being in college means you need a cause

Being in college means you need a cause. You need to rally. You need to protest or make a poster or join some clubs or something. Anything. With a day before I start school, this has been on my mind a lot recently.

Maybe it’s not true across the board. Maybe some people never feel the need to support something or fight for something bigger than themselves. I’m one who needs to. Through most of my life up till now, it’s been all about me. All about developing me in mind and body for…what? That I don’t know, but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that it gets to feeling really cheap to spend so much time only on myself. Must be the reason so many people use their college time to get behind something and push. And also the reason so many go crazy and do stupid things in the name of folly that they joke about when they’re forty and running for office. “Yeah. My college days were crazy, man! But who hasn’t done some stupid things in college?” I hear that a lot.

I don’t want to do anything stupid. Sure, this may be the last arena where I could do it and reasonably get away with it, but why bother? I’ll do what I want to do, and stupid isn’t on the list. Finding a cause is, though, which brings me back to my point.

I’ve joined a few clubs so far. The Korean Club, the Shooter’s Club, and the local Christian ministry club. Not knowing how busy I’ll be, I’m reluctant to join more. I’m looking for a church home on top of all this, and hope to get very involved there. I want to help with something – use my passions and talents for something of cosmic importance. Sounds great, right? I got the urge, man. The urge to RALLY! Well, not literally.

Ever feel that way? I kind of hope it doesn’t peter out too much the rest of my life. Sure, theoretically I can see the appeal of settling down, and once I get married, I’m sure I’ll crave a lot of stability, but right now I’m raring to go and in a fighting mood.

HUZZAH!!

otter.

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my current dream

spring4

A sunflower. Which has nothing to do with dreams. 

I think humans must always have a dream. (I DREAMED A DREAM IN TIME GONE BYYYYYY!!!!!) Even when we are in the midst of depressing or insufferable circumstances, I think we will tend to imagine a greater place of happiness. I knew I wouldn’t stay in Taiwan forever, but until around four months ago, I didn’t have a clear picture of where I wanted to go. I had vague, nebulous ideas, but nothing concrete. I fully believe that those who plan where they want to end up are the ones most likely to reach their destination. My dream could change; it has before, but some things have always remained the same. I want to live in Asia; I love Asian culture and I feel that it suits me. I want to work with language; either as a teacher, writer, translator or blogger. I want to create and enjoy a beautiful life.

So below is a specific outline of where I see myself in five years. (Now I can answer that pesky interview question.)

After I finish school and get my BA, I’m planning on moving to Korea and teaching English. Ideally, I’d like to teach high school or middle school. I really love getting people excited about things, and I would love to be able to go more in-depth on topics related to English, America, and Western culture. I wouldn’t really be able to do that with younger students, and I feel that college-level is a bit beyond me…

I want to build my blog and become a pro, perhaps even moving into vlogging once in Korea. I know plenty of people who live off of their blogs, and that’s been a dream of mine for a couple of years now, ever since starting TFA. But I know it takes a while, and so I need a good job in the meantime. (If nothing else, I would need some better and more expensive equipment.)

I want to build a ministry for girls. Once I move to Korea, I want to connect with a local church and start a Bible/English class for older teens. Or perhaps connect with an overseas mission project and help establish clubs where I live.

Remember my other post about living in the future? These things are what keep me floating in Tomorrowland. I have to be careful not to lose myself in dreams of a future in Korea. I have to rein myself in and buckle down to Chinese even though I really prefer Korean. It takes discipline, but I’m learning and getting better at it, and I think this acquisition of self-control will be invaluable in my later life, no matter where I end up.

So for now, I’m keeping all this in mind, but not my whole mind.

Huzzah! SUNFLOWERS! (Which, again, have nothing to do with dreams.)

otter.

swinging to the rescue

A mile off the coast of China, there is a small island called Kinmen. This beautiful place is part of Taiwan, and last weekend I had the opportunity to visit. My friend and I went to see the team stationed there to help out with a fundraiser.

The Kinmen team feel a special calling to help victims of the slave trade, a prevalent and rapidly growing industry world-wide. One of the girls knows Naomi Hamilton, the founder behind Safe Refuge International in Manila. The organization helps pregnant women who are left on the streets and the children who are in danger of becoming slaves. It’s a fantastic ministry, and I think the team on Kinmen is fabulous for being so passionate about this. They’ve had four fundraisers now, and have raised about ten thousand dollars. Praise God! This last fundraiser broke the record too. It was a very special event, and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it.

It breaks down like this: the people come to learn how to swing dance, eat food, and take pictures at the photo-booth. There’s a brief lesson on dancing, lots of time for practice, yummy food, and then a movie and brief speech about the impetus behind the fundraiser. Most of the attendees are college-aged students who know the teachers or know of them. Kinmen’s small; any foreigner is well-known.

My friend and I helped out with the photo-booth. We had some crazy awesome props and backdrops, and I think it went really well. I will post about that in detail later.

The weekend itself, even apart from the dance, was amazing. I was sad we didn’t get to see more of the island, but when we return (which we will) we can see more. We did get to visit the beach at night, walk a little around town, and eat some amazing food.

I love Taiwan, but there’s something special about that little island that totally captured my heart.

otter.