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By the time, second year came around, I grew really attached to my kids. And some of the girls are actually, we...we still are in contact. And I didn't want to quit. So I stayed on. A third year. But then I realized that, I didn't have a lot of clout. Because, technically and honestly, I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have any formal training. So, I thought, for me to do this for real, I need to go back to school. And I had no intention, prior, that I was going to go and get a Master's degree in teaching English as a second, uh, as a foreign language. So I looked and looked for schools, and by then, my husband had proposed, and we were gonna get married. And so, I said, okay, you know, I'll take some years off because it was, extremely stressful in America...Teach for America. We... didn't get paid. One year, I remember, when part of the year, we didn't get paid. I don't know if you remember, you recall, the, the year, Newt Gingrich, was the, speaker of the house, and the government shut down. Do you remember? There was, no money, the city was bankrupt. And, we were, asked, they, they told us, at our school that they couldn't ask us to work for no money. But that the children, needs to be, educated. And so, we were left, sort of, my friend noticed like, "Okay. Should we go to work and not get paid?" "How are we gonna pay our, you know" "apartments and...?" stuff so... I figured, you know, I really like this, I had no intention of becoming a teacher, but I, really like ESL. I don't know though if I really want to work at a Junior High level, because I really didn't like... Well, maybe, just the school district that I was in. Um, people were not culturally sensitive. Just things and I... And I felt like, they'd been in the system for so long, they had so much clout, that no matter what I do, I just hoped that they would retire, and then, a new person come along. So I went back to school, after my three years, with Teach for America, I went to SIT. School for International Training. Um, I had two choices at the time. Because, I wanted to get my Master's degree really quickly, so I can go back to work. Cause I didn't have, I still didn't have any money. Um, and there were only two programs, that I could do. That one was with the Monterey Institute, here in California, and the other one, was with SIT, School for International Training, in Vermont. In Brattleboro, Vermont. I didn't pick, Monterey. Because, in my mind, it was more for military training. And, the more I research into, what was SIT all about, while learning... And I found out that, SIT was the birthplace, of the Peace Corps. Well, you know, I was the huge fan. I had wanted to go to the Peace Corps. That was it. So went back and got my Master's degree. And came back here. And, well, I've always been teaching ESL here and there. Before I had my Master's, I couldn't um, I wasn't allowed, to, to teach at a community college level, or even at a school district. Cause you have to have certifications and all that. So I always done, IEP program, like language program, private program. But we moved here, Early, 2000, and... I got hired by city college. And I'm still here, its almost 10 years now. Moderator: Umm, Moderator: I know that one of your motivations, Moderator: for um, telling your story today, Moderator: is that you wanted to leave something Moderator: for your daughter. Moderator: Is there something in particular? Moderator: A particular message Moderator: that you would like for her Moderator: to hear? Umm. Moderator: About your life and your experience? If there if there was a message, It would be that you can't take life for granted. And... You have to understand that, your freedom, your, whatever that you have now, can be taken... away from you. Instantly, without you knowing. So, so, if there, if there were a message, for my, daughter. and my nieces and nephews, who were all born here, who, fortunately, did not have to experience the things that I have to experience. Is that, I want them to, more than anything, gratitude, for what they have. And also, to know how fortunate, they are. To be able to, say what they want to say, and live, as they wanna live. And, that would be, the message from me. Moderator: Umm... Moderator: Do you, do you have an idea or, Moderator: umm, any notions of why you think that, Moderator: you were able to, survive, Moderator: this whole time when somebody died? Of course, here, no. I'm not a religious person. But I do believe that, there has to be some kind of divine intervention. Cause my family were in godforsaken places. At various locations. At different times. But somehow, we were able, to come back together. If you look at the generation, that came out of this period. Very few families have this many family members survive. Now, how? I, don't know. We just did it. So, I, I do believe that there's somebody out there. There were some unknown forces. That kept us together. I... I... I.... believe that. So, luck, maybe. I don't know. Moderator: Umm... Moderator: Was there any person that..." Moderator: uhh, really helped you to survive? Moderator: Or saved you through this time? Moderator: That, you know, wasn't your family member? Moderator: Was there any? Well, I knew that in the village, there had always been, someone who is kind. Who would, you know, without, "Angka" looking passed, um, maybe an extra fish. Or whatever to my family. But, I, don't remember, these experiences. Because I was taken away, for the most, for most of the time, during that 5 years, of the Khmer Rouge regime. And when, at the camp, I can't recall anybody. I was pretty much a loner. So... Moderator: Okay. Moderator: Is there anything else? Not, that I can think of. Moderator: Kay. Unless, you have other questions. Moderator: No, I'm good. Moderator: All right, well thank you. You're welcome. Been a pleasure.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 53 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Khmer Legacies
Director: Socheata Poeuv
Views: 75
Posted by: khmer legacies on Apr 30, 2010

Part seven of seven.

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