I danced around my home yesterday morning, torn between laughing hysterically and crying of pure joy.
The direction of my life was so fantastically validated.
When I first started researching the Internet for information regarding teaching English as a second language, I signed up for emails from a job listings site. Just for kicks. I felt sure I would regret the enormous influx of spam, but instead I found something wonderful.
One morning, when I was taking that damn Ancient Art of War in June, I scrolled through the options of the day in my email and found a listing for online volunteers needed for a program in Rio de Janeiro.
Considering I have high hopes and crossed fingers to get into the Fulbright program, destination Brazil, I jumped at the chance to become more involved in this pursuit.
I sent the woman my resume and a short blurb about me and why I was interested.
She responded quickly and set up a Skype chat with me for Thursday, July 10. Because it is a volunteer opportunity and not an actual job, I was hopeful, but not particularly positive about my chances, considering I have zero experience teaching anyone how to speak English. Unless you count my grammar Nazi tendencies.
Thursday morning found me sitting in front of my laptop almost 20 minutes before our scheduled meeting, showered, made up, and clothed in a dress, cardigan, and even heels. Our 11 AM time came and went and, even though I anxiously refreshed Skype, a request never came in. I emailed my contact to inquire and she was very apologetic about her Internet connection issues and suggested we try again Friday morning. This time at 8:30 AM. I readily agreed, but went to bed with lowered expectations of receiving the opportunity to volunteer.
Friday morning found me sitting in front of my laptop about 5 minutes before our scheduled meeting, unshowered, barefoot, still wearing Thursday night's mascara, and clothed in pajama bottoms, tank top and sports bra, with a cardigan thrown over the entire ensemble. I hope all of my interviews are of the Skype variety from now on.
We had a lovely half an hour conversation and she filled me in on the program. I still have limited knowledge, but the organization is called EnglishWorks and is made up of eight "learning squares" in Rio. Each class is made up of about 30 people, of varying ages from 14-80 and the students have a live teacher, an online teacher, and then us, the volunteer tutors who hail from all over the world with varying levels of expertise. Some of them are professionals and here I am, a lowly university student...
But, miracle of miracles, she assigned me a class. Which led to the dancing/laughing/crying fest on Friday morning following the Skype call. I immediately told Sam's Club (my new place of employment) that I would have limited availability on Fridays due to my new commitment from 6-6:30 PM Rio time (aka 4-4:30 PM).
I received an email with information regarding my class, including the teachers' Skype contacts and and an invitation to the EnglishWorks Volunteers Facebook group. This is happening. And I couldn't be A Very Luckier Girl.