Saturday, December 29, 2007

Around the World

Now that I have a bit of down time I am applying for summer law internships. As a first year law student with no previous legal experience they tell you to pretty much forget paid work. The name of the game is work experience, you are trying to get experience that will help you get a paid job next summer and hopefully then a job with that firm or organization.

Since I am going to have to shell out for whatever I do this summer I am trying to do something I would really enjoy. There are a few things I am applying for in the US or have already applied for, like the UN, State Department, and a couple of federal agencies dealing with space law and law of the sea, but most of the stuff I am looking at is abroad.

Clearly, that is entirely intentional I like Europe. I have no interest in going to Ireland or the UK because if I do that then I can't use or improve a foreign language (ok, my British is rusty but functional and rarely requested). So I am applying for positions in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan (ok, Kazakhstan isn't in Europe). Basically they all have at least one thing in common: I speak the local language. In any of those places I have a certain level of comfortability that just makes things so much easier.

Still, the whole business is rather disconcerting. Should I try and hone my French and get some legal terminology? Work on my business Russian vocabulary? Start going to second semester Ukrainian? I don't know. That isn't too big of a problem, really I plan on doing at least a little bit of all of that anyway, but not knowing keeps me from being able to dedicate myself 110% to one thing (perhaps a good thing).

The funny thing is that even though I do really like Western/Central Europe, my heart keeps tugging me east. I would love to spend some time in Lyons or in one of the many beautiful Belgian cities, but for some reason the thought of spending the summer in sort of crappy nouveau riche Kiev excited me so much more. I love the former Soviet Union, I suppose because there is just so much energy, you never know what is going to happen from one day to the next in politics or business and then compared to Western Europe the population is quite young and there is an very active youth culture (something I found very lacking in Vienna). So I suppose if the opportunity comes through I will very happily spend my summer there.

Still it has become almost a constant in my life for the past three years or so that I have no idea where I will be six months from now. It is exciting if daunting, and again it is something I do to myself because I do love to be between things, experiencing new things, challenging my understanding, though it has drawbacks as well. Sometimes I worry that I don't really put down roots because of it. Certainly it can be hard because with my diversity of interests it means I have to leave things for a while.

One example of that is improv. I love improv. I have taken a lot of classes, directed a good number of shows, and performed more. I know a good number of people on the better teams at the New York improv teams. But I am not on a team. Now, had I stayed in New York and kept pushing improv I still might not be on one. I am a good improver and I've had great moments. Improv has influenced me tremendously both in terms of how I tell stories and how I think about people (much like in a scene, many people don't bring much to a conversation).

At the moment I am rusty as all hell which is a bit tough for someone who is randomly a perfectionist with certain things. I haven't had the time over the past five months to do anything performance related, and the few times I've had it has been more about expression and getting some frustration out than good clear cut funny improv. I need to work on that.

The funny thing is that although I periodically wish I was better areas that perhaps suffer a bit because I do so much, I wouldn't change it. I really thrive on diversity of interests and passions and different people. I am happiest when I am on the verge of having too much to do (a dangerous place to be) love the stimulation and cross pollination of doing many different things.

1 comment:

*Watah a' run go a punkin belly* said...

At the very least you are being thoughtful and can look at the past 3 years with more than an ounce of objectivity. Seeing things clearly, including imperfections and possibilities, is a frustrating (and daunting) but needed step to making a good decision about where to go next.

Just because you put some activity on the back burner for a while doesn't mean you can't come back to it. There will always be improv in New York and its difficult to unlearn a skill or passion. Not too many people (even the stupid ones) really forget how to ride a I think improv is safe. Besides, you practically use your improv skills everyday... Like when whipping my butt at RISK??? :D

Hmmmm. If your passion is in Kiev, go after it! If you can combine your Eastern love & Law, go after it! That fellowship and Masters program sounds like it was made for you! You'll have your whole life to be extremely practical and do work you'd rather not. Why not do what you really love now? [Its better than having a mid-life crisis at 40...when its too late!] You'll end up using your experience and skills no matter what, as one good thing often leads to another. If you go where your passions are, you will find more ways and opportunities to use it.

After all of my terrible but practical,l decisions I have finally learned that, If you choose your penultimate passion, you can't choose wrong. Just do it! :D