Anxieties Surrounding What I Will do After University

I will be going to Italy following my graduation, where I will be able to spend the summer working as an intern at an Agro-tourism Bed & Breakfast. Even though I now have a temporary solution for what I will technically be “doing” after university, I am still fearful about what I will do next. I know that this is a personal piece that I m writing so I hope my audience will not feel too bad about reading such an account. 
It is strange how this feeling of worry and discomfort about the future has crept into my head once again. I was happy with the prospects about the future, but knowing that this position will be only three much, which is very temporary is upsetting in some ways concerning the future. I know that once this summer internship is over I will be low on cash so by kicking the preverbial can down the road I will have a much larger issue when I either return to the United States or move onto another country. I am one person that I think needs to experience uncertainty so that I might be able to cope with it better in the future, but it is nerve racking thinking about how I know nothing in regard to what will become of me once this short chapter is over. Part of me is hopeful that I might be guided to a better opportunity during my stay at the Bed & Breakfast, but another part of me wants to tirelessly plan for what might be just over the horizon. I know that I have the opportunity to work in China as an English instructor, or to work in Ireland following my time in Italy, which is encouraging as I do want to remain abroad rather than returning to the United States. I know that China provides more certainty as I do have a specific job opportunity, but I am more drawn to Ireland as I do have a greater interest in Ireland in general even though it would be a greater risk. I know that I am lucky as I do have something for the time right after graduation, and I know a number of people that do not even have that, but I hope that this will act as a book mark in this chapter of my life. If you are experiencing this right now I do sympathize with you, but on the bright side I have been through much worse and this will soon pass. I think that the most important thing is to stay focused on the present and being grateful for the opportunities I do have in front of me even though there is a great amount of uncertainty. 
I would like to thank you for reading this if you have gotten this far through the posting. I will be having an interview tomorrow with a local political organization, so I might make a post about preparing for an interview and also finding internship/job opportunities while you are still a student. From reading then above you should be able to deduce that I am no means an expert, but if it does help provide someone with an alternative perspective which allows them to reach some level of understanding that is all that is worth it. I will keep you all posted about what is happening with me next, as this is kind of like my own personal journal that is accessible to all the people of the world. I should also be purchasing airplane tickets soon so I will keep you posted about how I book them, which is how I have been told to book them from other blogger. Even so I did find an interesting difference of around $300.00 between Kayak and Skyscanner on the same search so that could be enlightening to all you readers. Hope you have a good stress and worry free evening (:

How To Get Internships Abroad

For the internship that I finally got for this coming Summer I was able to find it and apply for it because I knew someone who was affiliated with the estate. Because of this I do not have a complete experience from application to acceptance through all of the options that I am suggesting, but I have applied or found opportunities through them.
Who you know – Your Contacts: 

I know that this is a commonly recommended strategy by many travel bloggers, or job board bloggers. Even so this has been one of the tips that I find the most daunting, or rather the one that I did not understand properly. One misconception that I had when I would read suggestions such as this one, was that it referred to your close circle of friends or that after reading such a tip you would then have an epiphany that would allow you to instantly know of someone that would help you with your endeavors abroad. Because of this I found this tip to be very intimidating, and made me feel a little helpless, but I then realized that if you talk to people able what you are hoping to do that they can offer suggestions. If a suggestion interests you then you can explore it in more detail and it might then help you land a job abroad. This method was how I learned about my internship, which was actually a place that I had gone to years before. If I had not had that suggestion I would probably be still tired and frustrated as I searched for opportunities abroad. 

Online: 

Chateaux/Villas/Estates

One thing that I would also look into would be rebuilding Chateaux, Villas, and Estates in their respective countries. I know that there are a number of heritage organizations in France that seek to help rebuild Chateaux across the country. Most of these opportunities will be in rural areas, but as most tourists want to be in the urban centers there are more opportunities for cheap or free labor in the places away from these centers to help work on projects in the country. For this I would recommend searching, Chateaux Internship in France, or something along those lines as they are fairly easy to find. I would also like to caution you that there are some opportunities that will ask for you to pay up to $1,000 to join the project and unless it is something that has a value of $1,000 to be able to have a part in whatever they’re doing I would recommend that you do a little more digging to find something that would be a work in exchange for room and board agreement. I also would look into this if you have a working-holiday visa as it can provide a sense of stability while you are looking for work in your respective locale. 

