By: Julie Chau Pham – A student of SPP
Part 1: Where am I going?
“St Paul Preparatory school, you’re going there when you’re older” – said my grandma. The plan of going to SPP was set up from the day my parents decided that I could speak foreign language, specifically, English. To be more specific, I learn most of it from Disney and Cartoon Network at the time. When my parents got home from work, and I ran to them and started to randomly say English phrases from TV shows. “My daughter is a genius!” – my dad said proudly as he picked me up and swing me around. He has never proudly said somethings about me from then until the day I return to Vietnam from SPP. He was surprised to find how much I have grown and improved my education, abilities to be flexible, professional and capable to take care of myself. And we all sat around and talked about my adventure life in Minnesota at SPP.
My grandma works as a representative of Nacel Open Door Vietnam – a company that has been co-operating and supporting with SPP. My parents had a talk with my grandma after they found that I have the potential to speak English very well. I mean I don’t blame them for being surprised, I was maybe four or five at the time. It’s not that I was just imitating the cartoon character line. As I went along the shows, I actually understood most of it and what was going on. There’s actually a study that baby or toddler tend to learn and understand better and faster because in the first few years, we tend to be more curious and absorb information better. My parents decided to let me go to an English class to better my practice. Unfortunately, there weren’t any class for toddler kids like me, so I had to join in a class full of first, second and third grade.
Now is the perfect time for the dramatic Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the background. Again, I was just five to be exact, I didn’t learn the alphabet or was capable of understanding how to write. There I was, sitting around with a bunch of grown up (to me at least), wondering what to do. It wasn’t very hard at the beginning of the class, we grouped up to play a little vocabulary game. Me, of course, encounter the fact that no one picked me to be in their group because you know, who wanted a five year old in their team. And so, the teacher put me randomly a team just for the sake of starting the game. But surprisingly, our team gained points so fast from question to question; the game ended so quickly, the teacher was out of questions to ask us. “Not bad for a five year old” – that one kid from my group patted on my head and smile. And from that moment until now, I have been believing in myself, no matter how old I am. I have to believed that I have the potential and brave enough to embrace myself.
– End of part one. To be continued.. –