This past Tuesday, Danielle and I joined two colleagues in giving presentations to the parents of children enrolled in the Alamance County Head Start Program. The two of us were tasked with sharing information on job search resources and interview preparation, topics that we are more than comfortable discussing. But there was a twist.
Before arriving, we were told that we would need an interpreter since some parents only spoke Spanish. None of us knew exactly what to expect, but we prepared as best we could. We split the group into two parts: English-speaking and Spanish-speaking parents separated, and two of us presented to each group.The parents were attentive and very appreciative, so this enthusiasm was quite comforting. The interpreter did a great job giving the parents examples to further explain what we were saying and it seemed that they valued the information. But half way through my portion of the presentation, I began to feel very discouraged. I had all of this great information to share, but literally couldn’t find the words to do so. I love discussing career development with others but I was frustrated that I couldn’t do my job myself.
Growing up in Louisiana, Creole French is commonly spoken in most households and was the only foreign language that we could learn in school. Once I got to college, I enrolled in Spanish classes and was always commended by my professor for being one of her best students. Then graduation came and I forgot how much I enjoyed the cultural experience of learning a new language. After meeting with the Head Start parents, my desire to learn Spanish is greater now than ever before and I look forward to being able to help others, no holds barred.
¡Voy a aprender español!