So this is what I signed up for. TESOL.
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
I've always wanted to teach English in a foreign country, (specifically India,) so getting TESOL certified was the natural progression of things.Thankfully, I'm not a complete freshie. I mean, my previous experience teaching English in China proooobably wont save my butt in Spain, but I'm hoping that some skills will carry over.
It was the summer of 2012 when I taught English to the employees of a 5-star hotel in China. The woman who normally taught English had the perfect fool-proof plan to get them to learn...she told me to pretend that I didn't know Chinese, and to just keep speaking English to the staff as if it's the only thing I spoke. If you've ever had people talk about you and assume you don't understand what they're saying, then you know how funny it can be. And it was working! I managed to look as clueless as possible when they would speak Chinese (stifling my chuckles whenever I had the chance.) And all was going according to plan, until....something happened.
It took a while but tiger mama finally let go. This tigress is leaving her home in the cold climate of Canada this summer and will be traveling to sunny Spain! For some seasoned travelers this is probably a walk in the park, but (aside from some school trips abroad,) I've never traveled without my family. Because of that, I am extremely grateful to my Spanish friends for welcoming me into their homes with open arms; I cannot be more blessed. So much talk about southern hospitality in America, this must be Spanish hospitality.
Spain at the moment still feels like a dream. Only a week ago, I was sitting in front of my laptop and plugging in travel dates into Priceline.com. Up until then, I was still comparing flight prices and would only get increasingly nervous each time I signed on, knowing that once I made the purchase there would be no turning back...
When I finally decided that I was ready to make the jump...I couldn't do it.
Ever since I was a little girl, my dream job was to be a traveler. It wasn't until I was told that "traveling is not a job!" that I put that dream on the back burner. And for many years it stayed that way. I wanted the best of both worlds; stability in a job but without giving up my true passion. So as I grew up, I tried paving a road to a career that could somehow incorporate seeing new places and experiencing other cultures. I thought I found the answer in archaeology, (female Indiana Jones, holler!) but I quickly discovered it was not what I wanted...while I do love learning about history, geography, and geology, I found that I had no interest in spending 90% of my life in a lab.
After spending six months with strangers that have become like family, and after going through some trials and tribulations (that honestly at one point seemed like a round-trip ticket to hell,) I can solemnly say that this year will be a good one. It is thanks to this internship that my perspective in life has become more rich and vibrant.
|Blizzard Bash -Disney College Program|
See you later, my friends
The Personal Geographic by Justina F. Lee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.