I walked out of the main student lounge and it was almost pitch dark at 9:30pm. It reminded me that I was no longer in Chicago, the concrete jungle with bright lights that I had left two days ago.
We’re in a small town thats dark and quiet by 9pm, and I have to force myself not to remember the ghosts from horror movies.
Now, I’m sitting in my room at SIT Graduate Institute after a long day of meeting the other students in the program. My roommate is from Rwanda! My other classmates come from all over the world- Kurdistan, Holland, Iran, Nepal, Japan, and to be honest many other countries that I can’t list right out of my head right now.
Since everyone is from another country, they ask me where I’m from. I automatically say “Chicago,” and there’s a two second pause and I know they’re curious about where I’m “from from.” I explain that I was born and raised in the Philippines, but that I have lived in Chicago longer than I was ever in the Philippines. It’s such a strange dilemma- to speak English better than my native tongue, and to now barely really even know a lot of what’s going on in the Philippines. Oh, and some older man thought I was a student that just flew in from China. I’m going to let this one slip and forget about it because he’s older. Everyone else has been interesting in ways that we all have different stories to tell and cultures to share. Most of my classmates have experiences in international work and development.
I left my job at Discovery Communications 2 days ago. I flew into Boston yesterday. I turned in my final paper for DePaul this morning. And today I’m in Vermont- tomorrow at 8am is when my Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation Summer program begins.
I need to pinch myself to remind myself that this is real. My roommate is from Rwanda and I just moved across the country to begin my studies in Vermont. I’ve traded the huge skyscrapers, trains, and a good job for meeting people of the world here at SIT Graduate Institute. I’ve moved to learn about the conflicts of the world and how to make sustainable solutions as professionals and educators.
I promise that I will post on this blog daily during this journey of mine! I’m truly excited about everything that’s happening and I want to share it with you all. I do not have my laptop so I’ll be writing posts from my iPhone 5s. I’ll also be posting a lot of photos through social media, so stay tuned! ☺️