The other day I had one of those days - the kind that has me questioning just why it is I've made the somewhat masochistic decision to live in a foreign country. It seemed that nothing I did was quite right, and everything took two or three times longer than I thought it should. I was finding the easiest things difficult, things I've done before without much trouble. Just one of those days.
A typhoon was approaching and promising torrential rains and I wanted nothing more than to take the train home and listen to the rain fall from the sheltered confines of my dorm. I had agreed to attend a study group and so instead of feeling sorry for myself and hiding, I got on a train and headed off to a university seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Walking to the university through the dark and deserted streets, dodging puddles and attempting to stay dry, I was seriously doubting my decision to go the study group. The deserted university didn't make me feel any better but, surprisingly, my day was about to take a dramatic turn for the better.
This particular university is home to a research centre focusing on ethnology, history and museum studies. Four years ago a small group of graduate students affilliated with the centre formed a museum studies study group. The group has grown and now includes both current students and past graduates. They meet twice a month to listen to and discuss presentations made by their members, and also go on a museum field trip once a month. The talk this past Friday night was short but the discussion that followed was lively. The dinner/drinks that followed were just as lively and had me heading home on close to the last train.
Although it was the first time anybody from outside their university had attended, I felt nothing but 100% welcome. In the space of a few short weeks I've gone from only knowing one other student in museum studies, to meeting neary 2 dozen others and now have the opportunity to attend 4 meetings per month! Wow.
As I walked home from the train station in the pouring rain, not even getting doused by cars hitting puddles could dampen my mood. It had turned into one of those days - the kind that made me shake my head over how much I enjoy what I am doing. I grinned as I thought about how lucky I am to be able to have the opportunity to be studying something that I love. I felt like I belong and this is so right. Just one of those days.