by Nazeli Sargsyan, an English teacher, from Armenia
Like any English teacher, my dream has always been to explore and experience the USA not only through books, videos or other online resources, but get a first-hand and an unmediated contact with the American life.
I am thankful to all those who enabled me to be here, to be one of the 19 countries selected to participate in SUSI Educators 2022 organized by highly proficient staff/ faculty: Bruce Laurie, Katie Lazdowski, Mark Protti, Kaye Sherwood, Alejandro Alfaro and many others.
Our program has meticulously been drawn up; every day is a new page of a new book that is exposed to us so that we can go deeply into the American people’s life-their origin, struggles, scourges, their true faith in equality. This course is designed not only to advance professionally but to get to know the way an average American leads his/her life.
Here I have learnt from Barbara Madeloni that we can achieve the impossible through collective power and enthusiasm. She can prove it with her infinite efforts that finally paid off .
At Easthampton High School I was impressed how school educators and students are involved in public affairs, how they are interconnected, how engaged and responsible they feel for their country.
At Deerfield I was amazed to eyewitness the origins of US indigenous people, the initial relief of the area, the impact of the environment change on their lifestyle habits. ( I gained agricultural skills from them which I will share with my people in Armenia).
At the Norman Rockwell Museum I was flabbergasted by the Artist’s flair and positive motivation- even after the Great Depression he made jolly and motivating paintings to raise the spirits of his folks. It is not just a museum but a history line of the USA.
At Freedom Summer by Bruce Watson I had an indescribable experience going through all the hardships overcome by the volunteers and the immense work done through joint work. “Freedom is a constant struggle”, he said. I was honored to have his book ‘ Freedom Summer for young people’ signed for me.
We acquire fresh and effective pedagogic skills which will be impactful for our vocational progress to stand out among others. Alongside with these intensive sessions, we go into the US Constitution in pursuit of understanding, analyzing or even amending its articles.
This program betters not only my knowledge of the US history and culture but also challenges me to get to know my own self; being far away from my family, friends and colleagues. Here I have made new friends and ties with whom I will collaborate.
Most importantly, I have come to know what is the American Dream!!!
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.