Looking at the Silver Lining….

As many of you know, I have been preparing for a Master’s program that was going to allow me to study at Lincoln College in Oxford this summer.  Not only had I started reading the 3,000+ pages for the class, I had also started planning weekend trips to the Cotswolds, Paris, and London.  I have conducted extensive research into the Musee d’Orsay and downloaded a map of the exhibits.  Can I tell you that I was more than a little excited?!

Well, this afternoon I learned that the money for financial aid ran out before the school was able to process my application.  On top of that, my husband’s car died last week, necessitating another major expense that was not planned for this fiscal year (or the next three years, to be honest).  Consequently, I cannot in good conscience spend money to study abroad when we desperately need the funds for household expenditures.  I’m not gonna lie, it is more than a bit disappointing.

However, I like to think of myself as the kind of person who believes “if it is meant to be, it will happen” and “all things happen for a reason.”  It seems very apparent to me that the studies abroad were not meant to be for the summer of 2010.  Therefore, there must be a reason why I need to stay home this summer.

I will be teaching 9 different classes next year – insanity by some people’s standards.  Of those 9 classes, two will be totally new preps.  I can easily use the time this summer to read through the new textbooks (one class will be a dual-credit English Composition course and the other class a creative writing course which utilizes the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum).  I will have 9 full weeks to prepare for the fall rather than the 6 days that I would have had if the trip to Europe had panned out.  This seems like a good thing.

In addition, this will be my first summer off in two years.  I will be able to read for pleasure, not for school.  Do you know how many reading challenges I can now participate in and not feel at all guilty?  I plan to spend this weekend checking out A Novel Challenge to see which ones I want to join.  I know that my first sign up will be Julie P’s 2010 EWs Summer Book challenge (I think I wanted to read 6 of the 18 books listed).

Lastly, I have been struck by the writing bug.  Ever since my writing class last summer I have realized that my need to write has been buried far too long.  Through various blogs and personal friends at school, this desire has been ignited into a full-fledged passion.  I have several story ideas and I hope to use the time this summer to develop them into possible novel ideas (I want to model the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum for the students, and this summer will afford me the time to pursue that goal).

It has been a long while since I have been able to sleep until I wake up – rather than when the alarm awakes me.  It has been a while since I have been able to read solely what I want to read, rather than what is dictated by curriculum.  While the disappointment of studying abroad (a 30+ year dream) has been thwarted for the time being, I will not allow myself to wallow in self-pity.  This can be a good thing — if I choose to look at the silver lining and not the dark cloud.


  • Kathleen

    I'm so sorry to hear about the change in your plans that have been forced upon you. That being said, I think you must be right. There is a reason why this summer is not THE summer to study abroad. You have a wonderful attitude about the change in circumstances and that will carry you through. I hope you will enjoy your summer that will be a bit more leisurely for you and I look forward to reading your posts all about it.

  • Anonymous

    On the sunny side, your students in the fall will benefit so much from the effort and heart that you put in to prepare for the courses, especially the new ones. Sometimes we cannot divine the reason for sudden change of plan, but I believe you have made the right decision to stay home this summer. 🙂

  • Florinda

    I think you're making the right decision not to go, and you seem to be coping with the disappointment pretty well by considering the unexpected opportunities it presents. "One door closes, another opens" and all that.

  • Beth

    Ohh Molly, I am so sorry to hear about your summer plans falling through but I am throughly impressed by your ability to look on the bright side! No one could have begrudged you a few days of self pity! I am, however, very excited to hear more about the Adventure novel curriculum and live vicariously through you. I've always wanted to write a novel.

  • Sandy Nawrot

    I do whole-heartedly believe that everything happens for a reason. You may not know what that reason is right now, but it is better to look at that silver lining (and a summer of selfish reading!).

  • Dave and Tami

    I am so disappointed for you – and for the rest of us who won't get to hear about your adventures – but I'm also amazed at your ability to see the silver lining. Sounds like you have a big year ahead of you so hope you have a wonderful summer at home. And hope the Lord is changing your plans because he has something even more amazing in store for you right here at home!

