“I came home from (Ignite the Spark) and posted my Success Patterns statement by my computer. It’s not hard to find; it’s still right there.” (6 years later)
Have you ever started over from scratch?
At age 64 and after 31 years in Mexico with an overseas service organization, Vicky and her husband returned to the States, during a country-wide economic crisis, with pretty much nothing and no money.
I say we returned with nothing but I did have a little pocket of hope in my heart … and Susan Clark’s phone number from the PSU course catalog. Could I, over the summer, get my teaching credential reinstated after not having taught in Oregon for 34 years?
Portland State University didn’t have my graduate hours online; they had to unearth them from some ancient files, so I had to wait a month before I could take any education courses. Yet, there was this class called Ignite the Spark being offered during that same time period. I assumed that Ms. Clark would quickly help me discard her class as an option once she heard my situation, but instead she was actually excited and thought the experience was exactly what I needed to launch back into the culture and a renewed career! (My husband, reflecting on our bank account, swallowed hard, and responded, “O-k-a-y, if you really think that’s going to help …”) Which I turned into an immediate: “Sign me up.”
So I joined an intimate group of seven patient, keen listeners, in touch with their inner lives, and to a person: encouragers! (It had been a long time, but I didn’t recall another PSU class like that!) They said things like, “If I had a child in your school [What school? I hadn’t taken any of my required courses yet. Hadn’t I explained that?] I’d want him/her to learn Spanish from you.” and “You are exactly the one who should be teaching in today’s schools.”
I came home from that class and posted my Success Patterns statement by my computer. It’s not hard to find; it’s still right there: “I am God’s colorful, compassionate conduit creatively drawing others to walk on confidently.” Oh, and below that, my Why I Am Here statement: “I’m a purpose promoter.” Why am I telling you this? If you’ve taken Ignite the Spark, you probably have your own little post-it right there.
September arrived as did all of my post-grad grades and the paperwork required to comply with Woodburn School District’s requirements as the dual-language teacher for my own third grade classroom. Within a year and a half I added an ESOL bilingual/Spanish endorsement.
Value that lasts: An update from Vicky
I taught until I was 70, and retired last July with a little pension.
During the last two years — you guessed it — that little hope started sparking up in my heart again. What if I have some new purpose to promote? A teacher pal planted a new possibility via e-mail. Western University was initiating a 6-month training course to become a certified hospital interpreter. Could I learn all that medical terminology in Latin and English … and then, in Spanish? Nobody said, “No” so, I finished the course and took a mini-internship in Salem Hospital. Since then, I passed my national English exam in interpreting for healthcare. Now, my final challenge is to successfully present my Spanish oral exam. And somewhere, way down deep, a little voice resonates: “I think you are exactly the one who should be interpreting in today’s hospitals.”