I am officially graduated and living in Boston for a little bit before I go back to Korea.
There were countless and unexpected blessings poured upon me before, during, and after commencement. I’m so loved! God has been so faithful in answering my prayers and reaching beyond my expectations. It is not too bad having to rely on God because your parents couldn’t come. His provisions are definitely more than enough! I had friends’ parents who took me and my sister out for many wonderful meals and keep us good company. I had church friends who took out time to come to the commencement ceremonies with flowers, balloons, gifts, and cards. My lovely sister gladly took on the role of personal photographer/family/friend. It was a God-provided day of amazing weather– we were all especially grateful for it after a week of fog, rain, and grossness. Nothing–even the endless packing, cleaning, and lack of sleep– could have ruined the day.
I am now graduated and I think it’ll take time to feel like I’m really out of school. I still feel like I’m on break because graduate school is in the close future after working in Korea for a little bit (I hope!). It’ll be a good gap year or two (or three) for me to explore what God has in store for me.
Meanwhile, I will enjoy this break foh-sho!! : )
Boston summer is here!
Since it’s past midnight, it is legitimately 4 days before graduation.
I cannot get over the fact that it all went by so fast.
What’s even more shocking is that I know where I’m going and what I’m doing after graduation! I am employed to an employer who’s paying for my plane ticket back to Korea and part of my housing. This is too good to be true. I guess my “homeland” did miss my absence.
On another note, there is fear associated with going to Korea. It’s going to be the first time for me to live there fore such an extended period of time all by myself and working to earn my own living. Wow. I’ve always viewed myself as an independent person, but this new season of life will surely humble me and force me to become more dependent on God. Before the “real world” and the “real life” hits, however, I’ve been spending as much time as possible with people I know I will miss.
Last Friday, ISO (International Student Organization) held a farewell party for the graduates…
(Just FYI: Only the girl on the very right is graduating)
Then, a few friends and I went to Boston for an after party of amazing desserts from Finale and singing Karaoke. It was quite delightful : ) Oh, how I will miss this when I start working!
These photo credit goes to my wonderful sister Joy.
I have decided–or more like–it has been decided for me and I am following in obedience. I will be going back to Korea after graduation to spend a year or two teaching or working at a non-profit organization to save up and come back to the US for graduate school. Actually, the latter part of the plan is very much up in the air.
Anyway, God has been faithful in answering my prayers–there really was no need for me to be so anxious. As always, hindsight is 20/20.
Yesterday’s chapel was in recognition of Jud and Jan Carlberg’s contribution to Gordon and we had a little “Bon Voyage” yard party on the chapel lawn– free Jud Suds (Rootbeer named after Jud), Rootbeer floats, strawberry shortcakes, t-shirts, etc. Poor Jud and Jan had to sit in the sun for hours welcoming those who stood in line to say good-bye and take pictures with them. It was definitely a bitter-sweet moment for all of us.
On a similar note, now that I’ve decided to go to Korea, I am increasingly aware that I will miss this place that I have grown to like if not love. I will for sure miss these people:
Some of my friends since freshman year at Singing Beach : )
This is the view from my room in Bromley 310. This is the view of Gordon greeting the long overdue coming of spring (and soon to be summer)! This is when I realize that I might miss Gordon after all– after all those long long winters. Then I start realizing that, as commencement and another round of good-byes quickly approach, I am increasingly missing many places, people, and moments that I lost in the past. I also recognize in myself the need to withdraw from the things and people I held dear here as a coping mechanism–to minimize the pain of loss. Oh, senior year! I thought it’ll never come.
Yet, everything and everyone around you are the same. Kids are still throwing around Frisbees on the quad. Others are diligently studying in the library. Everyone is making plans for the summer. You would expect that the whole world will mourn with you through transition. That simply is not true and that is OK. Maybe I shouldn’t be so consumed with the thoughts of leaving. Maybe I should enjoy the Symposium day that others have so carefully planned. Yes, today, I will do just that.
As a last semester senior, I have made it my goal to attend more events at Gordon College and it has been quite rewarding! The Gospel Festival was put together by the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) club last weekend. Having been to a service led by a gospel choir, I knew what to expect, but I was surprised because I could not imagine a similar atmosphere reproduced in our own A.J. Gordon chapel.
The first picture is of our very own chapel band and the other bands and singers were invited from the greater Boston area. Each band and singer was captivating because each of them had their own story and style of music to share.
Quite unfortunately, there were many empty seats in A.J. I wish more people came to the festival to really enjoy and celebrate together. Nonetheless, for the first time in my four years at Gordon, the A.J. Chapel was heated with dance and music.
New England never fails to surprise me with her ever fluctuating weather–maybe my emotional swings are justified. I’m glad that I ended up not posting the entry on the coming spring because it just snowed again yesterday and today.
So, I have less than 2 months–exactly 57 days–till graduation. I would like to consider myself as a cool enough person to not count down on such things, but I guess I’m not. As an international student whose visa will expire 60 days after graduation, there are just too many details to take into account:
Should I apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) to extend my visa to stay in the States to work/intern for a year? Then I should look for a job in the States… WHERE in the States? And, where am I going to live?
