Two and a Half Weeks Away…

My Friends,

The very moment I discovered that I was selected for the Technos opportunity I was standing in the President’s Assistant’s office with a best friend on my cell phone line resting inside of a pant-leg pocket awaiting an update. Minutes later I had both feet planted atop a bench in the middle of an open field. I wanted to scream… and shout! My disbelief allowed me to utter only a few constant words, though, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh…” This is seriously nothing short of a dream. Countless nights were spent trying to imagine just how beautiful and amazing a Japanese expedition would be. During one of my first couple of months here at McKendree, Brianne, a student who attended Technos last year as a Junior, presented a PowerPoint presentation to my University 101 Class. It showcased all of the grand events and people she experienced while she was in Japan. Our Uni 101 class was composed of Freshmen. While we looked on and learned of the prerequisites of nominations, interviews, and selection processes, it was quite clear there was a unanimous belief, “Even if I wanted to go, I doubt I could.” Sometimes a stance more suitable than doubt is hope… and in this situation, I experienced it being cultivated into something extraordinary when I read the words,

“Dear Stephen: I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as a McKendree representative for the 2013 Technos International Week to be held this June in Japan.”

Remarkable.

For those that are not very familiar with me, I have just completed my first year at McKendree University. Before arriving at the University, I expected to major in Philosophy, and in doing so I have thus far had a more fulfilling scholastic experience than I would have asked for. It is the sort of study that allows me to delve myself into different thought processes, ideas, and circles of reasoning scattered across the world that have greatly affected its events occurring in the present, and the past. The enjoyment of this makes meeting new people and learning of their cultural and personal history so lovely. I am extremely eager to do so in Japan. My minor is Legal Studies, and I expect to notice differences in the legal expectations of Japan, especially considering the fact that it is one of the least crime ridden areas of the world…

IMG_0304 Excitement ensued as I opened my packages containing the tools I’ll be using to document my voyage. And nope, I don’t have any top secret toothbrushes with built in cameras inside of that Colgate bag. I’d just been to the dentist. Gotta be a nice and clean representative for my country, right? ^^

Japan is sooo far away. It’s exhilarating. Over fourteen hours by plane, and on a different side of the Earth. It’s a constant reminder of how unique their culture will be in comparison to what I’ve experienced throughout my life in the United States. It will probably feel like another world. The images I’ve seen of the countrysides are definitely a testament that description. What I will likely notice initially upon arrival is the wording. The Japanese language is written with symbols that appear as though they were constructed with a desire for delicacy. It’s like an art form to me. Maybe when I get back I can convince the authorities of the English language to adopt a few Japanese symbols based on my experience… Yep, plausible. Japanese culture has always intrigued me. When I was in sixth grade my homeroom teacher showed our class a miniseries based on 17th century Japan. Couldn’t get enough, and still can’t. Although much has changed in the past few centuries, much of what I witnessed on that show that interested me is still visible today: the importance of honor, kindness, and respect can be seen echoing throughout documentaries and historical works. Their independence then and now is an always visible delight in their forms of music, dance, literature, and clothing, media outlets… There is an endless supply of uniqueness in culture that I CANNNN’T wait to see… So as to not give all of you in attendance to this blog an overflow of excitement that I have only recently learned to contain, I will delay my further expansion for now.

“We’re going to Japan!!” I eventually yelled to my friend as I stood outside of the building of the President’s office. I am not only excited for myself, but for all of those I will be able to share my experiences with. I promise I will do so adequately. Thank you for reading, and enjoy your evening, my friends.

Stephen

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcia
    May 15, 2013 @ 20:30:12

    I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures in Japan! This year, I have watched you share with others the remarkable person, student, and leader I always knew you were. Take that with you to Japan and live every second of this journey to the fullest.

    Your sis.
    Marcia

    Reply

  2. Caitlyn
    May 31, 2013 @ 14:18:39

    I am so excited for you, my former student! I cannot wait to read all about your adventures and I am so glad you were interested by the speaker we brought it!!! Have a great trip!

    -Caitlyn W.

    Reply

  3. Nichole DeWall
    May 31, 2013 @ 14:45:03

    Safe travels to you all. You’re going to represent McKendree wonderfully during your trip. I’m looking forward to reading your blog.

    Reply

  4. Lisa Brennan
    May 31, 2013 @ 15:22:39

    So pleased to see you are already putting your writing skills to work! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures, Stephen. Make your mark 🙂

    Reply

  5. Chris Bahr
    May 31, 2013 @ 15:52:47

    Stephen, it’s great to see how open you are to doing something so new and different. I hope that you learn a lot from the experience and enjoy the adventure.

    Reply

  6. Kara
    Jun 01, 2013 @ 01:12:36

    When i met you, you had all these dreams and day by day you’re getting closer to the person you once dreamt you could be. It must be wonderful to look back and see how far you’ve come in just a years time. I’m so proud of you Stephen, and pray that you have a safe trip and an absolutely amazing time.

    Reply

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