Our lives are punctuated by big decisions. Some choose to view their time on this planet as a series of events or moments, some more important than others. When I look back on the last few decades, I tend to view it as a series of forks in the road. For the most part I feel good about the choices that I’ve made. Sure, I’ve made some bad calls, but none of them have first or last names. I can also say that I have learned from those times when I’ve really blown it.
Many of the big decisions I’ve faced in life have been about my education. In 1996 I took the leap of faith to go to high school in a big new city, without any of my close friends. After high school I took an even bigger leap—this time across the country to enroll at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Actually, that decision was tiny in comparison to the decision I took to leave Washington D.C. after a year and a half to return to California to chase my dreams as a musician and entrepreneur.
Other big calls that stick out to me: leaving the music business for a career in coaching and youth development... getting engaged, then getting unengaged—neither of which I regret... buying a round trip ticket to South Africa and taking it on faith that everything would all work out fine... joining the Peace Corps and serving in Cape Verde... not packing it in a going straight home when they decided to shut down the program in Cape Verde... accepting an offer to serve in Mali... not packing it in and going straight home when they decided to shut down the program in Mali... accepting an offer to serve as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Colombia.
Without a doubt, the biggest decision that has been hanging over me for the past months has been what to do with my life after Peace Corps. Last Fall I decided that it was time for me to head back to school, this time to pursue a Master of Education degree. I started with a list of about ten schools, then added some and dropped some others. Ultimately, I ended up applying to three different programs. Last week I found out that I got rejected from some stupid school with a stupid tree for a mascot (not bitter at all). Fortunately, I was accepted to the other two programs—UC Berkeley and Harvard! Both programs are awesome, each with its own pros and cons—I was blessed to have either one as an option. The program at Berkeley is an M.A. in Education with a concentration in the Cultural Studies of Sports in Education. The Harvard program is an Ed.M—Special Studies in Education.
After a week or so of chewing on it, I decided that the Harvard program is the right choice, and better fit of two amazing options. Working with an advisor, I’ll get to design my own course of study, including classes at the Graduate School of Education, School of Public Health, the Business School, and at other universities in the Boston area. I’ll also be looking to incorporate a lot of field work to keep it all real and relevant.
I’ve got less than three months left here in Colombia. The biggest decision I’m faced with now is how to spend my remaining vacation days! In the meantime, I’ll be doing my best to make the most of my time and finish up my projects in style! Wish me luck...
P.S.: All donations of winter clothing can be sent to my home address. Thank you!