Well, I've already told enough people (who read this) that there's no reason to beat around the bush (that's an odd expression..) --


This is GREAT news for many reasons:
1) I had no backup plans
2) It's a paid trip to Russia for a year
3) I can officially put off applying/thinking about grad school for another year
4) I have an answer for when people ask "What are you going to do after graduation?"

In typical Fulbright fashion I've only found out the bare essentials so far. I don't know which city I'll be going to or when exactly I'm leaving, but I do know that I must: complete college, get a very in-depth physical done, and attend orientation in July.

For those who don't know, what I received was the Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistantship), which is a highly competitive government-sponsored program that will send me to Russia for 10 months to be a resident English speaker. Basically I help an English teacher by giving presentations on various aspects of American life and by conversing with students...however, from what I've heard from others who have received this, I think I'll be doing a good deal of actual teaching too. In my spare time I'm supposed to get involved in the community, have a personal project, and essentially be awesome and make people love America. I think I can handle that.

Yesterday started out rather, for lack of a better word, "blah". I woke up at 5:45 am to drive Kendra to Nashville for an interview because I'm an amazing roommate. When we left it was dark and so foggy that I could barely see 20 feet in front of me (typical Sewanee weather). To fortify our bodies for the long day ahead, we made a quick stop by the Waffle House. They overcharged me for my eggs and toast, but I let it go since the waitress was new and we were in a hurry. The first hour of the trip was pretty uneventful. Kendra and I listened to bad pop music and focused on staying awake......which was made pretty easy by the next event. I'm always wary of semi-trucks and pieces of big machinery, so I was cautiously (yet hurriedly) passing an oversized construction vehicle (whose purpose I can't even guess at) when all of a sudden I heard "BLAM!!!" and a puff of smoke enveloped the right side of my car. I swerved instinctively to the left (but not too dramatically) and hit the gas. My first muddled assessment of the event was that someone had simultaneously shot a rifle and thrown a brick at my car. In actuality, I had had the dubious luck of passing the vehicle right as one of its 12-18 tires blew out. Luckily the only damage to my car was a tiny chip in my windshield.

Then, in Nashville we discovered that mapquest's directions were completely wrong. Just so you know, exit 46B doesn't even exist. We eventually corrected the first step, only to find that the second step was also wrong (should have taken a left instead of a right). To confuse matters even more, in the center of Nashville there are two roads: Rosa Parks Blvd and Rosa Parks Ave. As far as I can tell, they intertwine at random. At one point the road literally looked like this: --\__ (with a stoplight in-between). In keeping with our usual luck, the only person that we found to ask directions from was from out of town. However, he did give us a cute, but completely useless, map of downtown Nashville. We should have arrived 15-20 minutes early, but instead Kendra finally made it to her interview 2 minutes late.

On the way back I decided to be productive and get my oil changed. I stopped by Wal-mart figuring that I could get lunch and do a little shopping while I waited. Wrong. Apparently I chose oil change rush-hour and the current wait was 2 hours. That was definitely more time than I could handle loitering in an unfamiliar Wal-mart on 3.5 hours of sleep, so I skipped the oil and shopped instead. There was a small glimmer of good fortune when, as I was holding the first aloe-containing lotion that I found (to treat my sunburns from my last regatta), and elderly lady gave me a coupon that she had for it, since she didn't plan to buy it. Saved me 55 cents.

In Monteagle I decided to see if the automotive place changed oil. It turns out that they do, but Tuesdays they have sales on oil changes, so I was advised to come back the next day (today). Dejected by my lack of productivity and my waning energy levels, I halfheartedly decided to check my mail. I knew that it was a bad habit to check my mail every day in expectation of receiving word about the Fulbright, since I was sure that I wouldn't find out anything for another couple of weeks. Even worse, I'd done some online stalking and found out that acceptance and alternate letters came in a big manila envelope, and denials come in small envelopes (You should never know this ahead of time! It would just make you instantly depressed if you got a small envelope). However, I automatically drove to the post office. Low and behold, stuffed into my mailbox was a large manila envelope! I made myself wait until I got back to my dorm to open it (I needed to compose myself in case I was just an alternate). After I hesitantly opened it, I quickly scanned the first couple of words and found "congratulations" and "accepted". Phew.

Out of habit I checked my mail again today, and now I have a mystery package. I'm a little skeptical though, last week I had a mystery package too, but it turned out that it was for Adams Conrad and not for me. Seriously, how does a 2000-something school have another person whose name is so close to mine?

Comps (comprehensive exams to graduate) are in a couple of weeks, I need to write my honor's thesis, write some other papers, and do a whole lot of paperwork and studying.....................but instead I'm blogging. At least I did laundry tonight.


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Good news: no more required disclaimer!
Bad news: I'm really lazy about posting when I'm not in Russia