Oh, where did we leave off...? Okay, a few days after my last post, when I still hadn't heard back from NSLI-Y about spending the summer abroad learning a language, my father scanned me a newspaper article advertising this (THANK YOU, Daddy). It's the same scholarship, but specifically for Maine residents (oh, God, am I a Maine resident? I'd much prefer to continue to think of myself as visitor after these .... seven years) to go to China. I sent in the application, kind of on a whim, thinking it would be nice backup for the primary NSLI-Y, about twelve hours before it was due. On Tuesday night I had a skype interview with a lovely chinese woman who runs some sort of Maine School of Chinese Language and Culture, who kept telling me to break up with my boyfriend without asking if I had one. It took a while to get a word in and reassure her. There was also an American woman helping with admissions, and she used to live near my school and I think she approved of me.
On Wednesday afternoon (oh, my - play-by-play accounts of the week? No, this will end badly) I got The Email. The NSLI-Y email.
"Thank you for applying to the 2011-2012 National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) programs. The NSLI-Y team recognizes the time and effort you took to complete your application. Unfortunately, you were not selected to receive a NSLI-Y Scholarship. "
None of my friends from Turkey last year were accepted to summer programmes! It's most unfair, because look at this, which was hidden so sneakily on their FAQ page:
Q: Am I eligible if I have already participated in NSLI-Y?
A: If you have participated on a summer program and are re-applying for the summer, preference will be given to qualified students who have not previously participated on NSLI-Y. Past summer participants are considered highly competitive for semester- and year-long programs in the same language. If you are accepted and you have been on a NSLI-Y program before, be aware that there is a possibility that you will be placed with a different administering organization and/or in a different country.
Well, whatever, I thought. We'll all have kickass summers whatever. I called my dad and let him know, cried a bit, stuff like that. Then, that evening, my mother rang me up from London and told me that she'd gotten an email from the China scholarship people. She forwarded said letter (I wish they'd just sent it to me) and... um, well:
We are proud to announce that you have been selected as a finalist to participate in the NSLI-Y program for study and travel in China during the summer 2011.
So, it's not really necessary to say how excited I am about this - or to be telling you, actually. I started this blog because I was going to Turkey. This course is a little different, and I don't know everything about it yet - I didn't actually do much research about the programme before applying, but I think I'll take a couple weeks of intensive Chinese classes here, then hop on a plane and skip around China for six weeks. The interviewers made it sound like we'd see quite a lot of the country. I know absolutely no chinese and far too little about the culture - I was sort of Middle East focused - but I'm extremely excited to go there, and I'm taking Chinese at school next year.
So, Wednesday was a shitty day redeemed to the fullest. You really should have seen me bounding about the dorms, I was - and am - so excited.
Um... so, sorry to do this whole chronological thing, but YESTERDAY, guess what happened? Did I tell you I'm playing softball with the local school's team? There are three girls playing from my school, and though most of the time I've got no clue what I'm doing, I really enjoy it and the other girls are very nice. They call me London, and when we pass each other in the hallways they yell it out. It's very sweet.
Anyway, yesterday at practice, I kind of took a ball to the head. We were bunting, and it just bounced off the bat and hit me very neatly in the forehead. What ensued was, in my opinion, a long and drawn-out chain of overreactions on the part of everyone in authority, because I sat down, started to feel sick and tired and dizzy, and was proclaimed likely to be concussed. After a while of being incessantly talked to and made to respond (they don't let you fall asleep when things hit your head hard, and that was really all I wanted to do), one of the dorm staff came to insist on taking me to the emergency room. A very long wait and a long story short, I was extremely mildly concussed, dosed up with a lot of painkillers and anti-anxiety pills the combined effect of which made me feel like I'd been hit on the head again, and sent home almost three hours later. It was not fun, but sleep was sweet. I'm not allowed to play any sports for a few days, and I feel so tired still that I might just stay in bed today. But I hope you'll learn from my mistake. softball is DEADLY.
Oh, and this is Day of Silence, isn't it? I hope blogging doesn't count. I used to have a big problem with this day - isn't speaking up for gay rights a better way to go about it than remaining voiceless as generations of minorities have? But I think it's a great way to raise awareness, so I'm participating to the best of my ability, ie, not in classes. If I go to classes. Hell, I might just sleep today. We're going home tomorrow for a lovely long week. And this week was So un-lovely. Two tests, two quizzes, an English paper and a GMM (Group Math Major - it's evil, don't ask). I am unbelievably glad it's almost over.
Well, that's about all. I'm going back to sleep, and you should, too.