English is my dad’s second language, learned informally through a combination of movie-watching, “Inglés Sin Barreras” VHS tapes, and water cooler conversations at the medical device company where he’s worked since I was born.
Self-conscious over having what he perceived as an inadequate understanding of the English language, my dad would make me comb through his every work presentation, lab report, and email in search of grammatical errors, tonal awkwardness, and really just any indication that he wasn’t as well-educated (though I’m sure he was just as smart!) as his peers. He questioned every edit I made — Why this word and not that one? Why does this require elaboration, and why does this need to be deleted? Is there a more elegant way of saying what I want to say, and what, exactly, makes your proposed phrasing better?
It was in this way that I learned not only how to be an efficient and detail-oriented writer, but also a compassionate communicator. As a kid I was frustrated by the extra homework he was giving me; as an adult I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to help my dad build a bridge between himself, his professional achievements, and his community.
Today, I continue to be committed to elucidating and promoting the hard work of good people. At EdLab, I build and sustain a growing network of engaged learners as a member of the Outreach and Research teams. If I’m not tweeting, tabling, or snapping photos of you at one of our Learning Theater events, you can find me in the back treating myself to one too many complimentary chocolates.