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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Update on Tutoring

Our first meeting included the translator trying to figure out what Svitlana wanted to learn and asking me not to give up if this didn’t work.  I learned she was around fifty years old and had only been in the United States for three years, was at a level one in English, and had completed the eighth grade in Russia.  I felt unprepared, even after completing my training.  This lent to some frustration as we muddled through our first session.  She seemed frustrated as well.  And honestly, I would have been too if I were in her shoes.  To me, Svitlana is a brave woman.  It can not be easy to learn a new language when in your home and at work is your native one.  But she was there because she wanted to learn and I was there because I wanted to teach.  Seemed like a perfect pairing to me!

For our second session I was prepared.  I went through the lesson books and chose one centering on the work environment.  I made out some flash cards, taping pictures to all the objects, to use in constructing questions and responses so we could work on dialogue.  I planned out how much time to spend on each activity.  When all was completed, I sat back looking at my neatly stacked piles and wondered if she would even show up.

So yesterday morning, I loaded my bag and headed to the library.  As I went to the front desk to claim our room, there she was waving at me from the table with a smile on her face.  I made a mental note to arrive early the next time.  She tried making conversation as we walked back to the room.  I took this as a positive sign.  Once we sat down, she was all business wanting to learn and expressing concern over  her lesson book.   After I explained how we would use her book with mine she seemed relieved.  I think she was going to try to work through it on her own.  She is so eager to learn!

When our session was finished and I was packing up my papers, she told me I was a good tutor.  She started to say something more and I waited while she struggled to find the words she was looking for.  Then, she smiled at me and said, “You are kind.”  I resisted the urge to hug her, but smiled and told her she was smart and a good student.  Her smile made my day.

Although I started this endeavor to give back to my community and to try to build someone up by giving them tools to work with.  And this has only been our second meeting.  I still wonder if I’ll give as much as I’m gaining.  I am quickly learning many things about Svitlana’s character, even with our temporary language barrier.  She is a brave, hard working woman, who does not let fear stop her from exploring the unknown.  She is determined, proactive, smart, and incredibly kind.   Yesterday, I found myself wanting to know more about her and hoping that somewhere down the road we can be good friends.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Missouri Book Signing for Torn Hearts and Title Chosen for Next Novel

I will be in Missouri at the Crestwood Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Saturday, May 7, 2011 signing copies of  Torn Hearts.  This is the day before Mother’s Day, so it is sure to be a fun and busy time!  I look forward to seeing everyone who is able to make it out.

Also, more exciting news… I have settled on a title for my second novel.  This has been a most challenging task, but thanks to feedback from those on my Facebook page, I have finally decided… (Insert drum-roll here)  Calling Me Home.  Of those who lent their feedback, Diane B. (Missouri) is the lucky winner of an autographed copy when it is released July/August this year.  Congrats!  And thanks everyone!

On a personal note- My oldest son, Paul, will be graduating high school next month.  Although, I am busy making plans for his open house and the graduation, it is hard not to reflect on the years that have flown by.  I am incredibly proud of him and the accomplishments he has attained during his high school career.  He is a fabulous debater, having made it to the national level three years.  He is a member of DECA and will be going to their national competition as well. In his bedroom there is one whole wall full of medals and trophies from various competitions to showcase his talents.  But of them all, there is one that no trophy represents, his loving and seeking heart.  Of this I am most proud as a mother.  I love you, Paul.  Congratulations.  And thank you for the many treasures I have stored in my heart, the memories of your youth.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Barnes and Noble Book Signing Scheduled

At the end of last week I was fortunate to have a book signing scheduled at:

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

9618 Watson Road

Crestwood, Missouri

 Saturday, May 7, 2011

2-5pm

This is the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  So if you are procrastinating on your gift purchases stop by and visit.  I would love to personalize a copy of Torn Hearts for you.  I am also thrilled to be having a book signing near the primary location in Torn Hearts, the Central West End in St. Louis, Missouri.

Of course, getting to visit with old friends and meet some new ones is a huge plus too!  I look forward to see you there!

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Writing Fog

The last several days my mind has been in a swirling fog.  I haven’t written much, if anything.  I wouldn’t say it is writer’s block, because, to be honest, I haven’t even tried to write the past week or so.  It is more like my brain is on overload, reminding me more of a runaway train than a block in the road.  My thoughts are jumping from one idea to another without the first being clearly examined.  Like trying to read the graffiti on the side of a train zipping by.  Today I’ve decided to push on in hopes the fog will lift, leaving behind only those thoughts that I can actually do something with or about.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

On a more positive note, I have completed my training to become a tutor.  I should have my first student in a week or two.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Paying It Forward

As I get older it seems I spend more time thinking about the impression I have left with others, hoping the good far out-weighs the bad.  In an effort to reinforce the good I have decided to take on a new challenge.

There are two main reasons for entering this endeavor.  The first is I have been greatly blessed and would like to share that with others.  The second is my oldest son has inspired me.  He donates a tremendous amount of time to volunteering and talks of how he likes to simply help others and participate.  In the past I have volunteered my time, but not on a committed schedule.  No, it was more simply when the need arose.  But this time is different.  I’m going to become a tutor!

Today I have my first orientation, followed by twelve hours of training.  The Lincoln Literacy Council will then pair me with students who want to learn or improve their English.  This will include reading, writing, and speaking.  The students are not just children, which makes this all the more interesting and worthwhile.  This time the volunteering will be a weekly commitment for a minimum of a year.  Although, I plan to make this a permanent commitment.

I have taught my sons that if you can read and write, you can learn and do nearly anything.  Nothing is out of reach if you can master those skills.  It is my aim, my goal, and my prayer, that I can encourage someone else, give them a boost up, and leave a mark on the world for the good.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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