Sorry about the break between posts, blogosphere.  I spent last weekend in Wenatchee, helping out with another Citizenship Day.  It made for a delightful trip with Muang and Laura and some schmoozing with attorneys over margaritas.  I have to say that as delicious as all of the Vietnamese and Chinese food is here, I have been longing for more variety.  As Wenatchee has a very large migrant worker population, they have some pretty bomb Mexican food.  I had forgotten that when I signed up to volunteer, I put down that I speak Spanish.  The thing is, they don't allow for any level of degrees.  Either you are fluent or you don't speak it.  Well, if those are the only options, then I don't speak Spanish.  At first they had me listed as a translator.  First of all, translation is not my strong suit anyway.  Second, this was specialized vocabulary.  Third, it was the legal interpretation which is supposed to be verbatim because any variation, however slight, can be seen as the provision of legal counsel.  Suffice it to say, I didn't end up translating.  I was doing intake and talking to people with my own words in Spanish.  I was a lot stronger and more comfortable with that.  I also had my safety net, known to her friends as Georgina.  She's a paralegal at the firm of the one the ringleaders for the day.  The drive back was gorgeous.  We went through the Cascades.  I took some pictures but none of them turned out spectacularly well.

My gym buddy and her gorgeous partner in crime have found greener pastures.  Their last day will be Thursday.  In celebration of their success, we went out for Happy Hour tonight.  It was delightful.  I really love to see certain work folks out of their normal habitat.  Rhonda (Amy's PIC) will be a program manager at another nonprofit in Seattle, working with homeless people.  This means she is a good lady to stay connected with for future hirings.  Looking to the future, I might be going to Olympia this weekend to participate in fun and funky parade called the Procession of the Species.  Look it up.  :)


Rack 'Em Up

I am now at 16 students who have successfully naturalized.  One of the most recent batch was particularly hard-fought.  It's kind of a great story and she was so grateful for the help and support that we have provided through the process.  She had her first interview and failed for a few reasons.  In the two months between her first and second interview, she worked so hard and came in for mock interviews every chance that she got.  Tonight, she took Xiangping, Louis and I out to dinner.  It was yummy but she foisted a lot of food on us.  I still hit the gym afterward, only an hour but it was better than nothing.



After not working out for 5 days due to illness, it's fantastic to be back on track!  ESL classes started up this week and that went smoother than any time before because of the pre-registration and testing.  It was great.  We have been having a few little slips with some folks who came to the intake days and then didn't show up on the roster but overall, it has been great.  In the past, the first few days of classes are completely engulfed by registering each person one by one and then doing the English testing.  That is so not the way to go about it because we got people placed inappropriately which took a fair amount of effort to rectify.  With the way we did it this quarter (and will continue to do it), the teachers are able to start out as *gasp* teachers, instead of administrators or proctors.

In other news, working without having to worry about teaching has been ridiculously productive.  I'm sending out citizenship applications left, right and center.  I have lessons planned for the first week.  I am developing new curricula and visuals for the projector.  The first Talk Time will be about camping, as per the request of one of my students.  We will be talking about giving directions on Thursday.

My life was been work and working out during the week, which works for me.  I get my social interaction at work and at the gym.  I'm glad I have Muang and Amy to make going to the gym more like hanging out with friends.  Friday will be going out for Sujata's birthday.  It should be interesting.