  • Anonymous

    Molly, I'm so sorry that your plans did not work out. I know it is hard, but like you, I'm very much a "things happen in their own good time" person. And…when I started reading your post, the thought that immediately popped into my head was, "She will get to write her story!". I think that is a great thing. Who knows? That book within is just itching to get out. This may be just the way it will happen. Hugs to you!

  • Wendy

    Oh Molly, I am so sorry you are not going to travel and study abroad this summer. But, your attitude is so wonderful – what my mother would say: "Making lemonade out of lemons"

    *Big hugs* for your disappointment…but smiling that you will get to have some FUN reading this summer!

  • ds

    I am so sorry your original summer plans were thwarted. But you have managed to find a very shiny silver lining! Things do happen for a reason; clearly you were meant to read for yourself–and write that novel!

  • Michelle

    It sounds like you have a very healthy attitude to assuage your disappointment. Even though your stories about studying abroad would have been fantastic, your freedom will be even better! Write the novel. Read. Sleep. Plan. Those are the ingredients for an amazing summer.

  • Staci

    I love your positive take on this Molly!!! I am so sorry that it isn't going to happen this year, but like you said there must be a reason for it. I just know that you will eventually get to study at Oxford!!!

  • Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow

    You have a great attitude. I, too, believe that things happen for a reason. I've seen the evidence of this over and over…and, like you said, perhaps this is the year you're supposed to start that novel.

    After I officially retired from my thirty-year career, I relished the idea of not having to wake up to an alarm. It's great, but what was unexpected is that I still get up at almost the same time, even without the alarm. My body clock, I guess.

    Hope your summer is filled with wonderful and unexpected delights.

  • JoAnn

    I'm so sorry for your disappointment, Molly! I guess I subscribe to the 'there is a reason for everything' philosophy, even if that reason isn't immediately clear. I know you'll enjoy this summer anyway…

  • Natalie

    i'm so sorry for your recent disappointments. 🙁 i hope that another opportunity to travel and study abroad presents itself soon.

    as for 9 preps…wow. i can't even imagine!

    –nat @book, line, and sinker

  • Margot at Joyfully Retired

    Oh, Molly, I am so disappointed for you. If I were a wealthy woman, you would be going. However, I love your attitude. There must be something even better in store for you. I wholeheartedly believe in silver linings too. Keep your chin up.

  • Nise'

    I am sorry that you have had to rearrange your plans for the summer. It is hard when you have to let something go that you so badly wanted. May you have the best summer!

  • Meghan

    I'm so sorry to hear that your summer plans aren't going to work out. I hope there's a chance you can head abroad in the next few years instead. In the meantime, I'm glad you're focusing on the happy things! I hope you can make some progress with your writing instead.

    Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

  • Jenners

    Oh … I'm so sorry to hear this. I know how excited you were. But I think you are doing a good job finding the silver lining … you convinced me that it might actually be the best thing. I'm sure you will get another chance someday!

  • Belle

    I'm sorry to hear about the change in plans, but I love the silver lining! Yes, there's such a lot to look forward to, your first summer off in two years. I'll be looking forward to hearing about your writing (I need some inspiration on that front!).

  • Alyce

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're not going to be able to go. It sounds like you're trying to have a very good attitude about it though. Hope you have a great time reading for fun this summer, writing, and prepping for your classes.

  • Lisa

    Sorry to hear you won't be able to go on the trip but what a great attitude you have! It does sound like you have plenty to keep you busy over the summer and the ability to take some down time will be wonderful.

  • Diane

    Molly, I am so sorry I did not read this post earlier, but with the full time job now, it is hard to keep up.

    I'm sorry your plans have changed for the summer (disappointing) I understand. I also believe that things happen for a reason.

  • Kaye

    Good for you on the positive thinking. look at it this way, you will have more time to prepare for when you DO go. I have no doubt that this will be a reality for you at some point. you'll have time this summer to read what you want and maybe even get in a few more books about the cities and museums you want to visit on your future trip. It will be nice for you to just relax for a bit.

  • Anonymous

    So sorry to hear your plans fell through. What a bummer. Seems like you're looking on the bright side, though, which is a wonderful quality!

  • caite

    wow, yes, that must be very disappointing.

    but, on the positive side, it sounds like you are going to make the best of the summer. maybe you will write the Great American Novel and we can all say we knew you before you were famous and showered with awards. don't forget us all. 🙂

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