Saturday, February 14, 2009

Student Reflection: The Most Rewarding Experience

by Megan Knight
Last week, when I went to Leal Elementary School for my volunteer work, something amazing happened. As I walked into the office, a young Hispanic woman followed me. Our eyes met, I smiled and said, “Hi,” and she smiled politely back at me. As I started to fill out my work log and find my nametag, the woman sitting behind the desk began to talk to the Hispanic woman.

After a minute, the woman behind the desk asked the woman if she needed someone who spoke Spanish, and the woman nodded yes. The lady behind the desk told her that the secretary would be back soon, and that she thought she spoke a little Spanish, but they would have to wait.

I stood there for a second not knowing what to do. I was afraid to offer to help the woman because what if my Spanish wasn’t as good as I thought it was and I couldn’t understand anything she was saying? But, on the other hand, what if the secretary comes back and doesn’t really speak any Spanish and the Hispanic woman would be helpless? I quickly weighed the two and understood what I had to do.

I turned to the Hispanic woman and said, “Hablo español.” She looked at me with relief and said, “De verdad?” And then she told me that she was there to pick up her son because he had a dentist appointment. I translated for the secretary and found out the boy’s name and helped them figure out which class he was in. Once everything was set, I started to leave and the woman turned to me with this look of pure graciousness and said, “Thank you.” I replied, “De nada.”

Situations like THAT are why I want to be bilingual.


  1. That is so neat, Megan. I'm glad that you took the plunge and put your talents to work. :)

  2. Amazing! Megan, THAT is exactly what CBL truly wants students to do: go beyond thinking of your "hours," and instead analyze and take advantage of all situations, no matter how difficult or how trivial they are, to use your knowledge of Spanish.

    I REALLY enjoyed reading this! Good work.