It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived. Helen Walton

Friday, January 27, 2012

First day of "school"

After debating with myself about whether or not to take on another Literacy Council tutoring assignment, I said "yes" to two students that had been waiting about 90 days for a tutor.  I prefer Spanish speaking students because I have some background in Spanish (a college major 50 years ago).  That first encounter is always an eye opener and yesterday was no different.  Jose and Orfelia arrived early (as most adult students do) and were anxious.  Anxious about meeting me, anxious about having to speak English, anxious to learn as much as I could pour into their hungry minds.  Orfelia was in her 40's and had taken some college courses in her youth in Honduras.  Jose, too was from Honduras, much to their delight.  It is always a good feeling to meet someone from your home country.  This was no exception.  Jose is 23 and came to the US when he was 19.  He had been working as a roofer here in Florida but recently had gotten a "good" job with a company that cleans Target stores.  He goes to work at 3 AM.  Orfelia works in receiving at Bealls four days a week on a shift starting at 5AM.  When she leaves Bealls, she goes to the beauty shop she owns and works there.  As with every tutoring assignment I have had, I was humbed by how hard these people work and how close to the edge they live.  Because of the language barrier they know that they are at the mercy of the people they encounter.  Why was I debating with myself?  I have work to do and I LOVE it.  It is so worthwhile!  And important to these people.

2 comments:

  1. I came to see the challenge of the week and scanned down to this as well. Congratulations for doing such meaningful things for these two people, and everyone you have helped. I have a friend who is a very gifted ESOL teacher at the middle school level so I know of some of the challenges of teaching a new language. It is wonderful that you are willing to put yourself out there for these adults that are trying and working so hard to make a life for themselves in a new country. Good for you!

    And I think your tangles are great too!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We have had four classes now and they are both very quick learners so we will be able to make some real progress. Their eagerness to learn is so rewarding.

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