OR should I just go back to Korea and find a job there? BUT, it’s not JUST going back to Korea. After all, I didn’t live in Korea and I’ll have to really start all over there.
Wherever I end up, I have endless options and choices regarding not just my job but also my living situation. What’s difficult, to be honest, is that I don’t really have a strong preference for the immediate next steps; I think I know where I want to be ultimately, but how I will get there is still unknown and open for refinement.
How do I entirely trust God (and do my own part) in the midst of this…
Had a pretty full and enjoyable weekend on campus!
After heading to Bennett for a quick wallyball game with my friends, I ran over to Phillips Music Center for a jazz ensemble performance in which my apartment-mate sang two solo pieces. It was her first jazz performance and I am so glad I got to witness it. It has made me realize how much I enjoy listening to live jazz. Having friends in Berklee College of Music has given me opportunities to attend their recitals, but it has been a while since the last recital. It was also heartwarming to sit next to a professor who still remembers my name two years after taking one class from him.
On another note, I am glad that CEC (Campus Events Council) is on fire to put on many events this year. This was my first time going to Gordon Globes and I am somewhat regretful that I did not get to enjoy the hype of dressing up with the floor my freshman year. I wasn’t aware that girls would wear their prom dresses or make special trips to the mall for a new dress. Funny, I also did not know that there were so many beautiful girls on campus.
So, I would like to end with this: Gordon girls, don’t settle for less! Prospective men, apply! ; )
photo credit to my wonderful sister: Joy Jeon
My mind is swamped with thoughts about after graduation, but I shall take some time updating about my exciting life since my last post!
Much has happened:
Spent my wiinter break trip to California for an MK retreat which ended up in lots of traveling within Cali: Orange County, San Jose, San Diego, Santa Monica, Malibu, and Disneyland.
Somewhat reluctantly (how can one leave sunny California?) returned to school and my last semester of college began! My friend, sister, and I made a brunch run to Stephy’s Kitchen in Beverly. For more info about the area, click here.
Viewed the Pirates of Penzance show presented by the Department of Music mainly because my lovely apartment-mate performed in it : )
Last Friday, I met up with my high school friend who goes to Boston University and gave a Boston tour to my friend from Korea visiting the States for an internship in DC. (Do you see the CITGO sign in the back? That’s a trademark of Boston/Kenmore area.)
Also had a MK reunion with my beloved friends from all over the world.
This post is kind of all over the place, not unlike the current state of my mind as I am considering two very different job options after graduation.
I promise the next post will be more informative : )
It has been on my mind a lot lately…
Thanks to my wonderful classmates in Social Change and Development class who did their presentations on global warming and also to the unusually mild weather (PRAISE THE LORD) for this time of the year. The truth is, having spent the rest of my life in tropical islands has not prepared me well for New England weather. I have to get used to the winter gloom all over again every year. I learned last year, though, it does help to fly to the West coast for winter vacation and that is what I am doing in 13 days! Until then… FINALS, PAPERS, PROJECTS, PRESENTATIONS. Oh, the joys of learning : )
I can’t believe that it was just a week ago when I was in Chicago with my best friend from high school who goes to Calvin College.
Here are some pictures from what feels like history:
Considering the fact that we had to drive 3 & 1/2 hours to get to a decent city from Calvin College, we have it good at Gordon. I love the fact that we’re only 45 minutes away from Boston. Also, after visiting (and living in some) NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles, I think I like the small homey feeling of Boston the most.
Anyhow, I am back at Gordon and I must press on to finish strong as the FTC (Finish the Course) program held by the Academic Support Center would suggest. It is comforting to feel supported during this time of the year.
Also, it is good to have something to looking forward to this weekend: the Christmas Gala!
One is presented with a dilemma when one cannot categorize one’s activities.
What do I call an afternoon tea time in Gloucester (America’s oldest seaport that is pronounced glohsta by the locals and only 25 minutes away from Gordon) when I have two papers and one final happening in the short span of two days before Thanksgiving:
What do I call sacrificing sleep (and that is HUGE for me) and waking up early in the morning to make veggie omelets for my younger sister before going to Living Fields Church, a Cambodian church in Lynn, with a group of underclassmen who are doing their TGC (The Great Conversation) service requirement?
What do I call booking a 4PM flight to Grand Rapids, Michigan when my finals ends at 1PM at the same day?
It is all planned madness– especially to a person who calls herself a perfectionist.
Just a few more words on one of the activities mentioned above:
Going to Living Fields Church was quite an unusual but familiar experience for me. I attend and serve at the Cambridge Korean Presbyterian Church in Arlington, MA every week, but I had to “observe” a different culture for my Intercultural Communications field research project this morning. It is a young and small church plant working hard to reach out to the Cambodian youth in Lynn. Lynn, I found out, holds the 2nd largest Cambodian population in the nation, but only 1% are Christian.
The experience was familiar because the atmosphere of the church was not unlike our church plant in Taiwan. However, the exposure was also quite unusual and enlightening because I truly felt the importance of experiential learning; the knowledge I have gained about diversity in my sociology classes are almost meaningless unless I really breathe it outside of my classes. (And mind you, I am a third culture kid who has lived multiple other cultures and created my own.)
Once again, I am pleasantly surprised and grateful for the opportunities that we have here when we make ourselves available.