So on Wednesday I saw that the mountains looked really nice, and so did the sky during sunset. Why is that? The gross inversion that envelops the city every year. Let’s admit it. It looks pretty but it’s a killer. Since I couldn’t leave campus after 5PM due to work, I snagged my camera and took pictures of the mountain ranges to the west and to the south. I’m glad I did. I found out that I wasn’t the only one wanting to take pictures- a few other people were doing it, too!
For my City as Text class, we went on a walk around the Normandie Heights AKA Harvard Yale neighborhood. My group decided to go back there after the Miller Bird Refuge excursion because we really loved the houses around it. My reason for going back was to look at the houses. In another post, I posted some pictures of the houses in the general area. Brick houses are something I’m fond of. New England brick houses are even better. I found some spectacular looking houses.
Looking at these houses got me thinking about my future again. I’m usually not one to fantasize about my future in too much detail because I’d rather not be disappointed when my future does happen and it’s not what I imagined. But this neighborhood… It’s someplace I’d like to live. Maybe not right away, but it’s something to work up to. I see my future going a little bit like I’m living in an apartment initially, because that’s all I can afford. Work, pay rent, and be happy in my own little apartment. Someone moves in with me, helps pay for rent, and we exist peacefully in that little apartment. Then I get married. I probably won’t move from apartment dwellings right away. But then future husband and I get dogs. A Corgi and a Golden Retriever, and we need our own house with a backyard and plenty of running space for the dogs. I can start to garden. I’ve always wanted to garden. Grow my own and eat fresh veggies. Anyway, start off in a small house. Or maybe I’ll get one of those big houses right away, so then I won’t have to move and leave my garden behind. And when I have kids, we’ll live in a nice house already.
I’ve spent more and more time recently thinking about my future. And I don’t mind this at all. It makes me feel more secure. Makes me feel like I have something to look forward to. Best thing? I do.
Back in September, when I was wandering the job fair, I came across a booth. “ESLC,” it said, stating that its goal was to teach English to refugees in Salt Lake County. I talked to the woman there for a bit, picked up a flyer, and signed up for it. I paid the $45 fee after sitting down and talking it through with my parents. They said it was my choice how to spend my money, and if I wanted to pay the $45 for this, I could.
Well, $45 is a lot of money for a student with no job and trying to live off of what allowance is allotted to her. I decided to take the plunge. ESLC asked for a minimum of 100 hours commitment, approximately 6 months. The woman told me that after those 100 hours, they could write me a recommendation letter for the JET program. That’s what I want to do after college. One hundred hours for a program I’m not even going to go on for another three years? Forty-five dollars for a letter?
That better be a damn good letter, I thought, and decided to make the commitment to stay with the ESLC all 4 years. It’s my personal commitment, and it’ll help me for what I want to do with my life.
Last Saturday and today I attended the orientation, and it was brutal. Their usual orientations were on Tuesday and Thursday, 3 hours long, for 2 weeks. I can’t make Tuesday and Thursday because of classes. So I signed up for the Saturday orientation. I learned that meant 7 hours at the ESLC center from 9-4, learning as much as I could about teaching English to emergent speakers. I learned about the various methods I could use, what levels the students may be at, and what I could anticipate. I learned that lesson planning stresses me out, but that it should get better with time. I learned that despite the fact I’m very much a one-on-one person, I can’t do one-on-one because I’m not comfortable going into someone else’s home. I learned helping others gain their US citizenship, or teaching in a small group, is something I can do. I learned that the people at the ESLC are there to help, and they’re willing to accommodate.
All of that, during a 12 hour orientation held over two days, I learned.
I found out that I didn’t stress out over learning all of this. Usually, when I learn a lot of information without having time to digest, I started freaking out. How would I organize myself? Am I going to remember this knowledge? The fact I didn’t majorly stress out may mean that I am actually dedicated enough to calm myself down.
At the end of the orientation, it was an immense feeling of relief to not have to go anymore. It was also a relief to get the cheesy little certificate for finishing the training. I am now able to teach English to refugees as a volunteer with the ESLC. I’m taking a step in the right direction. I can rest knowing that I am helping myself grow right now and I’m setting myself up for my future. This piece of paper is cheesy and is probably insignificant to most other people, but to me, this is a piece of paper with a lot of meaning. I’m going somewhere.
For a class, a group of friends and I hopped on a bus and went to the Harvard Yale neighborhood. We got lost trying to find it (and then as we came out of the Refuge we found out that the spot where we got off was the true entrance of the park). However, it was a beautiful place! Especially since it was all decked out in fall colors and the leaves blanketed the paths.
Today, a group of friends and I went to Nightmare on 13th, a haunted house on 1300 S and (I think) 300 E. It was super fun! Except I don’t scare easily, so I ended up being ‘protector’ to the ones who were easily scared.