Our first University Settlement Adult Literacy Program Student of the Month for the 2013-2014 school year is Zhang Qiao Zhuang, also known as Grace Zhang. This is Grace’s third year in our program, and she has been selected as Student of the Month because she has achieved the following things:
1. Improved her English.
2. Gotten more involved in her children’s education.
3. Earned the National Work Readiness Credential.
4. Had her writing published in NYU Gallatin’s Literacy Review.
5. Earned her GED (General Equivalency Diploma).
Watch a video interview with her above, read a piece of her writing below, then take a quiz to test your comprehension.
Last Friday, our writing class went on a trip to MoMA. I am not too excited about the arts, but since everything was arranged by our teacher, June, and her students, we took the time to relax and “smell the flowers.”
We met in the big and bright lobby. I observed two of my classmates were not there yet. I noticed I had one of their phone numbers, so I called immediately. Ally told me on the phone that she was seriously sick. I was too busy thinking about what to do next to ask about her sickness, and then I asked her for Liang’s phone number. I called Liang right after I got the number from Ally. Liang told me she was on the wrong train and would be late. I have recently
got to know Liang is quite a carefree person, but anyway, she is cute. I reported these situations to June. I don’t remember when I started to be this type of person; I never used to be so active.
We had a photo taken before the tour started. I couldn’t find my spot. I was scared about whether I was blocking someone. I was considering whether I would bend my knees or not. My knees naturally reflected what I was thinking, and they bent. As soon as the shot finished, I heard Ling Ling’s voice. With her hand lying on my shoulder, she said, like an older sister, “Why do you always hide somewhere; you should stand next to me!”
“Okay, I’ll do that next time,” I replied with a smile. I myself had considered this a second ago. I don’t quite know myself now. I choose to be a follower of my heart, wherever it goes.
The tour was wonderful. We were introduced to a few paintings of famous artists. I believe that my classmates who love art will write more about this, so I am going to move on to write about something else.
What I enjoyed most was the lunch in the museum. We were generously treated by NYU Gallatin. After learning so much about art in the exhibition rooms, everything became art in the dining room. June inspired us to talk about what we just saw. I asked myself, Is writing art? I was starting to compose pieces of writing in my brain already. I burst out, “Art is in my heart, art is expressing yourself.” I would like to keep this feeling in my heart forever.
June told us she had to leave before us. I was going to shout, “You made my day!” However, I held it in because I wasn’t sure that this art of expressing from heart was grammatically correct.