Taking care of business

Trip Start Aug 26, 2006
Trip End Dec 08, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Thursday, August 10, 2006

Buon giorno! For those who don't know me, or whom I've lost touch with in recent years, allow me an introduction of sorts:
I'm a middle child with two wonderfully unique sisters, originally from Coshocton, Ohio - beside Roscoe Village and near the home of the Longaberger basket company (1.5 hours East of Columbus)- went to Sacred Heart Elementary and Coshocton High School for my pre-collegiate years, and am now in my third year as a biopsychology/pre-medicine major out of McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio). My hometown is exceptionally picturesque, as you can tell from some of the photos my Dad and I took over my weekend visit home. (Special thanks, GOM, for picturing it up with me on a sunny Sunday afternoon!) Although I forgot to charge my battery and my camera died prematurely, these pictures give a little insight into where I'm from - small town, rural Ohio.
On a more personal note, I consider myself a realistic optimist, I love a good musical, cooking vegetarian (especially of the Italian variety!), playing piano, and the perfect sunset. I also delight in time shared with any of my wonderful friends from all over, meeting new people, and community service projects. For those visitors from the DAP website, I hope you find this informative as well as inspiring, as I never dreamt that I could be a pre-med and find the time to see the world (here's a hint: plan early so your pre-med requirements can be out of the way). For those from middle schools (hopefully Mom's!!!) never be afraid to dream big :)
In a little over 2 weeks, I will be boarding a plane for San Diego, followed by a bus trip down to Ensenada, Mexico to board my home for the next 100 days, the MV Explorer. Currently, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed - trying to finish up my summer of Physics, starting to pack, putting the finishing touches on my 4 month absence, and giving out hugs to all of those magnificent friends of mine around Cincinnati. A very wise man who taught me buckets about music and gobs about life and perspective, Mr. Charles R. Snyder (director of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir) once used this analogy:
"When you go away, this brand new, gigantic picture opens up - full of new ideas, people, and experiences. However, to those you've left, there is a whole in their picture - a void that you used to fill."
Although this was in reference in leaving for college, I've found it just as applicable, if not more so, to my voyage. I understand that 4 months from now I will not be the same person I am at this moment - and neither will the people I'm leaving. I will have an arsenal of stories and new people in my life - new experiences to draw from - and a broadened perspective; my friends and family will have 4 months of news, gossip, and dreams to share. This voyage is a personal discovery for me - resetting priorities and examining life in various cultures. In freshman biology, there's a term used: 'anthropomorphism' which means to put human traits on an animal (such as bugs bunny). In my opinion, we, as Americans, have, what I've dubbed , (or rather, my mom says I should coin and send to Webster's dictionary), Americanpomorphism - in which we are attempting to place our values and economic system on other countries. I hope to be a less partial, more observant bystander - seeing the world for what it is - individual and unique - as opposed to right or wrong - just different.
While onboard the ship, I really won't be making phone calls ($1.50/minute!) but I will be checking my email (at the very least) once a week, so feel free to tell me everything you've been up to - I don't want to be entirely out of the loop when I return.
For more information about Semester at Sea, please visit www.SemesteratSea.com If you're feeling ambitious and would like to send me an old fashioned letter (please, no packages), here is the general format
Send mail to:
Amy Schlegel
C/O: Explorer
Arrival Date
Port Agent Address

For further information, addresses, and time zone differences, please visit: http://www.semesteratsea.com/voyages/fall2006/fa2006_communicatewship.html
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