So, It has been two weeks since I last posted. Sorry about that, with the end of classes, finals, my newborn son, and first the mother-in-law and then my mother staying with us to help with said newborn son, things got a little busy.
And now we have just a few days until Christmas. Where has the year gone? But it has been a fun year, a lot has happened, there have been quite a few major changes in our lives. Recently, I changed my major once again — but I didn’t really change it, I just refocused my emphasis. I went from German Teaching to German with a Linguistics emphasis. The reason for this was mostly that it will allow me to graduate sooner, by next December. And I realized that the only real difference, other than the time involved in these majors, is that the German Teaching major gives me a teaching certificate as well so that I could teach High School, and as I have had a few teaching experiences this last semester, I came to realize that maybe I don’t really want to teach High School, I would much rather teach at the collegiate level, and don’t need a teaching certificate, just a BA or a Master’s.
So the next step is to start looking at Grad schools. I will be done with my undergrad in a year, and will need to know where I am going after that. The ideal plan is to go to The Ohio State University. That would be best and that is our goal. It’s a prestigious school with an excellent German program, located in Columbus, OH close to Tiffany’s family. There are also plenty of colleges and Universities in Ohio where I could teach after I get my Master’s. We would both really like to get to Ohio. The backup plan, the second option is University of Washington. Again, a prestigious school with a great German program, in an area that I am familiar with since I grew up near there, but the downside is that Seattle is expensive. We’ve been casually looking into houses in both cities, just to get an idea of what it will cost us, and we can get houses in Columbus for about half of what they are in Seattle. That’s just the way it is. But we both love the Seattle area, we have friends there, and would love to live there, so that is also a viable option.
It’s just a little crazy to think that at the beginning of 2012 I could be buying a house and settling down in a city where we plan to spend a significant part of our lives. Neither of us like moving much, we want to find a city, find a house where we can stay for several years at least.
This year I also took my first steps into academia — I presented a paper at a conference at BYU and have been asked to write it up for publication this next year. This whole experience has been tremendous fun. I had an idea, I did some research and found that no one else as written academically about this idea, so I took my chance. In the paper, which I have written about on this blog before, I compare the LDS Plan of Salvation to the Campbellian monomyth and argue that the reason that the monomythic hero journey is so universal is because it is universal at its root – being based upon eternal truths. Just the other day, though, I found that I’m not the only one who has had this idea. In an interview with Mormon Artist magazine (check it out, it’s really great!), Tracy Hickman (author of the Dragonlance series, among many others), in answer to the question, “How does the gospel affect you as an artist? What place does fantasy literature have in the gospel?” he responded, “I once said at a BYU conference that the gospel seems to have some pretty fantastical elements! The plan of salvation—where we leave our heavenly home, pass the “portals of power” into mortality, journey through this mortal existence with trials and helpers as we try to obtain the prize of exaltation, must then endure to the end, pass back through the “portals of power” into immortality, and return again changed before our Father in Heaven—all of these elements are part of the basic Campbellian monomyth and every fantasy and classical story ever written. Fantasy, in this light and when properly executed, is a type and a shadow of the great story of us all, of our quest to return to our God as more perfect beings.The gospel is my life; I write my life; ergo, my writing is a reflection of my faith.”
This is exactly what I have been talking about for months! And Tracy Hickman has been using it in his writing for years. This is pretty exciting. It’s nice to see that other people are having the same thoughts and ideas, it lends a little more credence and helps me realize that I’m not as crazy as I sometimes think.
All in all, it was a great 2010 and I am really looking forward to Christmas this weekend, my first Christmas with my growing family (for pictures of the cute little guy, check out my wife’s blog). And I know next year will bring joys and challenges all it’s own.