Monday, November 14, 2011

Mexican Inspiration

I was playing the responsible adult role of designated driver Saturday night. It was awful. But there was good that came at the very end of the evening/early morning.

The last person I drove home was a fellow classmate, Roberto*. He's an international student from Mexico. We were talking shop and he said something that really struck a chord. "Why," he asked, "do so many people not want to speak in class? They are all afraid to be called on. I have so much to say, but cannot find the translation and I am frustrated. So why is it that people who speak English as a first language, do not speak up?"

I am was one of those people afraid to speak up in class, cowering as the professor looks around for his next victim. My heart would race and the anxiety would build up, making my face flush and voice shake. But why was I so afraid? So what if I got an answer wrong?  It's an opportunity to ask questions and learn. I have a firm grasp of the English language and should be using it communicate and learn; that's why I choose to be saddled with $80,000 in student loans. And for fucksake, I'm a 28 year-old-woman that should be able to speak my mind in front of my colleagues! So today, I spoke up and and contributed to the course. The professor even thanked me at the end of class for my participation. I could feel my nose getting brown and it felt good!!

So thank you, Roberto. Thank you for the inspiration. Maybe I should be DD more often? Eh...

*Names have been changed

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