So now that my two week introduction to Muslim outreach has come to a close, I find myself looking toward the next big thing on the docket for my summer. In two weeks I'm headed on a solo roadtrip to Bryn Marr University for one of the Institute for Humane Studies' summer seminars. Kind of a weird story. Not sure how I ended up on the guest list. But I'm not about to pass up a free week of libertarian indoctrination, no sir!
Anyway. This trip is freaking me out for several reasons.
1) I'm 100% shocked my parents are letting me make the drive! In my own car! All by myself! I thought for sure they would insist on me flying, or taking the train, or carpooling with someone, but no, they readily consented. Is this the Twilight Zone?! Or is this what it feels like to be almost twenty and treated somewhat like a young adult? Even though the route is a straight line, and one I've traveled many times as my mother's copilot, there's still the anticipation of the what ifs. As in, what if my car breaks down? [A distinct possibility!] What if I get an accident? [Not outside the realm of possibility either!] My head is swimming with visions of rest stops and toll booths. I'm excited. Bring it on.
2) Despite my careful grooming in libertarianism by TeenPact and the Foundation for Economic Education and the countless books Mr. Rehmke and Mr. Luke have passed along to me, I still feel woefully ignorant on the topic at large. The survey we had to fill out sought to reveal the knowledge base of the attendants, and I found myself answering "I don't know" too often for the health of my pride. The knowledge problem, spontaneous order, John Rawls' philosophy . . . two words for you guys: woeful. ignorance. Part of me says that I have two weeks to cram libertarian political history and theory into my head so I can be prepared, and the other part of me says, "Forget that, just show up and see what you get out of it." Maybe a balance of the two is the best.
3) To make matters worse, the Facebook group is lit up with names of woefully intelligent individuals. People who have studied economics, political philosophy, sociology, neuroscience. People who are coming from Argentina, German, Switzerland, Turkey, England. Not to mention the gobs of people coming from Washington, DC. Movers and shakers, go-getters, these people are. Even if I can get over how intimidating everyone is, I still face my typical idiosyncrasies when it comes to meeting new people. And even though a few of the Cobbs will be there, there's still a knot in my stomach when I think about how much I hate these week-long affairs. What's the point of making friends with someone you'll never see again, anyway?! I can't spent a week in silence, my psyche just can't handle it!
On the other hand, there are plenty of things to be happy about. Roadtrip to PA! A week out of work! Learning about libertarianism, and hopefully making some connections! Opportunities to talk about why I'm a libertarian! Read: Jesus, yo. For each anxiety, my sick masochistic side is thinking, "Oh yes, this is going to be so character-building!" Worst comes to worst, I'll pack that massive tome Witness and make a dent in my reading list. Solitude makes for efficient reading.
Ugh. Can I just be thirty years old already?