© 2015 studentservices

A Day in the Life of Peter Seilheimer!

peter dintl

Björk’s new album, Vulnicura, dropped at an extremely inconvenient time: I’ve just started working with a client in the Study Abroad Office at Santa Clara University on a semester long program design and assessment project; the three Career Fairs I’m helping organize as a Graduate Assistant in the Center for Career and Academic Services are all coming up in quick succession; the publicity sub-committee I’m a part of for the Monterey Bay Foreign Language Education Symposium (FLEDS) is in the process of  strengthening its recruitment efforts, both for paper and poster proposals, as well as for attendees; and I’m slightly nervous to give groups of local high school students German grammar lessons as part of MIIS’ International Education Day. By no means do I mean to say that I don’t enjoy all of these activities, but any new music released by my Icelandic hero requires a certain amount of concentration I simply don’t have at this point. She remains, however, the soundtrack to my days, however packed they may be. Let’s take a closer look:

Wake up and throw on “Army of Me”, an I’m-a-badass-and-I-got-this anthem if there ever was one. It inspires confidence and is a great complement to the pot of coffee I inevitably drink before feeling truly ready to leave my apartment and head out for the day. I try to keep the energy going by playing “Triumph of a Heart” or “Declare Independence” on my way to campus. Outlook is everything, so I try to bolster mine with positive vibes to start the day.

I generally arrive to campus early, set up shop in either Samson or Holland Center, and put on something from Vespertine, usually either “Aurora” or “It’s Not Up To You” while I read, write in my journal for German class, or catch up on emails. I personally am incapable of being productive in a library–as soon as I’m told not to talk, that’s all I want to do. Another advantage of working in Samson or Holland is that it’s super fun to eavesdrop on all the Translation and Interpretation students while they’re practicing their skills.

Between classes or before work I like to sit in the super comfy armchairs with matching ottomans located in the foyer of the McCone building. There is rarely someone there, so it’s a nice place to go on campus for a bit of peace. I either eat lunch or do some more reading while listening to probably my favorite track off the new album, “Stonemilker”. It’s actually a break-up song, but it has a gorgeous string arrangement that makes me melt into that armchair and let go of any stress I’m holding onto if but for a brief moment.

Most days I have some sort of meeting, whether for a group project, presentation, or planning committee. I definitely don’t listen to music during meetings, as that would be more or less sociopathic, but on my way home I tend to crank “Pluto” or “Alarm Call”. These songs keep the energy level up so when I get home I can continue to work on various assignments, tasks, or projects. I usually toss some veggies into the oven to roast, put on a Björk LP in the record player, and get as much done as possible before the witching hour of 11pm when I am no longer able to formulate coherent sentences or comprehend theories and developmental models.

To fall asleep I listen to the classic “All is Full of Love”. This song is a great reminder of why I chose to study at MIIS to begin with: my love for experiential language education and passion to facilitate transformative intercultural experiences for students. No matter how hectic things get, it’s vital for me to remember not only why I’m here, but also the many open doors that lie ahead as a result.



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