I'm going to take the liberty of operating on the assumption that if you're reading my blog, you have at least some minor degree of interest in my welfare, not only as a YAV in India, but beyond my time of service here. In light of this, this post has nothing to do with India. It's about AFTER India.
You're right--it's a little early to be talking about 'after India.' ...But not really. While that time itself is, indeed, rather far away, I have to decide what post-India life is going to look like. What will I be doing this time next year? And I have to decide soon.
Here are my options:
1. Start Seminary. This has always been my plan. YAV India, then Seminary. After 3 years, I'll have my Masters in Divinity. There are opportunities for me to pair the m.Div with a JD, Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, or a Masters in Social Work--all of which I'm interested in. I've visited Louisville Seminary, Austin Seminary, and Columbia Seminary. Though I was unable, I've wanted to visit Union and McCormick. The aforementioned dual-degrees are only offered at some of the above schools--not all. If I'm going to start Seminary next year, I need to start applying in the upcoming months.
2. Do a second YAV year, at a national site. I'm most interested in Tuscon, AZ, where YAVs work primarily with organizations that deal with immigration and border issues. I think this would be SO interesting. Immigration is such a controversial topic, and regardless of one's position on the matter, there is much to be gained from further exposure to/experience with this issue, especially from a faith perspective and in a Christian context. Also, I speak Spanish, which would undoubtedly come in handy (it isn't much help here, that's for dang sure!!).
If I apply for Seminary this year, intending to enroll in Fall 2011, I'll have to make decisions re: the dual-degrees, and possibly rule out Union and McCormick entirely, as I can't really envision myself committing the next three or more years of my life to a place where I've never even set foot. Ruling them out so arbitrarily seems, to me, unwise, and would be doing an injustice to myself and my theological education. However, if I do a second YAV year, I'm putting off continuing my education by another year. The pros are that I would possibly be able to visit the remaining schools and have more time for discernment and figuring out which path, exactly, I want to take. Not to mention all the inherent growth and learning that comes with any YAV year.
But do I really need more time? My gut feeling is yes. But then I wonder...Do I need more time, or am I just putting off making decisions and going back to school in favor of another adventure?
All of the above has been on my mind a great deal recently, and as you can see, I'm quite muddled. So I'm going to be very Presbyterian right about now and invite the discernment of the community ;) If you have any thoughts/suggestions/cautions/etc about my discernment dilemma, I would love to hear them. Feel free to comment, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muchas gracias, mis amigos!