Wwoofing & Work Away

If you are interested in doing farm work or working in a Bed and Breakfast, or Hostel that magically does not have a bunch of young people that want to work for free room and board these two services could really help you in finding work abroad. Now most of these do not offer hard cash to their workers, but they will allow you to help stretch your budget so you can keep on traveling. I have had a number of friends that have worked as wwoofers. So to get this gig you have to pay a fee of around $30 to have access to the respective nation’s job board. With this you can then look at the various farm or other agricultural enterprises to find one that suites your abilities and conditions that you are willing to work under. There are a number of other blogs that can go into more detail on this subject, but after you find a farm that you are interested in working at you can then go contact the host and discuss the conditions of your service. 

Work Away works around the same premise, for a fee of around $15 you can contact the hosts on this international job board. The main difference however is the fact that you can work at Bed and Breakfasts, as an Au Pair, as an office assistant, language teacher, farm hand, and a whole variety of other jobs. This provides a much wider range of opportunities, but one draw back is that I’ve found that there are fewer positions with Work Away than compared to wwoof; however, you are able to work a wider range of gigs with this board.

Job Boards: Gumtree

I hope to be able to provide more first hand feedback about gumtree in the future, but I know that it is a job board, much like craigslist that is a favorite among backpackers. As I continue my travels I hope to be able to provide more information about this, but I would also recommend checking it out in the future.
I hope that this helps provide some information and inspiration on how to find positions abroad. 

I have done it!

Okay, so I wanted to tell, notify, or record, my audience and whoever might be reading these posts that I have been accepted to be the Guest Services intern at the Spannocchia Foundation this summer in Italy. FYI there is a link below that you can visit if you have any interest in what I am doing or what the Spannocchia Foundation does beyond what I will describe in further detail within this post. So as the guest services intern I will be managing the hotel operation at the Spannocchia Foundation, and conducting cooking lessons along with what I also believe will be some language lessons as I do speak Italian.

Because I will have this internship I do hope to be blogging about this I know that I have not been the best with posting, but this is a hobby and I don’t have too many viewers so this should be expected with a blog of this size. Either way next week I will be posting about finding an internship, what I did to do this position and finding “cheap” flights to Europe. I should note that I will not be making any money from this venture, as I will be on a tourist visa, but I will receive room, board, and a hopefully amazing experience in return. Because of this I would recommend looking into opportunities that offer “Working Holiday Visas” or finding an English as a Second Language position overseas where you can get paid to teach English and conduct classes abroad. You can find more information about Working Holiday Visas here, and ESL here. I should note that after this stint in Italy I will be seeking a job that will pay me to live abroad, so I am thinking that either China, Australia, or Ireland will be on my horizons, depending on how the cards fall. So with this exciting news, I will now be able to blog about what I am really interested in, which is traveling so I think the meditation series that I was writing on earlier this month or in February will be going by the wayside.

I should mention that meditation in times of transition is very useful. When I did start edwardjelliott.com I was in a bit of a rut as you could probably tell by my earlier posts, but I now have direction in regard to what will be happening once I graduate. I am happy about this and hopefully, I will have the motivation to record what has and will happen so that similar people in my former and current situation might be able to avoid some of the pitfalls I have fallen into.

