[nabs-l] "Conversation starter"/question related to the field ofstudy you are pursuing

Cory McMahon cory.j.mcmahon at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 23:18:57 UTC 2017


I truly enjoy reading in-depth posts through which people very eloquently
express themselves just as you did! What a moving post, Sami!

-----Original Message-----
From: NABS-L [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sami Osborne
via NABS-L
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2017 10:03 AM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Cc: Sami Osborne <ligne14 at verizon.net>
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] "Conversation starter"/question related to the field
ofstudy you are pursuing

Hi Corey and all,

This is a great discussion topic and I'll share my experience here.  I'm
also currently a freshman in college studying foreign languages.  How I got
interested in that subject is simple: I've always been interested in this
subject.  I started out learning two languages at home - English and French
(I have a French mother and American father).  My mom started speaking
French to me before I was even born - when she was still pregnant with me,
and we speak it with each other every time we're in private (away from my
dad, who can speak French but doesn't really like to away from our
relatives)! LOL.  In addition, we have always (and still do, by the way) go
to France every summer to visit our relatives.  
I really enjoy these trips, because, for me, it enables me to further
practice and reinforce my French skills, by speaking it 24/7.  When I was
little, this was especially the case with my grandfather.  I would go out
with him almost every single morning to do shopping, and we would talk about
practically everything there was to talk about.  He was such a nice, smart,
and funny guy, and definitely one of my greatest role models when I was a
kid.  He has unfortunately since passed away in 2012 when I was fourteen,
which I was really sad about, but he will forever be in my memories.  I also
really enjoy just seeing the wonderful attractions that Paris, and just the
country of France in general, has to offer.  (By the way, I chose my email
address, ligne14, because I really like going on one  of the Paris subway
lines!):( When I was in the first grade, I also had the opportunity to study
Spanish.  When I was in fourth and fifth grade, I entered a Spanish spelling
Bee that my teacher was organizing for the first time.  I won the Bee in
fourth grade, and I got, I beealieve third place in fifth grade.  I was so
proud of all those accomplishments.  When I started middle school, I
continued pursuing Spanish, although, I'll admit, I did get into kind of a
battle with my parents over whether I should continue with that or study
French (they only offered both languages at the school I was attending).  I
wanted to learn French because at the time, I could speak it, but wasn't
very good at writing (I'm still not, by the way).  My parents convinced me
that I should just keep taking Spanish, because they just thought that I'd
be bored with the class since I already speak French fluently.  After sixth
grade, I'd changed from public school to a school for the blind, due to
major problems I had with my new TVI as well as some of my teachers.  It was
at the school for the blind where I really made the final decision to pursue
languages o a potential career goal.  
I started that school in the seventh grade, and I had to take Spanish, which
was the only language they offered.  I've always gotten high 90;'s in my
Spanish classes every year.  A year after I started at the school for the
blind, in the eighth grade, my social studies class took a field trip to the
UN.  During that trip, our tour guide pointed out the language interpreters
to us and what they do.  I became so intrigued, listening to people in the
next room speaking in one language while the interpreters were translating
through headphones to other languages (I believe that meeting was actually
conducted in French).  After the UN trip, I thought to myself, "You know, if
interpreters can do that, so can I - this will be the job that I'm going to
pursue." 
Later on that year, I got an assignment in my Home and Careers class to
write a report about any job that we wanted, and I chose language
interpreting.  We also had to present our reports, and my teacher thought I
did a really good job on it, explaining exactly what language interpreters
do and convincing the class about why I wanted to pursue it as a career.

Coincidentally, that same year, my Spanish teacher told me that since I was
fluent in three languages, I could become a foreign language schoolteacher
if I wanted.  I've also added it to my bucket list of potential careers I'd
like to pursue.

Speaking of jobs, when I was a junior in high school, I actually had the
opportunity to practice both interpreting and teaching within my school
campus.  I had a job where I would translate documents such as the school's
news-letter into Spanish, because there were a lot of Hispanic parents who
don't know any English.  
In addition, I also taught my technology teacher French, (she had always
wanted to learn it,) and she taught me how to be an effective teacher to my
future students.  Both of these jobs have been great experiences for me,
because they not only allowed me to practice my language skills, but I've
also learned a lot from them.  I am therefore very thankful for both of my
teachers for offering me both of these positions.

