when you come to the fourth week of any semester, something just short of amazing happens. time slows to an almost imperceptible crawl and somehow, there is still not enough time to get everything finished.
i have hit that point where i am about to give up on the majority of my classes and my workout plan may as well just run itself. and yet because i only have a year and a half left, giving up is not really an option. this week i have found myself searching for “motivational memes” to cheer me up in the midst of my WWII reading assignments and experiments for critical practices.
so far, this pumped up leslie knope is what has pushed me through this tuesday afternoon.
in spite of dragging my college-worn body through the halls of my university, i am really getting excited for my travel abroad trip that will be happening in may of this year. fifteen days in europe with 14 other students and our professor. reality finally kicked in when my passport arrived last friday and i realized that i really am going to be able to go out of the united states for the first time in my life.
if you’ve followed some of my previous posts, i am new to the whole world of travel. until this past summer, i had never even been on a plane so you could imagine my anxiety when i realized that the plane ride will be over 14 hours when we leave this may. as you can imagine i have been searching almost neurotically online to find ways to handle leaving the country and basic comfort zones behind.
i am hoping that when i get there i am too focused on experiencing it all to worry about what could happen while i’m gone. i hope that i don’t have time to wonder if i’m making the right choices in life. we are going to be experiencing some amazing things while we are there. heartbreaking things, like the sachsenhausen concentration camp that held mainly political prisoners at the beginning but quickly was utilized as a holding cell for people of jewish decent and other “undesirables” of the time such as homosexuals and gypsies.
we will be visiting the site where the final solution was designed and seeing the beaches of Normandy where the beaches were stormed on D-Day. we will be visiting the Anne Frank house and more of amsterdam. we will be seeing so much history in two weeks that my heart speeds up just at the thought of it. this is a trip that i have dreamed of for years, ever since i first read “night” by elie wiesel in junior high. the thing is, my generation can’t even imagine being involved in a war like WWII that completely disrupted a generation’s lives. in a way, i feel like it is my duty to go and experience this trip and share the experience because so many people do not have any idea the things that that generation went through just to survive.
our class is not focusing on the “main events and people” of WWII. we are keeping the focus on the “every day” person in the second world war. we are discussing what children and women went through and we are looking at those who served who may not have gotten every major award in the military for their time served.
this class is the only one i am constantly excited about this semester. this course is heartbreaking, difficult, and absolutely necessary in my opinion.
here’s to understanding. here’s to history, and not wanting to repeat the past.