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Goal Setting: Not of Achieving but of Becoming



Joined: 2/15/2013
Posts: 4
Chocolatebunny
My knuckles turned white as I clung tight to the metal bar in front of me as the three-wheeler rocketed down the road. The smell of exhaust crept through the open sides of the vehicle. The driver made a sudden turn onto a dirt path, and my sister’s weight was thrown against my shoulder. I paid little attention to these discomforts as my mind disconnected from the ride. Will they like me? Will I be able to teach them? Or maybe I’ll be a failure as a language teacher... We arrived at a gate with pointed iron bars decorated with fanciful geometrical designs. We walked through the gates to a pavilion where we were greeted by the administration. They spoke in thick Sri Lankan accents, and furrowed their eyebrows when my sister and I talked too fast in English. They showed us the simple, Spanish tiled houses, each under the shade of an elm tree. “This is where the children live with fourteen others. They each have a surrogate mother. You see, no? They’re just like a real family.” Walking around this S.O.S. Village, I could tell the children playing outside were happy. As my sister and I arrived at our class the children cast curious glances our way. We smiled and marveled at their cuteness. Later they grew confident enough to ask questions, and we taught them songs which they struggled to sing back. And then we tried a second, then a third time until they recited the songs with ease and confidence.

The next week was a joyful blur of sweet, little children in brightly colored uniforms, and older kids with pockets full of smiles and hugs. We shared a mutual curiosity about each other’s lives. We talked of America, and in turn we found out more about them. They lived lives of getting up at five in the morning and going for a run. They showered and dressed for school. At school they laughed and studied. Like us, they came home and studied some more and slept only when scolded to. They weren't rich, they had no biological family, and for every mile I ran they had to run two, but they were happy.

Slowly I grew less nervous, and taught with more confident. When I read with them they would often get stuck on words more than two syllables. I said it slowly, and they repeated it. I smiled and nodded in approval, and suddenly they could say “grasshopper” like they were born knowing the word.

My goal had been to teach English, but it has turned more into a hope. I hope that if I have given those kids anything it’s the motivation to learn. To expand their knowledge of the world, and to study English not just to learn it, but to communicate in the larger world. A goal is something worked towards, but a hope is everlasting. I came in nervous, but determined. I came out with admiration and hope for our world.
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire StageofLife.com editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your GOALS essay being chosen as a finalist in this month’s writing competition. This is a huge accomplishment since we received the largest amount of entries ever for this contest.

We will be posting the final results and announcing the winner of the contest by the end of next week. If you are the 1st place winner, we will be contacting you directly.

You can view the results by the end of next week by clicking on the Essay Winners (Blue Ribbon) icon on the StageofLife.com homepage.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World, One Story at a Time”


Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 6:30:36 PM
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Comment by thiegsr


Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire StageofLife.com editorial board, I would like to congratulate you as being selected as the 3rd Place Winner in our September / Goal Setting writing contest. This is a huge honor and you should celebrate your accomplishment.

For all of the contest results view: http://www.stageoflife.com/StageHighSchool/GoalSettingforTeens.aspx

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World, One Story at a Time”

Sincerely,
Rebecca Thiegs
StageofLife.com Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 6:15:39 PM
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