Yikes! I have failed myself again!
My intention was to write when I was home, but home was uninspiring. It was the first time I had been home for an extended amount of time in three whole years. I can’t believe how much has changed and how much hasn’t changed either. I will say that being home solidified my feeling of having outgrown home and needing to move on.
Also, the largest distraction from writing was the z100 contest I entered myself into. This contest took up so much of my energy that I didn’t do HALF of what I NEEDED to do while at home. Sadly, I have to report that I only got 4th place. I will be filing this experience down as a case study! I was able to get over 5000 votes through social media and word of mouth. I’m really proud of that and I was humbled by the amount of support I received for a two week-vote daily type contest. Plus, it just must not be my time to meet Justin Timberlake yet. I know it will come soon enough though! If you’re interested, check out the blog I created for the competition to showcase the extent of my love for him (http://www.erikaisthetnkid.tumblr.com)
So for the rest of the summer, I’m back on my campus working with a program that brings young international students to NYC to teach them the English language and culture. I can’t begin to express how much fun I am having with these kids. Most of them have a great grasp on the language and are really flourishing. Others struggle a bit but are pushing themselves to speak it better. The most rewarding element of my job is watching them experience certain American nuances and learning about who they are and how their cultures function.
In recognition of DOMA being ruled unconstitutional (on my birthday—such an honor) I shared the news with the students (predominantly from Russia). That conversation started off with one simple question “do you know what homosexuality is?” I explained that in America, in some places it is legal for two people of the same sex to get married. And hopefully now, more states will make it legal. I then asked what they thought about that and how their countries treated homosexuality. Their answers varied, but the majority said that their country was against Gay Rights.
THE COOLEST PART OF THE CONVERSATION?!
Only one student, out of the 15 I spoke with, felt that being gay was wrong. These 14-16 year olds are down with people being free to love whoever they choose!
More on my adventures with the kids to follow, as well as a posting about my experience of traveling to Russia!
And huzzah to all of my friends in the Gay community! 6/26 was a remarkable step forward for each and every one of you!