Monday, May 12, 2008 Final Finals!

Two finals down. Two to go. I'm ready to be done with them, that's for sure!

Thinking about these being my final finals makes me smile real big. I'm not a big fan of final exams, and I don't know anyone who is. However, I am a fan of learning. In fact, I love to learn. That's one of the things that excites me about going to Japan.

I'm going to be like a sponge when I'm there. And by that, I don't mean that I'm going to be soft and porous, haha. I mean that I'm going to soak up all the information I can about the way Japanese people live. I want to learn the cultural differences between Japan and the U.S., the language and the people I encounter.

I was thinking today about how much I've learned in my art history class. As much work as I've put into it and as much as some classes seemed to drag on, I'm coming out having learned a lot, and I appreciate that. I'm glad it's over though! I've had enough modern art for a while.

Even though I like learning in a classroom (for the most part), my favorite way to learn is by experiencing for myself. Traveling is such an educational thing to do! I could study the Japanese culture all I want (which I admit I haven't been doing), but the best way to learn about Japan is to actually go there.

So I'm excited for this learning opportunity. I'm excited for the great life experience I'm going to get. And I'm excited about the the new people I'll meet and the new things I'll try and see.

But I'm not real excited about leaving my family and friends. That's definitely the hardest part. It seems like it's when I go home for holidays that I'm reminded of this the most. Yesterday was Mother's Day, and I was thinking a lot about my family, especially my mom.

People often ask me what my parents think of me moving to Japan. I'm honest when I say that they are supportive, but I can't say that they're absolutely thrilled. And if they were, I'd probably be concerned that they really wanted me out of the house as soon as possible! So I'm taking it as a compliment that they're not thrilled to pieces and can't wait for me to leave.

Mom and Dad, thank you for always supporting me and for allowing me to take advantage of the opportunity to live and learn in Japan. I guess you could have said, "No way. You're not going." One of my friends told me that there's no way her mom would let her move to the other side of the world. I'm glad that you're understanding.

Thank you for raising me to be independent and confident and for encouraging me to embrace challenges and new things. You are great parents and I mean everything I said at church yesterday about Mom. (and it's also all true for Dad.) You both get really high scores--not only for being godly people--but also for being wonderful parents.

I think that me being in Japan so far away from all that is familiar won't be easy on any of us. But I know that it's also going to be a positive experience. At least, I hope and pray it will be a positive experience! It's going to be a loooong year if it's not!

I'm getting sentimental thinking about the last four years at Franklin. (I'll be a graduate in five days!) And in addition, I've been thinking about living so far away from loved ones since that's the next step for me.

As a side note (Lauren, this is for you more than anyone), I'll be in Michigan next week at Cedar Campus, so my next blog post will be in two weeks from now. I just wanted to warn you, haha. Wow, this is getting to be a long post. I guess I'm making up for missing next week!

God bless you, whoever you are reading this right now, and thanks for reading. And if you're reading, you probably are involved in my life, and I thank you so much for that, too!


Anonymous said...

I realize that you will not be able to post a blog next week...I was just thinking about that at breakfast this morning. Your parents are wonderful people and have raised an amazing daughter. I am glad that they did and we have come to know each other because we have not only grown in our friendship... I feel I have been more positive lately and grown spirtual as well. My family also see the impact you have had on me as my mom was telling you the other day. Thanks again!!!

Amanda said...

Soft and porous? That could be fun, Dana!

PRAISE THE LORD that Art History is done. You are right, it’s insane how much we’ve learned in that class.

I’m glad you have parents who are so supportive of your endeavors. That is great! I hope they realize that they will be able to truly experience Japan through you. Maybe they will even take a trip to visit you. That would be neat.

I hope you have fun at Cedar Campus. Actually, I know you will have a blast.

As always, I just want you to know that I love you and am so thankful for you. I second what Lauren said about the impact you've had on her life. You've enriched mine so much. I love you!

Bogetto said...

Hello Dana it was great being in some classes with you this year! I hope you have a great time after college. We will have to stay in touch.