Archive for September, 2012

Mark Sueyoshi, Indonesia, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Nearly a year has passed since I returned from my Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Indonesia. Currently, I am taking pre-medical courses at City University of New York, Hunter College in New York City to eventually pursue a medical degree, one day. The shift in my life’s focus from the social sciences and the humanities is not so much a completely new track as it is a slightly different finish to the same material. I still love learning about peoples and cultures. But now, having lived another culture that I was neither born nor raised in, I feel that my perspective has grown in a dimension that books, movies, and photos cannot quite teach. I find myself seeing a bigger picture that I often had trouble imagining before.

Conversely, I’ve also realized the importance of the minute and the seemingly unimportant.

I would occasionally ask myself, “Why does teaching English abroad really matter to me if I’m not to become an English teacher, a public speaker, an anthropologist, or an expatriate of some sort?” And I started to realize throughout my time in Indonesia that it was not so much the task that was of prime importance, rather the countless other things to be learned and taught by everyone involved. While I was there to teach English, what I felt seep into my bones was humility. I was humbled by the kindness of people and the beauty of our world; humbled by Sisyphean struggles of individuals and the volatility of the Earth; humbled by realities that inspire and realities that demoralize. Now, while I imagine myself slightly overwhelmed in a much larger world with so much more to grasp and comprehend, the boundaries with which I function are no longer in sight.

Yes, it was just that amazing.