An Ode to Charlie Cat – Eve of GPP Departure

We were asked to write a blog post on the eve of our departure for the Global Perspectives Program (GPP). Although I want to say that I have all the warm fuzzy feelings before embarking on a big journey, I don’t (I love blogging because I feel that I can “keep it real”). This past week my hot water heater broke, my childhood cat died, and my research proposal is due tonight. I foresee an all-nighter in the near future.

With all that being said, I almost feel a sense of relief; that once I get on that plane tomorrow, I will not be looking back. One of my personal learning objectives was to simply “let go.” I do often struggle with letting things go (i.e. all the research and studying that I should be tending to) in order to “be” in the moment. Maybe these events have occurred so that I’m in a much better place to just be like BYE.

After having recently finished up my first semester of collegiate teaching (100 students at that), I’m looking forward to reframing my thoughts, feelings, and stances on higher education. I’m seeking new perspectives and maybe some inspiration too, if I’m being completely honest. I think we tend to emotionally wear our teachers out -in all levels of education. And by “we,” I’m not necessarily sure whom I’m referring to. Students? The general public? The university institution itself? I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to give instructors the tools and support they need. The individuals accompanying me on this trip also have a high regard for education, for both themselves and for others. I think that’s why it is important to band together. Not all PhD students have acquired the knowledge, training, and/or experiences that our group members have had and it can sometimes feel isolating for other students not to posses this understanding of education/contemporary pedagogy. Sticking together and sharing ideas is key.

I feel encouraged by the fact that my previous teachers through the years, along with my teacher-friends that are similar in age to me, recently rallied for more education funding in my home state of North Carolina. Although just a small step, a movement is beginning!

And now, an ode to Charlie Cat because we can’t forget about him!

Charlie Cat,

You were kind of fat

But I know that

If we were to have a chat

Right off the bat

You would understand that

I chose Switzerland over saying farewell to you