Over the past couple days I’ve described how through volunteer work, I became interested in an encore career in teaching English as a Foreign Language and announced my plans to teach in El Salvador this summer and then return to graduate school. There was one small problem; a pre-requisite to obtaining my degree is having 2 semesters of a language in college. I did not take a language in college.
With plans to begin graduate work in the fall of 2016, I decided to complete two semesters of Spanish over the 2015-2016 school year. I enrolled in classes at Concord’s community college, NHTI. It was odd being back in the classroom; especially because this was an undergraduate class and the majority of students were thirty years younger than me. Heck, their parents were younger than me. It helps if you can manage to not take yourself too seriously
The best part of the course was the teacher. Sr. Diaz is from Columbia and has lived in the U.S. for about twenty years. He has been an educator at many different levels, from grade school to college. In addition to his being an excellent teacher, I found myself liking him on a personal level. We shared the same values of giving back. He often spoke of his “mission trips” to provide aid in Latin America, often bringing students from the U.S. with him.
It was both a surprise and a delight to learn that he had submitted my name as the person to receive the 2016 Excellence in Spanish award from the college. He said he chose me both because I will actually use my new language skills and contributed to the Hispanic community both here and in El Salvador. The photo above is the two of us with the award.