Saturday, August 16, 2003

And that's a wrap!

Hello everyone!

Well, it's all finished...AT LAST! And the good news is: I passed! I know you all probably thought that I was sweating it for nothing, but truly, it was up in the air there at moments. Two people from my class did not pass, the Scottish guy and the Norwegian guy. The Norwegian guy, Erlend, didn't really care. He's a stage director in the theatre, so he was just kind of doing this for fun, but the Scottish guy, Campbell, took it a little hard. But, he's in the middle of getting an MA in Art History back in Glasgow, so he'll be going back to that (and teaching yoga).

So, we've all gone out the past couple of nights, in celebration of finally being done. The Red Onion has probably never seen such business, and of course the waitresses were just as rude as ever. Nice to know some things will probably never change. :-)

It's so sad to think that I'll be leaving here and probably never seeing any of my classmates again. We've all exchanged emails, of course, but you know how that always goes. You want to stay in touch, and inevitably you don't. Kind of like summer camp. But, it's nice to know that I do have a truly international network of friends that I could call upon if I like. In fact, one of my good friends from the course, Dagmar, will be moving to Portland later this year! So, the next time I go to visit Adam, I can see her too! :-)

Anyway, so what's next for me? Well, I'm going to stay with Pernille for a couple weeks, where she will be throwing me a birthday party to mark my 26th year. I'm so excited! And I'm really happy to be able to see her family again, since I had such a great time with them on my last visit. And, of course, I'm also excited to finally see Denmark when it's bright and sunny, and not gray every day. :-)

So, after my birthday, I have to decide what I'm going to do. It's unfortunate, but because of the timing of the CELTA course I did, most major language schools have already completed their hiring for this school year. So, I was considering coming home, subbing in the Des Moines schools, volunteering for one of the organizations around town that give free ESL classes to immigrants, getting my own place, getting experience in order to look for an overseas job later, blah blah blah. But, after a couple days of reflection (and some harassment from my mother), I realized that I was probably only considering that plan because I am very homesick. I'm particularly homesick not just for my friends and family, but also just for the familiarity of Iowa itself, and the rhythm of life there. I keep thinking about what I will miss (the tomatoes, sweet corn, watermelon, barbeques) from this season, and how much I will miss fall (a little nip in the air, pumpkin pies, apple festivals like the one we went to last year, the leaves changing colors). And of course, Thanksgiving, and even Halloween. And of course, I miss my cat terribly-laugh if you will, but it's true. :-(

But, all that aside, if I come home now, I probably will end up kicking myself, and I know that. So, I've taken an important decision. I'm going to Italy. I don't know how long I'll stay there, but I'm going there after I'm done at Pernille's. According to my teachers at CELTA, it's fairly easy to find work on the sly in Italy, due to their charming reluctance to follow silly things like rules and laws. :-) I think I'm going to go to Rome first, where there are likely to be many language schools. My teacher said that in a place like that, you can often just show up and get work. (Plus, it's the best time of year to go: fewer tourists, not so hot, etc...) So, that's what I'm going to do. And if it doesn't work out, then I'll pick a small town on a southern coast somewhere, where it's not touristy and is likely to be cheap, and maybe I'll just be able to afford to live there until Christmas. But, if not, if it all just really sucks and I can't stand it, then I hereby give myself permission to change my ticket and come home in October, and I don't want to hear any shit about it from anybody. After all, things are allowed to not work out the way you thought they would. :-)

So, that's that... I'm feeling really exhausted right now, and I have so much to do before I can leave tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to having to pack everything up tonight, that's for sure! Anyway, I don't have Pernille's phone number and address at hand, but as soon as I do, I'll make sure to email it to you in case you have any fabulous birthday gifts to send me. ;-)

OK, time to get a move on. I hope you're all doing well, and that nobody out there is having a stroke right now, envisioning me working on the sly in some dusty Italian village. Don't worry...I won't settle anywhere that doesn't have at least *one* internet cafe and a pay phone. :-) Take care everyone, and when next I write it'll be from sunny Denmark! Ciao!

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