Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The New York Times ran an interesting article two days ago about templestays in South Korea. I didn't know that templestays were possible before I read the article. Now I definitely want to experience it! The expectation of waking at 3am does not motivate my interest in doing this however... but I'm certainly willing to give it a try, especially when lantern making and Buddhist martial arts are on the agenda!

Monday, November 27, 2006

I spend a lot of time analyzing potential decisions. I like to be reasonably certain that the decision I make will be a good one. And so I make lists of pros and cons. I highlight and underline. I'll write up my list of objectives on the computer to see how it looks. Change the font. Prioritize. A lot of that is just fluff but the process helps me become comfortable with a potential decision. And now that I've graduated from college, I have some big decisions to make.

I'm definitely going to law school. That decision wasn't difficult, even though it's going to shape a good part of my life. I have many reasons for going but I won't get into them right now. Actually, my big decision concerns what I'm going to do with the 18 months before law school.

I won't rehash all the options- I have given deep and frantic consideration to many possibilities on the corporate to volunteer continuum- but I will mention some of the considerations. After reflecting on my experiences with Turkish toilets during a trip through the Balkans this past spring, I decided I didn't want to be a hygiene martyr. I like modern plumbing. I lived on a stipend last year in Germany and even though I had sufficient funds, things were a little tight. And to be perfectly honest, not having money makes me anxious. I also have student loans. Given actual and psychological constraints, I am not going to volunteer for a year. Other considerations: I want to be out of the U.S and I want to experience life in a non-European nation. Other constraints: I majored in philosophy. This seemed like a super idea, especially since the concept of "marketable skills" was just another thing to think about. Apparently critical thinking skills only get one so far in the post-college world. Fair enough. I did manage to escape another year of real world concerns by getting a grant to study in Germany for a year. But now that I'm back living at home, I have to reassess what it is I can actually do. And quickly.

It turns out that I am a hot commodity in many parts of the world just because I speak English. This doesn't come as a huge surprise, but it is flattering to think that I, a philosophy major, may be a sought after potential employee. I may even have the upper hand in salary negotiations, if only because the demand for English teachers is so high. The idea of teaching English for a year sounded enticing. It continued to sound good even after I had done a bit of research. I only had to decide where I wanted to go.

There's a bit more to it, but my final decision is to go to South Korea to teach English for a year. I'll leave in February 2007 after I take the LSAT. I'm looking forward to being abroad again and have already started thinking about other trips I can take in the region... I'm ready to travel!