Thursday, May 17, 2007
Yesterday, I finally took my Language Survey English B distance course exam, that I have been postponing for nearly a year. I should have passed this course in January 2006, but I missed it because I fell of my horse and had a major concussion. Since then, I have embarked on the same course three times, and was about to drop off again when my mother's cancer was rediscovered a few days ago. I knew something had to go, but my father advised me not to drop the course. "You need to finish it," he said. "If you don't do it now, you never will."
It wasn't until the day before the exam, when I actually got the time to sit down and study, that I realized how glad I was to be finishing it off. I'm too tired after my concussion to have a million balls rolling at the same time. Now all that remains before the course B is closed in my book is to finish a 2500-word long essay about the Impacts of a Global Language. We only had six topics to choose from and last year I made the mistake of picking the one about Language Death, which proved to be too deep a subject for my battered brain to focus on. I think Globalism suits me much better! The essay deadline is on Sunday (and I have only just started) but after that, there are just a few finishing touches left and I'm done!
My grandmother asked me a few weeks ago, "So are you graduating this summer?" Ah, no, far from it, but at least I will have put an end to two years of language studies that I have done by distance while working as a volunteer in Niger. Though I am slightly tempted to get started with one of the C courses, I will not embark on any language journey this year, because I'll be moving out of the country and settling in Niger, which is a big step considering the fact that I have been such a free bird these past few years (splitting my year in two and spending half a year on each continent). I may want to pick up the teaching thread later on in my life, but the thing is that I don't need a full education to teach in Niger. Everything you say and do is an inspiration to others, and just taking time with the children gives the adults something to think about.
Teaching them to ride has been one of my greatest experiences in Niger, because horseback riding is something for the rich only and most kids never get to sit on own at all, much less learn to ride.
Life in Niger is full of developing opportunities and you don't need to be an educated teacher to expend the children's world view and teach them something valuable about life. That's a responsibility we all share, actually.