Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why am I proud to be a Rainbow Villager?

Learning a foreign language can be a terribly tedious job. It's been scientifically proven that, when it comes to this endeavour, we reach our maximum potential around the age of three; which is disconcerting, really, because we're obviously not three years old anymore. Add ten or eleven more to that and you are sentenced to a lifetime of frustration because your brain refuses to help you in this matter. Those tiny little wheels in our brains are furiously spinning towards all sorts of different goals- we already have enough on our plate, what with all the math homework and incredibly long compositions we have to write for other subjects. 
As such, the best way to make a student want to get involved in the process of exploring the depths of English or French is to make your class- your subject- fun. I'm not saying you should skip the hours that are supposed to be devoted to exercises just because we're already pretty much tired of those- they are helpful; vital, really- but every now and then, a bit of actual, verbal interraction with others is wonderful and it develops our communication skills faster. Be creative! Be innovative! My teacher is and that's probably one of the main reasons I love English so much now. We get involved in all kinds of projects- this one is the second Etwinning project that I worked for- and it is a very rewarding experience. I know you get ideas like "I can make friends" or "I learn new things about different cultures" all the time, so I'll flip the page for you and reveal a new one: Rainbow Village first raised awareness about the effects of pollution: as you already know, the villagers discovered this land after the Earth had been destroyed. We are rational enough to realize that no magical ladder will emerge from underneath the water and save us when the Apocalypse hits. 
And then, by giving us the opportunity to build our own universe from scratch, not only did it help us apply 21st century skills to learning (which, at least in my country, doesn't happen all that often), but it made us figure out how to be the ideal citizens.For example, we had candidates for Mayor of the Rainbow Village. What did that teach us? That there is a lot of work behind a campaign, that having the right to vote- a fundamental right in democracy- is a huge responsability and privilege alike. That we should get involved in the political life when the time comes and express our wishes and needs. It is our duty! Progress is no easy task. It takes time and skills and Rainbow Village made us see that. Ruling a country or city is no easy task either. We figured that out too. We understood the stupidity of us wanting our leaders to have solutions for every single problem right here and right now! You cannot have that! Patience is a great quality. Problems can be solved efficiently only when they are taken care of one at a time. 
So, as far as I am concerned, Rainbow Village is not only about having fun and making friends; it's not even about learning English, even though I began my composition? speech? with that idea; it is about preparing us for what's out there. It's about preparing us for the full-time job we are going to have in the future: the job of the responsible citizen. That's what makes it great, that's what makes the efforts well worth it!

Alina Cristea
Galati, Romania

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