Saturday, May 4, 2013

2013 Personal Update

I feel a little self-conscious with today's post title, not to say narcissistic. But it's as good as I could come up with, and I felt like writing this even if only for myself. So here is the point to which God has currently brought me in life, the year 2013 being an important transition point.

I can tell my life, or at least career, story in terms of four (or five) universities, and thus maybe give my readers (if I have any) an idea of where this blogger is coming from when he blogs (and why he blogs about languages, literature, linguistics, and God):

Bob Jones University I grew up in Japan (the son of a pastor) and returned to the U.S. to do an undergraduate degree in journalism and French at BJU. I never intended to stay in the U.S., but my sophomore year, a French teacher, and one of my best teachers ever whose blog you should check out, asked me to consider doing graduate studies in French to replace him at BJU. This was way out of my life plans, until God brought Miriam into my life. Love changes a whole lot of other emotions, and since she had been asked to stay and teach Spanish at BJU (she wanted to return to Mexico where she's from and her family lives), we figured we could stay at BJU together, teach, and take student groups abroad to the countries we loved. God knows how to change our heart's desires, eh? Thus began family (up to two sons now, but almost ready for more) and graduate studies (two graduate degrees down, two to go).

University of Portsmouth —After a master's degree in Counseling at BJU, I did an online master's in Translation Studies from the University of Portsmouth. This was great not only in preparing me for further graduate work in French, but also in introducing me to online degrees (I still have yet to visit Portsmouth, England) as well as opening the field of translation studies to me. This somewhat non-traditional route (the traditional route on a resume would be B.A., French; M.A., French; Ph.D., French) led me to my next university.

Middlebury College — In a biased and non-scientific way, I can affirm that Middlebury College has the best language program in the whole world. I am currently a candidate in the Doctor of Modern Languages program (unique to Middlebury), majoring in French and minoring in Spanish. That's why I'm in Paris, to finish coursework through Middlebury's exchange program with Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 (which would be the fifth institution in my academic parcours if counted separately). I take doctoral exams this summer in Vermont and should finish the dissertation in the next couple of years or so. With that, I will be set to teach French at BJU starting in 2015.

University of South Carolina — But since BJU does not need another French teacher until 2015, and I would still like more coursework and research opportunities, I applied and was accepted into the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina - Columbia. I will be a senior teaching assistant as well as a presidential fellow. The STA part means that I will have the great opportunity to start teaching French before I'm on faculty at BJU. The presidential fellow part means I will have the (to me) awesome opportunity to continue focused research but in a reseach institution with professors and colleagues to collaborate with and guide me.

So we are in Paris for just two more months, but will continue living in Greenville from this July on, though I will be commuting to Columbia for the next four academic semesters. I love what I do, and am thankful for all the opportunities I have. I am also excited to start teaching full-time at BJU in just a couple more years. Though teaching in any university would be amazing, I particularly feel called to serve Christian students in their academic and philosophical formation, which obviously a Christian university like BJU is equipped to do best.


  1. This is great. It's nice to see others who are motivated by the right kind of ambition.

  2. Hi Jeremy! Thanks for dropping by. Let's just pray that God keeps my ambition pure and focused on Him. I didn't know you had a blog, too. We'll have to blog-dialogue.