I really know that I should probably write this blog after we land at SFO but since my ancient grandmother doesn’t have any wi-fi, a computer, or any other high-tech item, I will have to write this in advance in case I won’t come home tonight after going to her house. I really hope that the wi-fi gods, goddesses, or any non-binary gender deity could be in my favor. Other than that concern, it was surreal to pass through this experience and to really reflect on this experience without the distractions of the 3rd place World Cup match or the AP Language and Composition reading I put off for later in the summer. During a section of the flight where Alana, the passenger next to me, and I were relatively quiet and entrenched in the mellow activities that we did to pass the time, I saw a really heartfelt note with a gift from an anonymous cohort member. I continually asked many others in the cohort in a casual sense on how we are leaving the East Coast behind with its immensely fun and beneficial activities which not only change our lives, but other peoples’ lives as well. My main question was on whether leaving as well as experiencing what we did has sunk into any of the cohort members. Many of them said yes and I was quite surprised as even at our layover in Chicago, I haven’t seen the life-changing component or the whole impact on what this has done just yet. Perhaps if my grandmother had wi-fi, it would be possible to see if this has all been digested in its first stages. However, I promise and assure you that my last blog on the ILC ’14 at Brown program in retrospect will include all those emotional qualities to the impact on what this has had with me. Besides, the trip hasn’t even ended as I am still going really high in altitude and really fast (according to the humorous cabin attendant) and I still have a lengthy questionnaire, quarters description, and a review to do by this week.
Amelia, Jing’s roommate as you may have known from previous blogs, woke me up at 6:30 at my request so that I would have enough time to write up a description based on the many different pictures I did of the dorm rooms, bathrooms, and other miscellaneous content which is helpful to ILC’ers in the future as well as to do some last bits of walking around the campus before boarding the shuttle at 10. I actually thought it was 10:30 but apparently when I was taking a second trip to the dorm room to get my luggage, Alana found an earlier excursion to take to the airport. At that moment, I suddenly realized that I was not to step foot in New England after going to California (except inside the premises of PVD). It was a moment I didn’t really lament or react esthetically over since I was just simply stunned. I had a quick similar reaction of feeling sad but hopeful for all the people that I said farewell to, but only for a short while. I was surprised to see that my more optimistic side reigned over the pessimistic side when making the gray areas constant (woah I sound like a scientist, I promise I did that on accident…). That note brought me to be overwhelmed on the plane where I had a mix of very strong, yet genuine emotions which aren’t compromised by face at the least. While the passenger next to me was sleeping and Alana was looking out the window after the note, I began to feel a wet feeling streaming from the eyes on downwards to my cheekbones. It was a lot of discharge but I believe that may have been the first sign of this entire opportunity and service trip to “sink in.” I feel relatively fine and calm now and these oscillating emotions are making me feel that things may seem bleak and dull in the short-term to exciting and compelling in the long-term may be a bit hard to fathom and comprehend at first. This leads to what maybe people describe as a tragic flaw of mine where worry circumvents my productivity and my success, no matter how relative it can be. But this worry is due to uncertainty in destiny or how life will role on. Although I have been intensely exposed to many real-life exposures as well as having learned many different skills at the same time; a time capsule seemed to take a huge role in this experience. Maybe there was some time dilation that took a role and perhaps the world’s theoretical physicists were not skilled or competent enough to detect it. Don’t you dare bring up the p-word.
Ok, I promise not to deviate from blogging about what happened today. After waking up, I thought I was able to swim in the pool in the Athletic Complex area but to my disappointment, morning lap swim doesn’t exist on weekends! After being slightly bummed out, I walked back to an almost empty Thayer Street, something in which a very kind solicitor on the street described as “being like NYC at night.” It was bizarre to see very few shops open but even though it may be that I was not present on any of the two Saturdays during the program as I was in Boston and Newport, it was still too eerie. The feeling didn’t sink in to fully accept the ending of the program even though I have, but it definitely showed a sign. I didn’t see to believe it as I thought maybe another factor was causing this besides the vacation of many students in my particular three-week session. I later walked to the areas of campus that I really haven’t ventured to after being discouraged about the dead life on the street, besides chatting with the solicitor who told me to not be like him as a reason. I actually felt that he changed on my outlook on how to apply what I actually intend as I was being an arrogant and contradictory moron when walking to get some Blue State Coffee and by saying that I don’t have any money. Walking back with an iced coffee and seeing him doing the same repetitive gestures as well the same question led me to get some seriously inflated currency out of my pocket. If I didn’t realize this and have the initial heart of being sensible and sympathetic, I would have not learned so much as I would have today. We chatted about Providence, his previous jail sentence after moving from Savannah, and also his family also moving out to Providence where three of his siblings went to three different colleges within the city: Providence College, University of Rhode Island, and Brown. He spoke about how the businesses are working with him so that he wouldn’t seem like an outcast to the community as well as the numerous encounters he has had with Bears over the many years to which he was on Thayer. He told me that I will most likely matriculate into someone who would probably have a comfortable and accomplished life and he didn’t seem to envy that at all. He does wish to go to college like his sibling whom he contacts with regularly with actually and felt proud of what I was doing. I instantly felt the same feeling for him mutually for similar reasons of understanding the context of which he went through, the same of what he did for me. I sounded confident and I said I look forwarded to seeing him again despite not knowing when I will go to Providence in the near future. Maybe it is a destined sign which I may laugh off as supernatural occurrences seem like mumbo-jumbo in most cases but maybe my corny side is right.
At the airport, I made an effort to get the souvenirs for others that I wished to give a little something to as well as to talk to two fellow Chicagoans that I met at Summer @ Brown and were happening to go on the same flight. You may already know about Amelia in considerably great detail but one of the students whom I did my final macroeconomics project with, Katherine, in less detail. I finally had a great boisterous conversation with his father who came to pick up Katherine where he had a reserved, yet enjoyable conversation about prospective professions and majors to go into. Katherine seemed a bit ignominious ( I mean embarrassed) about the rendezvous and I don’t know whether trying to sit next to her on the plane (I couldn’t because my carry-on luggage was too hard to fit in the overhead compartments as well as blocking others, forcing me to move back.) She is a bit of an odd-ball in some ways. Even so, our conversations really were the reason of why I laughed so much before and after every econ class. At the airport so this concludes what I can post as I will have no wi-fi later!