Lisa Ovalle

LISA OVALLE

Lisa Ovalle: Okay. My name is Lisa Ilene Ovalle. Oh, do you want the whole thing? I’m sorry. I’m so use to that. Um, Lisa Ilene Ovalle and I’m a student at Fresno Pacific University. I just graduated in the May 2002 class and I’ll be going into the teacher education um program at Fresno Pacific Graduate School. (Interruption) Ovalle. (Interruption) Lisa. (Interruption) Okay. (Interruption) I majored in (INAUDIBLE) Studies. (Interruption) Okay.

Okay, um from my father’s side of the family I’m about 4th generation Californian. Um, on my mother’s side (INAUDIBLE) I’m not quite sure about that, but we – my family did um – on my father’s side he – he went from elementary school and then he had to um – okay, I’m doing not good. (Interruption) Okay. On my father’s side um he had to pretty much drop out of school after like the – I believe the 6th grade, and then he went back and got his um – his – I blanked (Interruption) Okay. (Interruption) Um, my father he went to – up to the 6th grade in elementary school and then he went back and got his GED later and did um take some college at a local community college, and my mother the same. She went and took some local community college too. I’m the first one to actually get a degree. My brother um didn’t go to college but he is in the school system with my father.

Well, I do um – I do feel like I belong a lot with the American culture because we’ve been here – we have been here so long more then maybe some other Mexican families. Um, I have kind of – it’s sad because I kind of have lost some of it. I’m not bilingual. I understand some but um my speaking ability is not very well. So I – I’m limited in my Spanish use and I do regret that because like I see now that I could have used it a lot. Um, and (INAUDIBLE)

My parents are both bilingual, including my brother, but they do speak English at home which um I – see my grandmother, we used to visit her a lot when we were younger and she speaks mostly Spanish. So I could – that’s where I learned the little bit I do know is by going and visiting her and just being able to talk to her a little bit.

Yes, I do get that a lot that I – people started speaking Spanish to me and, like I said, I do understand Spanish more so then I can speak it so they would – uh, there were a lot of people who would speak to me in Spanish and I’d answer them back in English, and um it would take them quite a while for me to – for them to realize that I didn’t speak Spanish and they’re like – they become quite surprised when someone finally comes up and asks me, “Do you speak Spanish or not?” And I would tell them, “No,” and they’re all, “Well, I’ve been talking to you this whole time.” And I’ll – I’ll be all – uh, I would be like “Yes, I understand you. I just can’t speak it back very well.” And in school I got the same thing. Um, most the teachers, they assumed I knew Spanish. They would always want me to be maybe the translator for them and I – and I couldn’t do a very good job of that either, so it would take them a while for me to – to know that I wasn’t one of the ones they could.

Well, I definitely see myself as a Mexican/American. I don’t really see myself as Mexican or American because um as a part of – I’ve been here so long and my family is very American, I can see that now, and – but its – you can’t really – I can’t claim myself as just American just for my physical appearance. I’m very much um at least part Latino. They – they know that and so I see – I really see myself as both and I really don’t want to limit myself to just one because I – I’ve been here – um, my family has been in this country for a long time so we’re – we have seen ourselves as American. We – we know the American culture but yet there’s still part of our culture that is Mexican. Um, just the things we eat, the things we – we believe in. We have a – I believe we’re a very traditional family (INAUDIBLE) more old-fashioned then the American culture tends to be right now, so I just – I see myself as both.

Well, one of the main things I can remember because it was um around 6 years ago, so – you don’t remember all the little details, but one of the big ideas was the idea of the – the big picture. Um, I remember that a lot, and just the idea that you need to focus on the big picture and then move onto the small things. And I do remember, um, we got that a lot in some of our (INAUDIBLE) classes that I took here and – and I always would think back, I’m like, “Oh, I learned that at Learning Edge.” And that was such a positive thing to go back and say, “Well, I – this is just a refresher. I already kind of know the idea and the idea of Learning Edge...” – another important thing was (INAUDIBLE) other piece of writing and I just took that with me all through high school and through college that it does matter who’s perspective it was because like any piece of literature, it’s um – it’s from the speaker that you want to know who’s talking to because like a piece of writing can – on the same event can be different from whoever’s perspective it was from.

Um, I think the idea of the 3 – um, the idea of there being a reader and a speaker because then you want to keep that person in line when – the person that’s going to read your piece, and when you are writing on a certain thing and this – the idea (INAUDIBLE) also how to take notes because I remember they taught us the (INAUDIBLE) Note System, which I (INAUDIBLE) through high school. I kind of – through college I relaxed a little bit. I didn’t do the exact way, but I did keep the format in mind. (Interruption) Yes, it did. (Interruption) I took the CLAD classes and no, they weren’t my instructors, but I did um read – we used their books. (Interruption) Yes. (Interruption) Yes.

Um, I take literacy very seriously in – for my bilingual students. I know that um (INAUDIBLE) is going to really be – need to be thought about and really personalized for each of the individual students because each one is different and I want to keep that in mind. When I – have a student in my classroom that may be struggling with their literacy and I want to um remember that it is a – a struggle just like it is when an English student is trying to learn a different language, just like I was in high school. I did take Spanish courses so I was on the other side. So I just want to remember that, trying to be the person that I’m trying to teach them a language that is foreign to them.

I think one of the most important things is the fact that you know that you’re also a learner every single day. I want to be a person that not only knows the fact, but also can learn from my students because I – I really – just the little bit of experience I’ve had so far, I just – I – it’s just the experience in itself, just being in the classroom, it’s – it’s so different then anything else in the book. And I just look forward to them teaching me as much as I can teach them every day.

If the students can come back to me and have – say that they had a positive experience with me, not just as a teacher, but someone they could rely on and someone that they thought was maybe – just had a positive influence on them. And if I could just like lead them towards the path – towards more (INAUDIBLE) education, I think that would be a good way to show I’m a good teacher. Just showing that – that they haven’t given up. Because children at the beginning of their school career they love school, and it’s not until later that they begin to dislike certain parts of it. And I really want to – really want to be one of the teachers that didn’t turn them away from it. We’re the ones that show them that school can be a positive experience and all those things.

Well, I think it is a combination of all the things I’ve been through. Um, that’s one of the things I’ve learned when – in college is that “Who you are today is what everything (INAUDIBLE) up to.” And I kind of keep that in mind that “Who I am today is (INAUDIBLE) and I just um believe that it really has helped me. I really – I know um English has not been one of my strongest subjects. I – I’ve never particularly liked the subject in school. Uh, this – but I think I have uh grown as a – as you grow as a writer and a reader, you do tend – you do tend to like the subject more and I have seen myself liking the subject and maybe uh – not having it be one of my favorite subjects but still being able to communicate myself in a better way, and just being able to see writing and reading as a tool I can use in the future, and it can be a useful tool that I can pass onto my students.

The one that’s like going through my mind is um – I did receive my supplementary in math so I really um – on another side of this issue, besides English, um I really want to make math a subject that students can like because there is a negative connotation with math in school, and I really want to – uh, I want to make math a subject that can be positive towards my students. I want to make it as much an interactive process as possible and not the problems that we see today – just the problems out of the book. Um, I real – I’ve had some math classes here that have really been positive experiences for me that can involve writing in math classes and I want to try that.

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