I shall have to update on last semester at another time. Right now, I'm just going to let you all know where I am and what I'm doing right now.
Not much, really.
I graduated from College of the Ozarks with a major in International Business and minors in French and Philosophy & Religion. I did actually make Summa Cum Laude, but there were a few moments of stress and doubt. CofO doesn't have a ceremony in December, so mid-term graduates walk with the May graduates. Right now, I plan to head back up to Branson for graduation in May.
Because of my awkward graduation date and my exceptionally heavy class load last semester (22 hrs.), I did not have a job or any other plans lined out for January. I made it through Christmas with little problems and headed back up to Branson for a weekend to turn in applications and look for an apartment. This is what I really wanted to do: get a job, live in Branson, hang out with my friends, audit a few classes at CofO, and wait around until September when I plan to move to France to teach English.
What really happened is that no jobs to my liking have come open in Branson. I headed south to visit my grandmother in Texas. My grandfather passed away two summers ago, and she's been living on her farm alone ever since (with abundant visits from family close enough to do so). I asked her if she would be interested in me moving down to live with her for a few months before I move to France, and she said she'd love to have me if I could do it. I decided to shop around for jobs in Texas and see what came up. I currently have 2-4 leads and have not exhausted the opportunities yet. Though it's not quite what I had in mind after graduating, I'm excited for this opportunity for many reasons.
My grandmother is a very loving, generous, and caring woman. She's also very wise but at the same time "up-to-date" with the real world. Her mind is sharp and she's in great physical condition too (especially considering her age). She just makes life so very comfortable to be around. This makes it sound like I'm letting her wait on me hand and foot, but that really isn't true either. She's more than happy to make me dinner or wash my clothes, but in reality we do a lot of things together, and I do a lot of things for her. That's not because she needs me to but because she's the type of person that makes just being around her relaxing and comfortable. It feels like a holiday even though I'm doing a fair amount of work. For example, getting up and helping her get breakfast ready at 7:00 isn't really as hard as mornings have always been for me (my former roommates and siblings can all acount to the fact that I am NOT a morning person), though I would still rather wait for breakfast until 10:00.... ;)
Last semester, I also got interested in pursuing a Master's Degree in Psychology or Counseling. Right now I'm leaning to Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy. I had planned to do this online via Capella University, but the program is significantly more expensive than I originally thought ($40,700) versus much more reasonably priced Christian universities (Liberty University online or Southwest Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth which both cost less than half of Capella's tuition). I wanted to avoid Christian institutions because I want to be able to work in secular counseling situations, but right now I'm starting to think that maybe I should go for it. I have a fairly pushy recruiting agent at Capella who won't like me to withdraw. I'm already accepted and he's been badgering me to start in Februrary, but I've finally told him that I won't start until March at the earliest. Now I'm reconsidering again, but I'll have to decide by the end of February. Hopefully I'll have a job by then.
C.S. Lewis has also been a nice companion since Christmas. Some friends of mine gave me an Amazon.com giftcard, so I used it buy some of his books. So far I'm enjoying them immensely. I've always liked Lewis; he has a brilliant way of outlining Truth in a way that makes it graspable. Certainly he isn't right on everything, but who is? I've been mostly reading his fiction works: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength (The Cosmic/Space Trilogy), and a collection of short and unfinished stories entitled The Dark Tower and Other Stories. Some are strange, but most are excellent. I'll review the Cosmic Trilogy later. Now I'm out of his fiction (I left Till We Have Face at home) so I'm reading The Four Love again (so far my favorite Lewis book) and random essays from God in the Dock and Christian Reflections.
So here I am in Texas, looking for a job, doing research on Master's, enjoying Mr. Lewis's well-written literature, and thinking about what I want to do with my life. Pray for direction for me, if you think about it.