Closing out the final chapter of my Tales of Twenty-some Countries will be harder than it was to introduce the pursuit. But the epilogue is nothing to cry about. I've accepted a two-year graduate assistant position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, my alma mater, in the New Student Enrollment office.
I'll help coordinate, plan and implement orientation programs for new students, with special emphasis on international ones. I'll develop and direct an international-student seminar, run an English language group, arrange meals for foreign students with local families and create activities to increase interaction between foreigners and Americans. As part of the deal, the university is going to pay me for that job and even pay all of my Educational Administration Master's degree tuition. That's hard to pass up. So is finally being around to kiss my little gang of nieces and nephews, to join in family dinners and to dress in red on fall Saturdays with friends in Lincoln.
Even so, the decision hasn't been an easy one. I've had to turn down an opportunity to teach next year in the sunny, palm-tree lined coastal region of Spain that was just named the "world's best place for the good life." I guess I've chosen "The Good Life" over "the good life."
I believe our lives should read like a book. We are the protagonists in our own stories, and we must drive their course. There should be progress, excitement, inevitable lulls, a climax and a denouement. A good story has forward motion, a maturing plot and evolving characters. Happy endings are great but only if someone trudged through a patch of thorns in shorts to get there. I've recorded my narrative here, including my battles against the proverbial thorn patches that scratched me to sh**but ultimately left me better off. I hope to pen a happy ending here, too.
I've made a decision to keep moving and advance my story. So, here's to continuing to write one heck of a tale.