We talked about school. I told him that I brought it up last Friday but that he just said, oh, okay, and went on. I told him that he didn’t ask a single question about it. I said, if I told you I was taking these classes at the local university you would have had questions. You would have asked when the classes start, what my class load is, where I’m taking the classes, what accreditation I’ll receive and what my goal is. I said, you didn’t ask me a single question. He said, why do you think that is? I said, because of the subject. I don’t think you see it as valid. 

We talked about assisting refugees, about English literacy programs for refugees as well as locals. We talked about working primarily with people of like faith from Liberia, Sierra Leon and Congo regions. It is right to assist those in need so many of us have taken on a greater role of service to include the foreign language field. Two friends of mine have mastered Chinese, many have taken on Spanish as well as French, Arabic, American Sign Language and Russian. Two good friends of mine have an active part in the Russian community here in Indy. This is what I do and I feel like it’s my place, something I truly love and am passionate about; helping people of all sorts no matter where they come from.

I’ve not been too specific online but in sessions when I bring it up he acknowledges that I said something then goes right on to something else. Today I asked him to consider why he would not ask a single question about what I’ve been doing for the last year leading up to this second year? He said he’d think about it and get back to me.

When I decided this life course I worried I wouldn’t be able to live up to my dedication. There are things I willingly gave up in order to do this. I weighted my options, the pros and cons and I made this choice. I was worried I’d fail, that I wouldn’t be able to follow through but I’ve learned that it’s not so black and white and that being perfect isn’t what is asked of me. Being flawed and broken in some places is okay.

I’m not demon possessed. I don’t need an exorcist or more prayer to cure my depression. I’m not unfaithful when my thoughts go dark. I’m not useless when I’m disabled by my mind. It is wonderful to be human and not be rejected because of my humanity. Where I am right now, this is my soil. This is where I can grow without the burden of being seen as broken.

It will take me longer to learn because my head is fogged up by Lupus and associated pain and illnesses. I can’t make heads or tails of things sometimes. It’ll take longer to finish goals because of PTSD but I can do this. I’m happy to be in a position to do this.

I’m learning the following and more:

  • How to listen. How to hear without needing to jump in and take over the conversation.
  • How to have good study habits.
  • Public speaking
  • The proper way to use a microphone. How certain sounds interfere with the sound system.
  • Voice sense and modulation
  • Clear enunciation
  • Proper use of illustrations
  • Tact (this is a big one for me)
  • Avoid bias. Do not judge the way a person looks. Don’t judge a person by their economic standing or educational background. Look at people as human beings.
  • How to transition through teaching points smoothly.
  • How to use an outline for public speaking as opposed to word for word reading.
  • Fluency in speech.
  • Avoid saying um and uh in public speaking.
  • Physical appearance. Nothing flashing that will distract. Well groomed, correct posture, hold the book properly when reading, avoid restricting the vocal cords, on and on.
  • How to be engaging and encouraging to others.
  • How to find common ground with others.
  • Confidence in teaching skills
  • How to set realistic goals; goals that are appropriate to individual circumstances.

I’m learning to do all this in English and a foreign language 🙂

Maybe Dr. D worries I’ll give him a lecture or something? No. I just want to share the excitement for my assignments, or nerves over my demonstration in front of about 90 people where I’m graded right then and there in front of everyone. It’s in two weeks. I’m nervous and excited, mostly excited.

8:30 pm EST

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3 thoughts on “The Right Soil

  1. Hi Faith, this sounds exciting and I am happy for you. Sometimes when I am presenting, I will forget the point that I am trying to make. Initially, I would panic. Now, I just tell my audience there’s a chance that may happen and I may ramble until I find my lost thought. They laugh and it helps me relax. I don’t get to visit your blog as often but I am still here.

    1. I don’t get to visit your blog as often but I am still here. – I know 🙂 <— picture that as being a huge, huge toothy smiley face and a big ol’ silly Faith wave saying hello and its so good to see your name pop up again. 🙂

No need to feel nervous, comment if you'd like.

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