Two months have swiftly come and gone and I find myself staring headlong into my approaching extended break. I have been so privileged to study abroad at the University of Roehampton in Southwest London and blessed to be a part of the Veritas study abroad program. God has sent me adrift in this sea of culture and swirling worldviews with His Word and Truth to cling to. I have learned to trust Him more than ever as I navigate my way through trying, yet wonderful experiences.
Back home at Palm Beach Atlantic University, I am studying music education and plan to pursue a degree in counseling after I graduate in May 2014. Here in London, I find myself in a very different academic world as I study English Literature and Composition.
This afternoon as I flipped through my module booklets for my courses, I realized with a start that I only have two more weeks of actual classes. It feels like I’ve only just learned my professor’s names and figured out what tutorials are (not to mention I’m just now getting used to spelling things with unnecessary letters and using “whilst”). Before I know it, I’ll be on a plane to Germany to visit my family—missionaries in Berlin. But before I leave, I thought I would let all of you wonderful people in on my latest adventures and epiphanies from my time here in London.
Which brings me to my enigmatic blog title: Reframing. It is a term we use in poetry (and psychology as well) to describe the act of taking a pre-existing text and placing it within a new context. A lot of this type of work is non-sensical and downright unnecessary (Oh Postmodernism, you hack, you). However, in the context of my study abroad semester, this concept works quite well. You see, I am the pre-existing text that is in the process of being “re-framed” against my new context–that is, London. Pretty neat, huh? These handy metaphors help me keep my waning sanity.
This reframing has taken place in my perception of the things and people around me. My new context has had an effect on just about every aspect of my life, from emotional to spiritual. However, this new context does not fundamentally change the pre-existing material (that is, Me) it only is a different perspective on the aspects of Me. For instance, I still do many of the things I did back home: hang out with friends, go to the mall, go to the movies, and watch Netflix too much. But now I have the backdrop of London to keep things fresh, exciting, and awesome. I hope to continue to be amazed by this reframing process throughout the rest of my journeys in London and beyond.
Saved By Grace,
Nicole Straussman, London Spring 2013