts, observances, and randomness here, so keep posted! 

...and hear goes the redheaded vegetarian Francophone Afrophile back to her home in Africa!

Okay, that's enough seriousness for one day, back to the sarcastic and cynical me. 
The 176 page final paper I wrote. Writing it was bad, but reading it is probably worse. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6.12.11

    Karen! Loving this blog post. Keep up the good work and we look forward to hearing your stories back in Chicago! -Tania

    ReplyDelete

Hello there! Thanks for reading my blog and leaving a comment! I moderate and approve all comments just to make sure they aren't spam, because let's face it, we get enough spam in our lives as it is. So as long as you're a human being, you should see your comment up here in a few hours along with a response. Cheers!