Thursday, January 17, 2008

Working Girl

Today was pretty much full of busy work. I'm feeling slightly nervous, like I'm wondering when I'll be put on the spot. I don't think it will be for a while, but I'm still getting used to the idea of a new job. At times I feel like a third wheel, like I'm just there to take up space. Fortunately, my coworkers are really nice. Maybe since tomorrow will be a shorter-staffed, longer day, I'll get to do more than just watch.
On another note, I've been asking the various Hispanic residents if they'd be interested in a class to learn English, and every single one said YES. Not just a few, not a majority - EVERYONE. So I started to think. (Yeah, I know, that's my first mistake.) I keep hearing from people, whenever the subject of immigrants comes up, is that they "need to learn to speak goddamn English!" The thing is, many people don't stop to think of what exactly it might be that is holding these individuals back from learning. I have found several reasons. No one I have spoken with is against the idea. No one is afraid of "losing" his or her culture. One issue is time. With all of the work they are doing, at all different hours, there is barely any time to get decent rest, much less go to a class. Another issue is money. Many, if not most, cannot afford to pay to go to a school or buy books. True, there are sometimes classes available, but in smaller towns they are hard to find and hard to staff. What those that are screaming for more English speaker don't realize is that one can't do it alone. Get out and help. See what you can do to form or contribute to English classes. What do you expect? Osmosis? Learning a second language is not easy, even for those who are lucky enough to be exposed to higher learning.

OK...soapbox down.
I'm going to bed. I can't think of anything else to say.