Emotional exhaustion has hit me full force. I have had to say goodbye to so many people over the past few days that I have actually become physically tired from emotions. I don't think I've ever had to do this before. Any other time I've had to say goodbye to large amounts of people at one time, there was always the comfort that at least we were still in the same country. Now, goodbye is in all likelihood a true goodbye without the possibility of "see you later." That prospect kills me. I know that I should not cry that the good times are over but smile that they happened at all. I knew it was going to have to come to an end but it still is hitting me much harder than I expected. I had to say goodbye to Thibaut, Nicole, Ilias, Antonis, Srdjan, Linda and Nelli all on the same day. I will see Nelli in Budapest so that is nice. It's especially good because I'm going there by myself so having a friendly face there will be great. Facebook and Skype are of particular comfort right now but it's not the same. I know that I keep saying that I am in love with Krakow, which is true, but I wouldn't have fallen so hard or so fast if it weren't for all of the amazing people that made this experience what it was. I'm trying to focus on the fact that I am less than 4 weeks away from coming home and seeing all of my friends and family. I've been trying to emphasize the positive because I think any one of us would start crying if we think about what we are leaving behind. Yesterday, we had a huge going away dinner at Pod Wawelem and Srdjan and Nelli's families were there. It was really kind of a cool representation of the transition back in to "civilian" life. Then, Tina, Chelsea and I went to Respect and we ended up meeting a group of Swedish people. It's really cool that we are still meeting new people and making new friends even with just a few days left here. I'm sorry that the past few entries have been kind of depressing but I'm just in a sour mood for the aforementioned reasons. It seems like the world just stopped while we were here. That is such an amazing experience. One that I don't have words for. I wish everyone could have the opportunity to do a study abroad semester but then I wish we didn't have the end bit. I know it's better to have loved and lost and all that jazz but it doesn't make it any less painful. In a way, it's a great thing to know the last time that you see someone rather than always assuming that there would be time to say all of the things you wanted to say but never found the right place for. On the other hand, hopelessness is a bitch. I know that I will have CTatch back at GV to reminisce with and that is of great solace at the moment. I just wish I didn't have anything that I needed consoling over. This entry has been terribly emo but I wanted to post something since it has been almost a week since I've written anything. I think it's just because Mom was at Cancer Kid Camp so I didn't have someone badgering me about writing.
Now for the "No Regrets" part of the post. Wednesday night I was at a flat party because it was Alex's last night and I needed to take a break from studying. I had two people recognize me from the "French Stereotypes" video and it got me thinking. For so long, I've wanted to be the person that everybody knew, even if I didn't know everyone else. Actually, having people recognize me or know my name without having the same information is kind of a thrill. I am "that girl" here and I have to say that I love it. However, I'm going to be glad when I can sink back into anonymity at GV. I know the people that I care about. The really important things stay close to my heart and I don't really need the validation from strangers seeing me and having some story that they heard about me or something. It's nice and I'm glad that it happened here but I don't want that to be my constant state of being. Erasmus life is a strange social sandbox because you start out with no social connections but an openness to meeting new people and making friends. Everyone starts on a level playing field and you get to see what you can do with it from there. Also, there is the lack of consequences in the long term. I can make a complete ass of myself and say all the things that are in my head that I normally wouldn't have the courage to say. There's freedom in that which is a really strange sensation. I get to prune my social attachments by keeping in touch with all of the people I want to keep in my life and just leave behind all of the others. I get to take back to the States all of changes that I have made to myself since I have been here without the baggage. Any changes I made that I don't like, I get to hit the reset button. What a difference a few months can make.
In a haiku mood
Caption each photo
Polish obsession with smurfs
Gdzie jest Papa Smurf?
"Probably the best"
I like the honesty but
Confidence is key
See pretty orchids
At the botanical gardens
Jungle in Krakow
Strange spike ball flowers
Catch the sun through their green spines
Emo Chelsea T
Not on purpose, caught off guard
Dig the shades, home slice
Country garden shed
Or Stalin architecture?
Style is in the eye
Flower mode works well
Camera makes shots easy
Point and shoot, not skills
Today, a few girls and I are going out to see some of the sites around the city. Probably going to Kazimierz to check out the market. Hitting Schindler's factory and maybe the zoo or the botanical gardens. I was out until almost 5 last night so it should be interesting to see how I make it through the day. I promise to upload pictures from the day. I know I haven't been very good about that lately.
Sept. 5 & 6, 2009 Army and Penn State @ State College
Sept. 12, 2009 @ Eastern Illinois University
Sept. 19, 2009 Open Date
Sept. 26, 2009 Ball State University-Home
3rd Annual Women's Rugby Golf Outing
Oct. 3, 2009 University of Michigan – Home (League)
Oct. 10, 2009 @ Purdue University (League)
Oct. 17, 2009 Ohio State University – Home (League)
Oct. 24, 2009 @ Michigan State University (League)
Oct. 31, 2009 @ Indiana University (League)
Nov. 7, 2009 4 Quarterfinal matches (E-1 v W-4) v (W-2 v E3) /
(W-1 v E-4) v (E-2 v W-3) Highest ranked team to host each respective
Nov. 14-15, 2009 Midwest Championships (@ Univ. of Northern Iowa)
Yes, you read right. The first game of the season on Labor Day weekend will be in Pennsylvania. We are going to get our asses handed to us but hopefully we will learn a lot from those games. Also, here's my class schedule for next year.
PLS 283 Chinese Politics and US-China Relations
PLS 316 Human Rights in International Relations (super excited for that one!)
CHI 351 Practical Chinese
and here's one that's still in the air
either GER 101 Elementary German or
SPA 321 Spanish Composition and Conversation 1
I wasn't going to take any Spanish at GV but being here and getting the occasional bits of practice makes me want to pursue it further. I knew I wasn't fluent before coming here but now I realize just how not fluent I am. If I am going to join the Peace Corps, I'm sure have any additional proficiency in Spanish will be helpful.
HST 317 History of American Foreign Relations
HST 341 History of East Asia Since 1800
PLS 315 International Political Economy
IR 495 (capstone) Seminar in International Relations
After that, I'm done with my undergrad. That is so scary to me. I have had so much fun and made so many friends and turned friends into family over the past 3 years. I can't believe I'm coming up on the end of that.
I got my paper done for international economics. It was approximately 83% bullshit but I am fine with that. At home, I am type A and super hard on myself but here I am studying economics and I am applying those principles to my life. Marginal cost (effort/time of studying and worrying about grades) brings no marginal gain (i.e. my grades transfer back to GV as credit/no credit so it’s not like I can get a “credit plus” or a gold star on my transcript or anything). I had my Polish exam yesterday and I find out the results tomorrow. I also have my International Political Relations presentation tomorrow. I’m not really nervous but everyone has really high expectations of me because I’m a native speaker and an IR major.
The countdown has begun. I have decided to change my plane ticket to 29 June. I can’t believe that I have less than a month left here. It’s happening way too fast. I think the money thing will be less of an issue because we have a cunning plan. Seeing as the exchange rate sucks for bringing zlotych back to the States, we are going to try and have Serdar apply our deposit as our rent for this month. This way, I have my stipend to use for living expenses. I have about a week and a half left over after exams and I am talking to people to see who wants to go where. Laura, one of the Italians who helped me with the Rome trip, wants to go everywhere. She is so nice and bubbly. I think she would be great to travel with. I may not get to go to all of the places I want to see but I have a feeling that no amount of time in the world would be enough to see all I want to see. I can’t imagine going back home after living here. I miss all of you terribly and I am trying to focus on that so my heart won’t break.