 

Links:

Spannocchia Foundation Link: http://www.spannocchia.com

Spannocchia Foundation Internships Link: http://www.spannocchia.org/internships/

English as a Second Language Certificates & Teaching English Abroad: https://edwardjelliott.com/2017/01/31/18/

Working-Holiday Visa Crash Course: https://edwardjelliott.com/2017/02/09/working-holiday-visa-crash-course/

 

 

Mini Series Context

Hello,

I wanted to provide some context to the last two posts that I made. Currently, I am in an English 101 course and as a senior at Univeristy, I would rather just write these required assignments with minimal effort and graduate this spring. For our first assignment, we were required to “interview,” or in my case have a friend play a character who I would then examine and write about. As I senior I am used to a fair amount of creative freedom in my work, which I did bring to this assignment. Now as a senior being creative in your writing and examining what interests you is encouraged, but in first-year courses, I have found that this is not the case. Unfortunately, I received a 59% mark on my first assignment as I did not adhere to the strict guidelines that had been specified by the instructor. As a way to vent my frustration, as well as take an opportunity to enjoy the situation I decided to write a response to the situation, which is told in “A L’Avis De Victor : Une Réponse à la Première Essai que J’Avais Ecrit.” I hope that you enjoy this, whoever you are out on the inter-webs, as I had an amazing time reveling in the absurdity of structure.

 

 

Professor’s Rubric Response –

Edward—

You are an excellent writer, and you have a very creative voice. Unfortunately, however, this paper doesn’t fulfill the requirements of the assignment. For this assignment, you needed a brief literacy profile of an individual in a particular field, in order to describe the roles or reading and writing in that field. It sounds like your friend has had a fascinating life, but the details you wrote about in your paper don’t have much to do with literacy, and they aren’t surrounding a particular career or field. What you have written is more of a partial biography of your friend with a few tips about university study woven in. I wasn’t able to use the rubric on your paper due to it not meeting the basic purpose of the assignment. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do it help you better understand the assignment.

Score: 59

A L’Avis De Victor : Une Réponse à la Première Essai que J’Avais Ecrit

 

destruccion
Figure 1: Destruccion (1963) Marta Minujin

The general dissatisfaction that I had with the mark I had received, compelled me to “re-interview” my friend so that we could bond over my most unfortunate loss. Even though this our discussion had begun as a means to remedy my overall disappointment with the system under which I had been judged, it did provide me with a sense of pride surrounding my work as well as an improved understanding of Victor’s field of study.

 

I messaged Victor via Facebook to express my discontent at around 12:30, which had been 6:30 in Paris. I was happy to receive a quick response from him, which said:

“Darling I’m almost home, let me tell you about my day. It will make yours seem like nothing. I’ll be on skype in five minutes.”

I smiled and knew that we would have a marvelous session complaining about the insignificant details of our lives.

I put down what I had been doing, placed my phone on my desk, and woke my laptop from its most somber sleep. After entering my password, I logged into skype, to then be happily greeted by skype’s “wheep” tone, which notifies its user that they have a new message. Unsurprisingly it was from Victor, who then initiated a phone call. I answered, to be greeted with Victor’s dark apartment and his unkempt hair, which had to be accompanied by a nearly overflowing glass of two-euro red wine.

He smiled and said, “well darling tell me about your troubles.”

I looked down to say, “well was nothing, it was just a bad mark, and I’ll be able to make it up later in the semester.”

“Yes, too bad you are no longer in high-school when your grades were actually something –

I cut him off “Ah, grades how American of you, even I don’t even call them that anymore”

He glared in continued, “As an Albertan, I take offense in drawing those conclusions, but as I was saying, it’s too bad that those do come more frequently than they once did”

“Yes that is true, but I do have four more essays to improve help improve my mark,” I responded.”

“hmm” …Victor glanced up to then go on to say, “well why don’t we just redo it, it is a shame though as I feel that your essay did capture my, essence.”

I chuckled to then say, “well if you wish dear, we can”

I opened my marked word document to then go through the specific criteria required for this assignment.

“I have it!” I exclaimed, “Okay Victor, let’s start from the top, first question, what ‘specific claim about the literacy (reading and writing practices) in [your] field’ would you make? (Phifer-Byrne)”

Victor smiled to then say, “the study of Anthropology, or rather the study of people has gone through great changes over the past half century. The field’s conception was out of European Imperialism, and with this background, it has and continues to oppress the people it studies. I feel that it has changed to become less oppressive, but the goal of Anthropology is to critically analyze, or judge the people it intends to study and to some that can appear to be oppressive. This analysis is then contained in the various essays that we make on a number of subjects related to our people of study.”

picasso
Figure 2: Les Demoiselles D’Avignion: Pablo Picasso  

Very good, “Now how and why are you Victor, ‘appropriate for insight to a specific field, (Phifer-Byrne)’ or for your case Anthropology?”

