As of last week, I am halfway complete with my undergraduate degree in English with a teaching certificate in grades 7-12. This year was transformational for me in many ways. I spent fall semester studying abroad in Rwanda, where I took courses on the 1994 Genocide, African Religions, Economic Development, and Cultural Arts. I taught English as a second language with JAM International at Fred Nkunda Secondary Vocational/Technical School.
In addition to studying and teaching, I got to go on all sorts of African adventures, such as camping in Nyungwe rainforest, hiking volcanoes in Virunga, and going on safari. I saw gorillas, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, elephants, and a leopard. I spent a weekend at the gorgeous Lake Kivu, where I also had the opportunity to visit Kiziba Refugee Camp and audit a beginner English class.
I returned to Messiah College for spring semester. During January, I went on a service trip to Baltimore, MD. I know I travel a lot, but I also spend a little time at college occasionally (I promise!). In my postcolonial literature class, I wrote a play based on my experience in Rwanda. You can read it here.
I was also accepted to Messiah’s Teacher Education Program. This semester, I observed classroom environments at the SciTech campus of Harrisburg High and Cedar Cliff High School. At Cedar Cliff, I loved being in the English as a Second Language classroom, which brought back some wonderful (or should I say…Rwanda-full?) memories of Africa. As a result of my ESL experiences, I declared a minor in TESOL (teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I love studying literature, but I am so excited by the possibility of teaching English to immigrants or refugees, or even teaching abroad!
This summer, be sure to check my blog for updates on my adventures in South Dakota, where I’ll be Kid’s Club Coordinator for YouthWorks and living in a Lakota Oglala community.