Interview Set

The interview date is set.  Tuesday, July 3 @ 3:00 p.m. in the Big Apple.  Nice excuse for a train ride.


My response to Mandela’s thoughts

What part of Nelson Mandela’s story do you find inspiring?

Nelson Mandela could very well have said that the Afrikaners were the enemy and he would not speak their language.  Instead he choose to see them as fellow humans.  I know the people I will be living with are not the enemy but westerners can bring a feeling of superiority when they travel overseas. I plan to bring Mandela’s  spirit friendship and openness when  I am overseas.

I love the quote about speaking to someone in his language. When I was in Paris on matter how badly I mangled the French or stumbled for the words I felt that the people responded to my attempt to speak to them in their language.  And in return I responded with a smile when the owner of a small caves spoke to my daughter and I in English or the taxi driver said “I speak English”.

What is the value of learning a foreign language?

Learning a new language helps you to learn the culture.  The words of a culture teach you what is important to the culture.  Although the story about Inuits having 100 or 200 or 300 words for snow may be an myth, they certainly have more words for snow than we do. That says snow is important to them. When we lived in Mississippi my husband, at the time, said to someone “It smells like snow”.  That phrase was totally foreign to the person from MS but any New Englander would know immediately what my ex meant, that snow was on the way.  And it did snow that evening.  You can’t know a culture without knowing it’s language.

I don’t think you can become part of the culture without know the language. You miss so much when you don’t speak the language of the culture you are living in. Part of my Peace Corps experience will be to immerse myself in the culture and I feel I can hardly do that without knowing the language.

How do you feel about learning and using a foreign language as a Peace Corps Volunteer?

It will be a fun challenge. I have always loved languages and would love to go somewhere and immerse myself in a new language. In fact I was slightly disappointed when people in France were so willing to talk English.  I can imagine my new neighbors and myself laughing at my gaffs and baby steps at speaking in a new language but I can also imagine becoming fluent and truly having a second language.

If I had my choice I’d choose French because of my High School background and because I love the language. However I am probably do not have that much of an advantage with my HS  French nor because I listened  to two drive and learn programs before I went to Paris!

Language will be another part of this amazing journey I hope to take.


Nelson Mandela on Learning Language

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – On Nelson Mandela and Learning Afrikaans
Well, Nelson was very serious about… learning to understand the Afrikaner… [I]n his mind… the Afrikaner was an African… [W]hatever solution there was going to be on the political issues was going to involve Afrikaans people. They… were part and parcel of the land… [T]hey had grown up and… had a history in the country, which [Nelson] wanted to understand. [He] put a lot of work and effort in learning to speak Afrikaans and to use it… He had absolutely no qualms about greeting people in Afrikaans and about trying his Afrikaans out on the warders. [Nelson] wanted to really get to know Afrikaners, as part of the people who belonged to the country.

Now that you’ve learned about Nelson Mandela’s motivations for language learning, your next step is to process your own thoughts about the subject.

From Peace Corps training materials.

Step II finished

One more step is finished. I have been fingerprinted. My friend R said that I was the only person he knew who was excited about being fingerprinted. My security review form is signed. My divorce papers and my transcripts are copied and they are all in an envelope ready to mail tomorrow morning.

STEP III: Interview.


Specialty assignment

Got a big packet from the Peace Corps today it contained my specialty assignment! I will be assigned to information technology. YEAH This is step one of 10 or 15.


Professional Conferences

I just may miss professional conferences.  The hard dorm room beds, the college food ah the nostalgia. But really it’s great to hear what others are doing and to share what I am doing.  It’s energizing and inspiring.  This may be my last professional library conference in two plus years or more, so I am enjoying every minute of it. Meeting my colleagues from the Northeast. Sharing our ILS system woes and some of our library services triumphs.  So in homage to all my fellow librarian conference attendee I’ll post this video from YouTube.

March of the Librarians.

 off to lunch.




I had to share these two photos. They are from google satellite maps.  Go to   Parc du Champde Mars  Paris and move towards the Seine, then zoom in!  Way cool!


In limbo

I feel like I am in limbo waiting for my first communication from the Peace Corps. They are sending a letter with information to track the progress of my application via Internet. Delayed gratification is great if I am the one delaying the gratification but waiting without knowing when the answer will come is tough.  Thank goodness there is so much to do and i can keep busy with work, eBay and the scrapbook for my granddaughter that I do not think about the application all the time.

Promise when I know something you will all know something!