As I begin to pack up my entire room and have to correct my friends that I won’t actually be seeing them after break, but rather March, I don’t think it’s really hit me.
It’s surreal thinking that in less than two months I will be jetting off to Merida, Mexico to study Spanish for ten weeks.
It’s bittersweet to be leaving Athens for a quarter, but my excitement far surpasses any sadness. One thing I’m thrilled for in Mexico is taking a break from my whirlwind of days. This quarter my days would usually go from 8am to 9pm with an hour break here and there. I look forward to unwinding and taking every day slowly and enjoying every waking moment. I want to fully emerge myself into my classes, the culture and the people I will be exposed to. Even though I will still be blogging and keeping in touch with the family, I will be disconnecting myself for the most part from technology; another thing I’m enthused for.
While in Mexico I will still be contributing to the Women’s Center blog, along with writing as a Winter Quarter Foreign Correspondent for the Office of Education Abroad blog. One of my main focal points will be what women and gender issues are present in the Mexican society and how many women react to and feel about these issues.
This quarter of working at the Women’s Center has truly been an enlightening experience. Aside from the basic skills I’ve gained working on the newsletter, social media and website I’ve been exposed to so many powerful women and the ideas behind their motivation. This has opened my eyes and challenged my way of thinking that I’ve always accepted because, “that’s just the way it is”. I have empowered myself and I know that every person who walks through our doors leaves even the smallest bit inspired.
This quarter has surely been eventful, especially with those who are moving on from the Women’s Center and others that are just beginning their time here. With the little time I was able to spend with Sharon Romina I was welcomed as if family into the Women’s Center and was able to talk to her about anything on my mind; she has taken the position of Administrative Assistant in the Department of Human and Consumer Science Education and Recreation and Sport Pedagogy in the Patton College of Educational and Human Services-pheww that’s a mouthful! Meagan Chernay will be graduating after this quarter; both of these women have contributed so much to the Women’s Center and will surely be missed.
However, Sara Lowenstein will be filling Meagan’s position and I am more than enthused to have her ambitious personality at the Center.
I’ve learned so much while at the center and I plan to continue exploring the women’s and gender studies field while in Mexico. One of my most inspiring quotes that I always kept in the back of my mind from our Graduate Assistant Elizabeth Chinn while working on my “I’m Not a Feminist…” blog.
“To be a feminist you don’t have to be an academic; just by living everyday as a woman you are a feminist.”
And last but not least, to explain the random title I will leave you with my three aspirations for my time in Mexico:
I’m the biggest sweet tooth and love ice cream, but have yet to try the Mexican version of fried ice cream.
I’ve been sewing since the age of six, but have never tried my hand at embroidery. I would love to come back with a dress similar to this that I embroidered myself.
And lastly, as much as I love the water I’m looking forward to swimming in a cenote, sunken limestone caverns that can be found all over the Yucatan.
– Ashleigh Mavros, Student Outreach Coordinator