Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Between What Rocks and A Soft Place -- Part I

I'm applying for two fellowships: to examine the history and nature of American consumerism at Bard Graduate College in New York City this July, and to the University of Hawaii for an interdisciplinary curriculum approach to integrating Southeast Asian cultures.

I mean, I think I'm applying. I'm collecting letters of recommendation, working with my department head to refine my scope of study. Dave even took off the whole month of July from the fire department, and in my dreams, my family comes out to wherever I am for the last couple weeks and flies me home.

But while I'm forming the research questions--How have the effects of material culture shaped the American class system, and how it has been/will be emulated globally? versus How have the collaboration and conflict of Southeast Asian cultures influenced/been influenced by America?--I'm watching Dominic color a map of the Great Lakes, and I'm asking a different question.

Should I even go?

My boy is thirteen, growing up every single day. What if I miss something really great when I'm gone? What if I miss something terrible?

Is this a selfish thing, going away to study, to stretch? Does it make me a bad mom? Or is it an opportunity I have to try to take? To show my kids that learning is important? Will I be better mom because of it?

4 comments:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Your kids will be fine, Jennie. It isn't that long a time and it may even be good for him. I say do it! It sounds like a wonderful opportunity and one you're looking forward to. You are a wonderful mom, and the fact that you even consider not going proves it! :-)

Elana Johnson said...

If it were months and months, I might advise you to consider that. But during the summer? When your husband can be home?

No sweat, girl. APPLY. GO.

Angela Felsted said...

We're all selfish. I know we use it as a bad word all the time, but really, if we're honest, being selfish is part of being human. And your son will be fine. You should totally go!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I think that if this is something that would make you happy, it will inevitably make you a better person, and a better mom. So I say go! Go, learn, enjoy!