“Well darling you and anyone who read your initial assignment would know how accomplished I am in my field, so I believe we can continue.”

“The next question asked Victor, would be, ‘adequately explore the reading and writing practices of the specific field, considering different variables like: what types of texts and genres are read, referenced, and produced. What methods and and technologies are used to consume, use and produce texts. What work of the field is accomplished through reading and writing? (Phifer-Byrne)”

“Well we do use primary sources, I remember that in one of the papers that I wrote during my master’s program I included a notebook written by this prostitute that I had been interviewing. Materials such as these are invaluable as they act as an account of a multitude of interviews over time, which allowed me to study a number of experiences that my subject had experienced. We can also use visual references, such as photography, or works of art. I know that in my line of Anthropology some Anthropologists have examined Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” and Ingres’ Grande Odalisque to understand the historical perceptions of prostitution in Europe over the past centuries. So because of that there are countless forms of expression that we analyze as Anthropologists to gain an understanding of the people we study.”

“Now Victor, I must, ‘include appropriate evidence from the interview to support an analysis (Phifer-Byrne)’ would you mind elaborating on the ‘evidence relevant to [your] main points and [your] overall claim[s], (Phifer-Byrne)’ ‘make evidence appropriate for [your] topic[s], audience, and purpose[es] (Phifer-Byrne)’ that you covered, and ‘provide detailed connection [or] description of how the evidence supports the point [or] reason, [or] claim? (Phifer-Byrne)”

Victor paused and said, “well I guess one could say that Anthropology is the study of people; however, that is the first definition out of your Oxford English Dictionary. I think that what we have learned as a field is how to be more respectful of ‘the other,’ since the mid-twentieth century. All you need to do to understand how Anthropology and Archaeology was used during the third Reich to support Aryan claims to ethnic superiority. I feel like there is much more that needs to be done in that regard as there is still a level of judgement to scholarly superiority in regard to the study of non-western peoples. Because of that I decided to people a social anthropologist as I would be studying sub-groups within the western world, which would help me stay away from issues such as ethnic and cultural superiority that has been the means under which abuse has been committed against non-western peoples. I think that we will eventually become better as time goes, on. Typically, philosophers are the ones that inspire the artists, whose art compels us to become better at understanding the human condition and the pressures we face as members of our world’s various societies.”

I interjected to say “I agree with that opinion.  I know that when we had spoken a few months ago about our own educations, primarily in Canada and the United States, there were rituals that w preformed to have a sense of collective superiority. With the arts, which artists do you think have been deconstructing this Euro-centric superiority complex?”

“Oh yes Ted I do remember that, very good point. I think that many of the apparatuses rituals that we have as people and within our western societies help speak to a certain hierarchy, which is common throughout many cultures; however, it is not an essential part of human society as a whole. I remember studying collectivism at University and how many so called ‘primitive’ societies used inclusion rather than deprivation as a means of supporting their societies. I think that Artists such as Marta Minujín, especially in her Destrucción (1963) speaks to how arbitrary our societies place value on certain practices. In her performance, the Destrucción (1963) she destroyed all of the art that she had made throughout her career as an artist to symbolize rebirth as an artist that was free of the so called “high-arts,” an artist that excluded herself from this arbitrary valuation. This performance acted as her first great performance and launched her career as a visionary who challenged our western status quo. I hope that someday the social-sciences, sciences, and humanities at some point might be able to become more universalist, rather than the critical exclusive disciplines that they had originally been drawn out to be.  I feel that once our Universities can help shed light on these misfortunes that we might be able to provide a truer understanding of plant’s peoples and cultures. Anyways, sorry for going on is there anything else that I should respond to?”

I looked down to examine the rubric to see I had stayed true to its requirements in order to receive a higher mark, but then realized that beyond proper grammar and syntax that all the questions that I had been asked to question Victor on had been answered.

