Each week for the coming five weeks, each Scholar will individually share what they have been doing and how they have coped during this highly unusual year. My hope is that they can become more involved and visible in the life of the church in these last few months of the academic year. As you will read they are all doing well and are extremely grateful for our care, support, and assistance as this year’s Planseon Scholars. It has been such an honor and privilege for me to get to know and work with each Scholar this past year.
Rev. Dr. Don Dempsey
Plansoen Scholarship Director
An Update from Plansoen Scholar Tebatso Duba:
Since my last update I have returned home to South Africa. I needed to change my environment as I had been living on campus for about 14 months and the pandemic made it more important for me to be home with my family. Since I will only be returning to the U.S in May, this is the first time that I am home for more than one month since 2014 (since I was 15 years old!) so it has been a restorative experience being back in my hometown.
You might have seen on the news that the covid situation during December and most of January was bad in South Africa. I think I just missed the worst of it but all seems to be pretty well managed at the moment. My family and I are safe and healthy. Ultimately, in my opinion, South Africa has been doing well with its approach to the pandemic especially because there is unanimous agreement that the virus is beaten when we all work together. Each province has the same protocol and there is no room for factionalism when it comes to the virus. Where we fall short, however, are resources in the rural areas where people may not have access to the best health care. Still, as a collective we are doing well. Vaccines are rolling out all over the country and there is a glimpse of the light at the end of this tunnel. My parents are both involved in education so they are expecting to get their vaccines soon!
My studies have also been going well. I certainly have my hands full with five courses, an internship and prepping for the LSAT but it is all heading in a good direction so I’m happy. I have been taking synchronous classes for the past 7 weeks which means my days went from 8am-3am because of the 8-hour time difference. Although I would rather take synchronous classes, my mind and my body are struggling to maintain that pace, so I have recently switched to asynchronous classes.
In the ‘career realm’, I currently have an internship working as a contributor and editor for the Evan Guthrie Law Firm undergraduate publication. This job is intentionally not too demanding, it just feels like I have an extra paper to write every other week. I have also just been accepted to the Washington Center program where I will be interning in Washington D.C. for the summer and taking some evening courses. I am tremendously excited about this opportunity because it is the kind of program that I hoped to be involved in for the summer! That being said, I am still looking into other opportunities too to keep my options open and see which programs offer the best financial aid.
I hope you are all well and I will leave you with my favorite mantra: My ideal self is already within me like a sculpture in the marble.