Picture this: You’re carpooling with your housemate to work in the early morning. You look to your left to watch the sun rising lazily over the South China Sea; the light is just peeking over the top of Kapas Island, a little offshore. It’s a nice view, you couldn’t argue that. But it’s still not quite the same as the one you’ll have from the front of the classroom – it definitely won’t wake you up like the synchronized “good morning” you’ll get from your students.
That’s how I start my days as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in northeastern peninsular Malaysia. While these past weeks have been a tornado of orientations and bus rides and cultural faux pas and moving from one place to the next, I finally made it to the quiet fishing town of Marang for my first days of teaching.
Around this time last year, I was taking my last courses as an English major at Wittenberg, and doing my best (most of the time) to keep up with my thesis deadlines. I didn’t realize it then, but I was still collecting the tools I would need to take on the new adventure that would be presented to me months down the line. Beyond all the incredible opportunities I was given at Witt to travel, and feel the importance of being a part of the cultural exchange and a shared learning experience – especially during my semester abroad in Germany – I was also provided a space to set and realize my goals for the future right on campus.