posted on January 24, 2013 02:28
Right now it is 1:44AM Mountain time, I am meeting my students at 4AM and we are car pooling to Rapid to board a plane to start this epic journey. I am hyped up on caffeine, am pulling an all-nighter (first time since grad school), and am filled with emotions that go beyond description. I am humbled at the amount of support this university and its faculty have given me in this project, honored to be considered worthy to attend such a phenomenal event, and scared that someone will soon discover this little-known fact: I have NEVER been to Korea. Okay, so it’s public now; I am leading a group of students on the experience of a lifetime and there will be times where I won’t have a clue what I am doing or where I am supposed to be. Sounds like an adventure, doesn’t it? This whole project has been an adventure for sure. I never would have even dreamed that an opportunity like this would have come along so early in my career. I am so blessed to be a part of something big; and it never crossed my mind that I would engage in this journey alone. I have loved working with the Special Olympics and it has been my joy to see my students come alongside me in this research, meet some incredibly talented athletes, and find out what life is like for someone with an intellectual disability.
As the time gets closer to takeoff, I hope that these students will breathe a sigh of relief; for some of them, this is the first time they have been on a plane…period. I know they will enjoy the experience. Lauren’s blog was fun to read just now because it showed me more of what might be going through the minds of my students as we await takeoff...yes, there will be laundry services.
Lauren and others; I am so glad we get to go on this journey together; be ready to be truly transformed by this opportunity, look to love every moment, remember to say “Kamsa-hamneeda” (thank you) and “me-ann hamneeda” (I’m sorry), enjoy the culture, and learn more about yourself in the process. I pray you walk away changed for the better. Buckle your seatbelts, we're about to take off!