This week I don’t have any words of wisdom, nor do I have an anecdote to pass on. Rather, I have two quotes to pass on. Both have come to mind due to the work I have been doing the past week. The first was initiated from working on a project with foreign-born faculty, the second deals with my preparation in leading my first working group here at Victoria College.
“Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.” – Author Amy Chua
Throughout my professional career I have worked with hundreds (if not more) of foreign-born compadres. I have always appreciated their strength and drive in dealing not only with new customs and cultural norms, but also the intricacies of the English language. I have lived overseas and had to deal with the same sort of obstacles they had/have, and I know how difficult it can be. (A side note: living in the United Kingdom was harder than I thought, because we don’t speak the same English, I came to find out.) I wish more people would take a step back and understand this, instead of being hostile and asking them to speak “’Merican.” Another quote by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. immediately comes to mind in this regard: “Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.” Kudos to you folks assimilating in our great melting pot!
“Excitedness is kind of like nervousness, but with the hope of a positive outcome.”- My friend, Lejla Šestić
I like this quote, as it shows how you can turn that nervous energy you have before something important (or not so important) into something that will drive you forward. That is to say, don’t let the circumstances of an emotional event consume you. Rather, learn how to focus that feeling into something positive, and positive results will come. I always liked working with Lejla (the quote’s author, if your memory is bad like mine) out in California, because she was always upbeat no matter what the situation. I like to think I learned a lot from her about how to conquer certain fears and redefine my desired outcome with any task. Oh, have I mentioned that she is Bosnian? Yep, a foreign-born friend whose second language is English. I’ll give you a week to mull that one over.
Instructional Media Design Specialist
Center for Academic & Professional Excellence