After learning about the different stages a person may go through while experiencing a Rite of Passage two concepts that caught my eye, were the “liminal status” and the “new status.” The liminal status represents the middle phase/threshold one must go through during this journey. This stage is the longest stage, due to the fact the person experiencing this has to let go of the person they once were and try to let their new experiences change them into the new person they are supposed to become. This phase stood out to me because as I go through college I feel that this phase happens to me every year. As I go through college my behaviors and attitudes begin to change year by year and sometimes semester by semester. Once I learned about the liminal phase I now understand why these changes take so long. This phase is a time for learning and training and reexamination of the presumptions I once had about myself and the people who influence me.
The second concept of obtaining a new status in your old community stood out to me because once a person goes through so many experiences they often struggle to incorporate or share those experiences with people in their community. Slimbach says,“The postsojourn process should help us to integrate the experiences and insights from the field into our ongoing academic and personal lives (Slimbach 10).” I feel that sometimes this may be a problem for me not only with experiences from college, but life changing things that I have gone through that were can be classified as, “you had to be their moments.” After learning about the key element, “transformation for the individual and the community” I learned that people are eager to hear and learn from my experiences as well therefore, I must be able to express my life changing experiences so they can change and grow as well.
Richard Slimbach’s novel, Becoming World Wise A Guide to Global Learning, he begins his introduction by talking about his abroad experience in Vietnam and how he saw a lot of Westernization in this country especially with the U.S. consumer culture. From there he began to speak about different pathways students may take to experience global learning. He expressed that one of the best things about traveling with an educational purpose is finding elements that you are familiar with, in an unfamiliar place. Slimbach wrote, “The very act of moving from one place to another helps create a space where we can bump up against strangeness and reexamine some of the settled assumptions we hold regarding the world and ourselves (Slimbach 5).” This quote ties perfectly back into the liminal phase that we learned about during the workshop. For example, going through the liminal face we will all have, “liminoids” which are assumptions we have about our new experiences that need to be removed form our thoughts before we start this journey. Moreover, In the workshop we learned that as we move through this phase we will be faced with different tricksters, whether its physical or environmental, that can interrupt our growing and learning. This represents the the things we bump into as we begin to explore the new space we have created for ourselves.
This semester I will be studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain and the travelogue I chose to read is the Travelers’ Tales Spain. This book incorporates stories from many people who traveled in different parts of Spain. I chose this this book specifically because during my time in Spain my program, API, will take to explore different parts of Spain. Just like the people in the travelogue I chose to read, I plan to break out of the four walls of my dorm room and class room and explore what the country has to offer. Moreover, the stories from this book will help me understand the cultural differences between Barcelona and the places I travel to and read about. I also chose this travelogue because I need this to keep me motivated to read and not have me dreading to read it every time I picked it up.
Well I am about nine days and a few hours from embarking on a journey of a life time. I am unpacked, nervous and excited all at the same time. I know that January 10th at 5:30 pm when I am on the plane to Barcelona I will be on my way to an experience of a life time.