Count your duckies.

by

I arrived at Gallaudet last Monday in super-super early morning. Perhaps 1am. For few days before I flied out to Gallaudet, I was so nervous about going back to Gallaudet. My time here has been so interesting that I have no idea what to expect from this university for my junior year. Everything changed for the best: academics, work, and social life.

Freshman year- Before Gallaudet, I had dreams of becoming a high school English teacher for the Deaf. I felt that I had the desire to teach people. There was an imaginary burning passion inside me that screamed out, “I want to teach!” I took EDU 150 (Introduction to Education) class my second semester (spring ’09) under Susan Schatz (a good teacher in my opinion), and she made me realize that the dream I wanted was actually my father’s dream. My father has always dreamed that I’d become a teacher for the Deaf someday. My father is not college-educated, and he has never really learned how people in other professions work their way through life to get the careers they have right there at that point. While growing up, I always tried to please my father by being the person he wants me to be. During that year at Gallaudet I learned that I am my own person not the person my father wants me to be. I am my own person. I have my needs and wants, and I should not change who I am for somebody else even if it’s a parent.  I do enjoy teaching, but it is not my passion. I don’t desire to teach. There is so much work involved with the education field, and I know I’ll be miserable as a teacher. As much as my father is a great parent, I am going to follow my own path. People should become teachers because they desire to teach not because their parents expect them to teach for a living. Now by the end of the second semester, which major should I go for?

Sophomore year- I became a RA at Benson Hall- a dorm for freshmen. I definitely learned a lot about myself and the others. It was a really fun, enjoyable year. I struggled a lot with finding out my major in fall ’09. Thanks to my GSR 150 teacher, a Russian Deaf woman from a Deaf family, I figured out what I want to major in. She grew up in Russia during the Soviet Union era. I loved talking to her because she often shared stories of what it was like to grow up as a Deaf person in Russia during the Soviet Union era. Luckily Gallaudet decided to go ahead and establish the new major International Studies. I instantly knew it was the right major for me. I love learning about other cultures and learn how people live their lives. As for my social life, it was really different from my freshman year. I lost a lot of friends but at the same time gained a lot of wonderful friends. I learned that it is OK to be alone or lose friends because in all cases it is better to be alone or lose friends than be in toxic friendships.

Junior year- Gallaudet has formally set up the new major International Studies. There is a possibility that I’d minor or double-major in Spanish. Also, there is another possibility that I’d minor or double-major in history. I don’t know, I haven’t really decided on those majors. All I know that the International Studies major is right for me. My father is still not happy with my decision and he constantly pressures me; however, whenever he pressures me, I immediately stand up for myself. In the end my junior year should be kick-ass.

The first thing I missed about Gallaudet when at home for the summer are the duckies.

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