Technically this is not the eve of my departure, but I wanted to be sure to capture my thoughts and current experiences on what will happen before I get so swept up in the urgency of packing! I leave this week on Wednesday for a brief stop in the UK and France before connecting up with the rest of the GPP group in Zurich on Sunday.
My thoughts…well they are currently a jumbled mess. I’m constantly thinking about what I need to do before I leave, while thinking about what all the business that needs to be taken care of to be sure my trip is successful. Mix that with the anxiety and excitement for the unknown. All on top of being a bit sad and upset that I most likely will not get in a visit with my family before I head out. I worry about when I’m away what my poor fur babies will think and will my partner remember to feed the dog and put fresh water down for them daily. I wonder how he will do with me being gone for awhile, although he needs to be studying for his big step one medical school exam coming up (so I’m a little glad to not be a distraction for his studying for a bit). And I am very thankful. Thankful that I have this incredible opportunity to be able to visit and learn at 8 different universities. Thankful I will meet some European counterparts to connect, discuss, and collaborate about higher education as a public good. Thankful I will get to see and explore some places that have been so very far away from me until now. Thankful for this blessing.
What I am hoping will happen is I will have such a rich experience and learn an immense amount about higher education from a global perspective. Then I hope to be able to translate that experience into something meaningful and purposeful to give back to others. Sharing this through my research, writing, and discussions on my experiences. I am hoping for that experience that will change me in great ways, challenge me to see things from a more broad perspective, and inspire me to think more about my legacy. Nothing to big. 🙂
Thanks to Dean Karen DePauw for making this program happen and including me in it! Mostly thank you for encouraging us to take a moment before our departures to think about this. It has been helpful to spend a few quiet moments in contemplation before the blur of the next moments before I fly away.
Stay tuned! I hope to share more information as I go along and as time permits. We have a busy schedule and I plan on spending more time absorbing my environment than having my hands on a keyboard or my eyes on a screen. Nevertheless, I will be doing what I can to share parts of my journey as it unfolds. Until then…. à bientôt (see you soon – in French!).