I looked up at the screen and said, “No Victor, I think that is everything, so long as I remember my student ID number and section number this paper will have all the content necessary for a ‘proper’ mark.”

He smiled and said, “well darling, I hope that it all goes well. I would love to chat longer but I have a gig tonight so I should put get ready.”

“A gig?” I asked.

“Why yes I gig,” he said while winking at me.

I giggled, we then said our good-byes, and ended our call.

 

***

 

As this has been the first one-hundred level course that I have taken at the University of Arizona, I would like to apologize as I am used to having more creative freedom in my writing. I hope that this would answer all of the requirements that I would be asked of for this assignment and I hope that I might be able to improve myself in the future assignments for this course. The problem is that I am typically used to writing a paper around a general topic, that would be covered within a specific course. One example would be one course that I took on Conflict Management and Resolution. The general requirement was to write a final essay that carefully examined a conflict and then provide suggestions and commentary on how this conflict could have been more easily resolved. For this assignment I examined it as an exercise on conducting and recording interview surrounding aspects of academia. In that regard I do believe that I was to some degree successful at that in my first essay that I submitted for this course. Either way I hope that the response above can help show that I am trying to remember how to navigate a first-year course and that I am capable of following a rubric’s specified guidelines.
 

Figures:

Figure 1:

Marta, Minujín. Destrucción. 1963. Performance Art/Photograph. MoMA, New York. Image Courtesy of: Henrique Faria Fine Art, New York. Online. Accessed 24 Feb 2017. http://post.at.moma.org/sources/8/publications/129

Figure 2:

Pablo, Picasso. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. 1907. Oil on canvas. MoMA, New York. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequrest. Online. Accessed 24 Feb 2017. https://www.moma.org/explore/conservation/demoiselles/

 

Works Cited:

Phifer-Byrne, Kasey, Erin. Grading Criteria. 2017.

 

Victor Lewandowski

This would be the first time that I would speak with Victor in a couple of months. I knew that he had some challenges since I was last able to see him during the summer of 2013, but I his unique perspective has always been refreshing, which is why I chose him to be my subject to interview.

I opened Skype to speak with my friend Victor as he is currently living in Paris, France and works as a barista in the 13ème arrondissement. The skype calling tone beeped and booped as our two computers connected with one another, eventually, he picked up and I saw him with his jet black hair, and gaunt face, seated in his disheveled apartment.

I waited for a second to be sure that the connection was secure and said, “salute mon ami,” which in English would translate might say Hello my friend.

And he responded by saying “ouais, salute mon amour” Yes, hello my love.

I quickly switched back to English and asked, “well darling shall we get going with this thing?”

Which he responded by rolling his eyes and in his charming yet sassy attitude said, “well if we must.”

I began this interview by asking, “what is your alma mater, and what was the last University you attended”

Victor paused, as it to reflect upon those years that had gone by and responded, “well, I went to the University of Alberta for my undergraduate degree, and then I did a year at the Sorbonne before dropping out because of financial difficulties.”

The story about Victor’s time just before, during and after the Sorbonne until today has been a turbulent one, but without the trials and tribulations that life presents we would be unable to develop into the people that we are.

Victor was born in East Germany where he was later adopted by his Canadian parents Kasper and Karolina Lewandowski who hailed from Edmonton Alberta. This well to do family would raise Victor, where he would later go to the University of Alberta and major in Anthropology. Upon his graduation in 2010 he decided to teach English in Kraków, Poland, so that he could connect with his Polish-Canadian step-father’s homeland as well as gain a better understanding of the Germany he left behind after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He would later go on to be accepted by the Université de Paris in their master’s program for, Ethnologie et anthropologie sociale, or in English the program for Ethnology and Social-Anthropology.

I asked Victor, “how did he feel about his acceptance to the Sorbonne?”

he responded by saying, “I remember the acceptance and the year and one-half that followed as one of the happiest times in my life, I was doing research that I really loved, I had my first real boyfriend, along with the emotional and financial support of my adoptive parents at the time.”

Victor paused, cracked a small smile, and raised his eyes to gaze off into the distance. I then asked him, what he was been thinking about.

