Jake Peacock ’12 – First, a quick update on what’s happened since my last entry. Matt Kraft came to visit me rom Spain, which was incredibly awesome. The due dates of most of my essays and exams have come up have had to do roughly forty pages of writing in the past few weeks. I got a cold or flu of some sort and am still recovering. I’m trying (with poor results) to find a place to live next semester in Crawfordsville, as well as roommates. I have one, Richard Fern, whose returning to Crawfordsville after graduating last May to student teach, but he and I are trying to get a few more of our Lambda Chi buddies to move out with us. It’s difficult to do from thousands of miles away. There’s probably some other things, too, but those are the most important details.
The bigger news is that it’s a week to the day that I fly back home. Pretty wild stuff. I can’t for the life of me figure out how my time in Scotland went by so quickly. Yet, at the same time, it does feel like it has been an incredibly long time that I’ve been over here. I’ve gotten really used to the UK during my stay, made loads of friends, and I’m finding it incredibly difficult to wrap my head around what it will be like to be back home, even though I’m excited to get back and get readjusted.
For example, yesterday morning I went to the bakery right next to where my apartment is and got a sausage roll for breakfast. Sausage rolls are really typical British pastry type things; usually the places that sell these have meat pies and sandwhiches and more dessert like pastries. Again, a UK or Irish thing pretty much exclusively. Anyway, I realized that this was the last week I was going to be able to go to one of these stores and get any of their typical goods. At first it made me kind of sad, but then I had this crazy epiphany. My experience here, while once in a lifetime, is actually totally mundane and arbitrary. I don’t intend for that to sound ingrateful, so I’ll explain a bit more. I realized that what I was going to miss was something incredibly ordinary to anyone from the UK, so much so that they likely wouldn’t even think about not having it. Like someone from the US when they get Taco Bell or something else like that.
Long story short, this epiphany made me realize that I had gotten exactly what I was meant to out of my experience abroad and met Wabash’s goal of having “found [myself] not only the creature of [my] time and place, but also a citizen of the worldwide human community (from http://www.wabash.edu/academics/bulletin.cfm?site_code_id=911&this_year=2010).” Not to sound too nerdy about all of this, but I was so excited about it that I spent more time than I care to admit yesterday thinking about how I would want to put the experience on paper. Then, thinking about how I was going to write this blog entry I realized it was actually time for me to come home, whether I liked it or not. I have, in my short time in Scotland, come to realize how big and diverse the world is, and I’ve realized the importance of my education within that context. Even more, I’ve come to realize how I need to take advantage of every opportunity available to me where ever I am and when ever it happens to be.
To cut back on the cheese a bit now, here are some things about my coming home that seem daunting to me now. I am going to be overwhelmed by real world American accents, I can get them on TV and things like that here, but its like watching a Harry Potter movie back in the States—only temporary. Now, I’m going to be overwhelmed by the accent most familiar to me in the world. Grid-based cities are totally strange to me now, I don’t think I’ve seen a straight road since I’ve come to Europe, and it’s just gonna be wild to be able to look down, say, Market Street in Crawfordsville. Fast food and the 24-hour Walmart, I don’t think those need much explanation. It’s going to be strange dealing with religious people, there just aren’t many serious practitioners of any religion here, and I can’t really remember what its like to just assume that any person I’m talking to is likely religious. Anyway, I’ll be back soon enough, and catch up with everybody then. Peace.