A third language and an unforgettable experience

Just three weeks ago, I was stuck at Heathrow waiting for my lost baggage to arrive from Chicago.  Now I am reflecting on how fast my time here at the SSE has passed.

As promised two days ago, I will discuss the student-facilitated workshop from yesterday. But as I do so, I believe it would be useful to also discuss what I have learned during my time here.

Considering that my supervisors from college will be reading this, I will clarify that my focus has not been entirely on the understanding and learning the UK English language.  But it has been important inside and outside of the office nonetheless. Examples of my new language include something about “taking a Mickey out on me” which has to do with giving someone a hard time, “bloke” which is some sort of a man, “mate” which does not necessarily refer to any sort of act other than friendship, and “nip to the loo” which is some strange way to excuse oneself for the restroom. With the amount of slang here, I am nearing the point of adding UK English as my third language next to French and good ol’ Canadian (now half-American) English.

My learning has stretched much further than UK English jargon (as my supervisors will be grateful to know).  At the SSE specifically, I have been able to make advances within my computer knowledge, making me much more efficient at producing mass media. I have also been taught how to use Twitter… however I am embarrassed to announce that I only have one lone follower: the SSE’s Nick Temple.

Away from the computer, I have been able to observe the work of the SSE programme itself, learning how they use the action learning methodology to train these students to become social entrepreneurs.  This action learning methodology finds its roots in the inspiration and guidance from “been there, done that” witnesses who have proved themselves within the social entrepreneurial world.  The students then follow-up with reflection periods and take what they learn and apply it to their own projects. Collectively, the SSE experience transforms both ideas and ideals into actions through this proven model.

More personally, I have really been able to identify the structural and administrative dynamics within the SSE and use it to brainstorm and reflect on my own social entrepreneurial ideas. There has been a definite opportunity to further develop my own strategic plans, and focus on areas of my programs that I may have ignored prior to this journey.

With that, I cannot reiterate how great this experience has been.  I am extremely grateful for my college (St. Olaf College, MN), the CEL, the SSE, and, most importantly, my parents back home in Canada for supporting this venture.

To all social entrepreneurs: keep up the great work, keep on truckin', and never give up.


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