(I'm so gonna get kicked around by the geeks for that title.)*
It really is like joining the X-men, in more ways than one. There is this huge, amazing setting that is the ETSU campus, this closed world of students and sciences and creativity. Then, there are our professors, gathering us from all the corners of the USA (or, in my case, the world), to help us nurture and develop the skills we already have, and teach us new tricks of the trade. We are all gifted in one way or another; we all come from very different backgrounds, religious, ethnic, family, language, age, all those details that make the handful of storytelling students colorful and unique. And our gifts are all different too; the stories, the telling styles, the tale of how we got here and the plans of where we are going, they are all different and fascinating. And together, we make a great team, and we have a mission: keeping storytelling alive and sharing it with the rest of the world. Even if many people do not understand why we are doing this at all.
With that said: first week of classes, and I am having the time of my life. It is not always easy, being an international student in America; many times locas students are just not entirely sure what to do with us, or how to talk to us, and it gets all kinds of awkward, or even lonely. Adjusting to a new culture and a new place, far away from everything and everyone you know is not easy, and even when you do, not everyone will be nice to you. You have to keep trying to find those groups, cliques, communities that just accept you as you are.
Good thing I came here to study storytelling.
Storytellers are a wonderful bunch of people. They are open-minded, kind, fun, and completely kick down the cultural boundaries. As I said, we have a passion in common, and that washes the initial awkwardness away. When I first walked into class, I was greeted with smiles and questions and stories, and I just felt like I belonged. No matter how strange and faraway this land is across the sea, storytellers are storytellers everywhere you go, and they will be there at the end of your journey to catch you.
Romantic images aside, I really do like my classmates. They are smart and fun, and as different from each other as you can possibly be, and as far I can tell now, we work perfectly together. I haven't felt this anticipation about going to class since... um. Sophomore year in college? I think I took some awesome course back then. Yep.
Anyhow. I am here, they are here, we are going to go through these two semesters together, and I am looking forward to it!
*Just so you know, I could have gotten my references straight if I wanted to.