June 2008 Reflection

Sadly enough, the year is starting to wind down. The good news is that I just recently finished all my work for the 2nd semester and am beginning to focus on my thesis. I’m staying in Ireland for the summer at least, as Carolyn and I are looking forward to doing some more traveling. The puppies (Dutch and Ajax) are also excited to stay for the summer since they’re never had it this good!

On other fronts, I recently returned from the end of the year orientation with the other Mitchells. As always when I’m with the other scholars, I had a great time. It’s always fun to break bread and discuss all kinds of issues with them. Sometimes I feel like I’ve read 3 books after getting into a serious discussion with them and other times we start driving down the road of Hollywood’s hottest stars. It makes for an odd, but fun mix. Some folks are leaving soon, but I’m hoping to have several over the house early this summer to say goodbye. I’ll be sure to put out a good spread for anyone who comes over.

As for my educational experience, I couldn’t have been more impressed. DCU is a great school and the program I chose was incredible. I really feel like I’ve learned so much here and I have my lecturers to thank for that experience. They were all really great and I appreciated their professionalism and openness. The experience of studying in Ireland was also amazing. I could never really appreciate the extent of the ‘transatlantic divide’ before I came here. It’s not that we can’t get along, it’s just that we have very different ways of thinking about things. The demographic makeup of my classes certainly made for some interesting class discussions. All and all, I’m really happy I got the opportunity to study abroad. It’s been an enlightening and eye opening experience and I’m sure it will help me with whatever profession I set my sights on in the future.

In regards to the Mitchell Program, I have so many thanks to give to all those who were so generous to me this year. Mary Lou Hartman and Trina Vargo have been absolutely great to me and I couldn’t be more appreciative for the opportunity they gave me. The list of folks I have to thank for this year is far too long for this journal entry, but the time it will take for me to reach out and thank them separately says a lot about the program the US-Ireland Alliance is running. I wish I could do it all over again.

After this summer, the family and I will be returning to the States and getting back in to the swing of things in the Army. My next assignment will bring me off to Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri for 6 months of training at the Captain’s Career Course. After that’s over, I’ll return back to the deployable world and be eligible to command a company in the future. I’m hoping to join the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, but we’ll see where that goes.

As for long term plans, I’m hoping I can add another master’s degree to my resume before it’s all said and done. I know I don’t want to stay in the Army, but I do want to be involved in government and public service. I’m hoping I can mix my professional and educational goals to knock out both in one shot. We’ll see if anyone in Washington will want to send me to get a master’s in Public Administration in return for serving Uncle Sam. Ok, that’s it for now. I’ve got to start catching up on my thank you notes!

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