He then continued, “well just what happened, and how terrible it was. You remember, the relationship I had with Marc, that summer where I met you in la Rochelle, and the fall of sorrows when I was disowned by my parents who would later be killed in a car crash, during a vacation in Banff that December. It was a dramatic time, an emotional time, especially when I realized that I could not afford to live in the 8eme and perform my studies. I would have to leave the Sorbonne move to the 13eme, find some sort of employment, and these changes were then worsened by the subsequent death of my parents. The reality that I did not receive any inheritance from them really showed how conservative they were and how much the idea of having a gay son bothered them. I miss them but I just wish that before they passed I could have reached some sort of understanding you know.”

I had heard this story before, but it is stories like these that allow us to reflect on our own hostility. It is through pain, even if it might be more specific to the Global North, but loss, especially loss at the hands of others does speak to the brutal edge of the human nature and condition.

I asked my friend, “What advice would you give to students who are just entering university, in regard to planning ahead, their writing, and could you also elaborate on the work that you had done before you experienced those series of events?”

“Well,” he said, “I would recommend that they have an idea of the future, a general direction. It is great to have dreams, but it is necessary to be flexible with those dreams, especially when you are young and do not have the same level of security that older people might have. As for writing, I believe that reading crucial as you can adopt other writing styles. I remember reading the Walrus and posted copies of McSweeny’s a lot during my university years, and they are two periodicals that I continue to read to this day. The type of analysis, the writing styles, and content that they dealt with are all very common to those that I employed as a bachelor’s student. As for the work that I did in graduate school, I had been working on a study of the Parisian sex-industry. I found the interactions, and the customs around and between prostitutes to be rather interesting. I am continually surprised how aspects of their unique sub-culture have helped me as a barista and server at Café Arobasse.”

Victor and I then went on to chit-chat and catch up on our lives as friends always do. He told me that he was doing better and that he had started to make plans to go back to the Sorbonne. I congratulated him on this, and we then went on to make false promises to go visit each other soon and eventually ended our call to return back to our lives. I left happy about the progress Victor had made and felt that his advice to be rational as well as flexible was valuable to students just entering university as well as for me who will have to plunge into reality this coming spring. Victor’s suggestions came from his own unique experiences and my current situation is markedly different than his. I hope that I might be afforded the luxury to dream, unlike Victor might have had following his parents’ disownment and death, but even so, it is good to have a direction and a rational attitude to one’s future.

Introduction

May pain turn into inspiration, may pain become a remedy. Earlier this day I was meditating upon an encounter that I had with a family friend who had been criticizing me for doing my education an online campus rather than through a traditional brick and mortar institution. This was painful for me in many ways as I felt as if the path that I had chosen, the path that was correct for my own circumstances was incorrect and somehow lesser than the path that he had taken or that of his children. After my meeting with him, I decided to take a moment to meditate and gain a better understanding of the situation. I sat by my warm fireplace, breathed in through my nose and out of my mouth, concentrated on my breath, and at the situation that had past. I began to recall the scenario and contemplated his own life’s circumstance. I contemplated the relations that he had with his wife, the relations he had with those around him, the changes that he had just endured through his life, which then led me to contemplate similar situations where I had degraded someone in reaction to situations that I had been experiencing. Neither the interaction that I had with him, or those that I had with others were right, but they had happened, and because of that I felt sorry for him rather than myself.

The insight that I had gained through this experience inspired me to write about the benefits that meditation has brought myself.   I hope that through this book or post or whatever this document might become, my reader might be able to gain some tools, which could help them gain some more insight into the ordeals that they might face or currently be facing. Life can be a great challenge, but the pain and bliss that we face as beings can help bring us together rather than tear us apart. I hope that you might choose unity rather than division and that a practice of meditation might help you find the commonalities that hold all of us together. The goals that you will have during your meditation practice will have a great deal of variation, some will be like the one I just had, which will ask you to think about a specific situation in the hope that you might gain some insight, while others might be for balance, peace, and inspiration. Whatever the situation you face, whether great or small like the one that I just shared with you I hope to be able to share the basics of meditation that will guide you through your practice, however long that might last.