During my senior year of high school, my Spanish teacher retired.  
I was honored to speak during a school assembly, in which I told the whole
school what my Spanish teacher really meant to me.  For example, as you guys
have already seen, she has been really supportive of my passion for
languages.  Whenever we spoke (which was often) we would always talk in
Spanish.  This enabled me to further practice my skills with her outside of
regular class.  
With that said, when I was taking Spanish, I can remember countless days
when I would just hang out with my teacher for a few minutes bef/af class,
and we would just chat about anything and everything.  Those are definitely
one of my most memorable times at my school for the blind.  My teacher was
very moved by my speech, to the point where, while the crowd was applauding,
she gave me a very tight hug and just kept thanking me over and over.  I was
also told that she was sitting right next to me and had tears in her eyes
the whole time I spoke.

When I had to write my college essay for the different schools I was
applying to, I basically described the same thing that I'm telling you guys
right now.  At the end of my senior year, we took a family vacation to Spain
for my high school graduation present.  During that trip, my younger brother
and I were in charge of translating everything for our parents and doing the
talking, since their knowledge of Spanish is very limited.  
Again, this allowed me to have many interactions with people, and therefore
reinforcing my skills/knowledge of the language.
After we came back from Europe that August, I had the opportunity to do an
internship at a local independent living center, in which I did some
interpreting over the phone as well as played the piano for seniors at a
nearby nursing home.  Doing this, I had my first experience of doing a job
out in the "real world," 
and I have since added this great experience to my resume.

I took a gap year after my senior  year of high school to pursue my
blindness training at a center in my native NY.  After graduating from the
center, I started college (where I am now) and declared my major in Romance
Languages.  I'm now studying Italian in addition to Spanish, which I've
always wanted to do, since they're all (French, Spanish, and Italian) in the
romance languages group.

I also forgot to mention that I've always been interested in learning new
languages in my spare time.  As a result, I've received many COULD's for
learning new ones, including ones for German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese,
Greek, Japanese, Arabic, and even Gaelic (from Ireland).  I really enjoyed
listening to the COULD's (I don't as often unfortunately) because they allow
me to gain more knowledge and add more information to my probably already
full brain! LOL.

Now, I'm having ow same internship that I did two years ago, as soon as I
finish this semester off in May, and am really looking forward to it.  I'm
really hoping I'll be able to have even more translations than I did last
time.

I know that this is a much more in-depth analysis of my choice of study,
but, as you guys can see, my interest/experience is very complicated! :(I
sincerely apologize to everyone for the very lengthy message, but hope you
all enjoyed reading it.

Thanks and enjoy your weekends,

Sami     ----- Original Message -----
From: Miranda via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Date sent: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 23:29:13 -0400
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] "Conversation starter"/question related to the field
ofstudy you are pursuing

Hi,
This is a great conversation, and I look forward to hearing the experiences
that others share as well.  My interest in the human services field was
really heightened during my summer internship in 2015.  I have the
opportunity to welcome refugees to the United States, and I saw the problems
that they experienced as a result of their trauma and resettlement journey.
However, I also saw a great deal of resilience and hope in the midst of what
may seem to some as insurmountable obstacles.
This 13-week internship and all that I learned solidified my desire to
welcome internationals to the United States as my long-term career goal.
Thanks for starting this conversation, and again, I look forward to hearing
others' experiences!

Best wishes, Miranda


Sent from my iPhone

 On Apr 14, 2017, at 9:51 PM, Cory McMahon via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
wrote:

 All,



 What attracted you to the field of of study you are pursuing?



 I'm majoring in Human Services because I, personally, appreciate the
opportunity to help people, particularly in the area of the improvement of
lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.  We're coming a long
way in the integration of this population into the broader community, and
I'm truly blessed to be part of the implementation of that change.



 Sincerely,



 Cory McMahon



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