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Summerville, United States


When you make a bucket list you think you will fill it with happiness. I taught ESL abroad and always wanted to someday see somebody found English useful enough to come to America legally. LEGALLY, key word.
So I was visiting relatives in Summerville, SC and I glance at my Facebook feed and see a former student has just checked in Atlanta with the caption, "Hello from the other side of the world". What!!!! One of my students made it!
Of course I am so shocked and happy. Shocked because she was not a really fluent speaker, but I hadn't seen or spoke to her in a year and a half, so I figure she must have gone to intensive training or was over here to get that. So here's how our chat goes
Student "okay i am really want to see you
i will be sales asseciote
associate
maybe writing not correct"
Me "It is my dream to meet one of my students in America
At a grocery store?"
Student "it's my dream too 😊
it's E-Z stop food marts
do you know it?"
My heart stopped right there. Never in a zillion English classes did I think I would read those words from a student. That's a gas station chain. My beautiful student has just arrived in this country LEGALLY and her placement is a gas station. That just doesn't seem right. In her country a gas station is a gas station. If I was from her country I would not think working at a gas station was any different than working at a hardware store. But in America, a gas station is more of an edgy job. First you have the high chance of a stick up. Now I remember my student is something in the military, maybe officer, but definitely combat trained. So maybe she could handle a stick up..???? Secondly, there is that whole id business and who gets in trouble for selling to the underage. Her country probably doesn't have a drinking age. I do a quick google search and sure enough lots of violations for that chain and the cashiers have exotic names and get huge fines, etc. If I was a young college boozer I would totally watch out for the non English speaker cashiers and try to sneak one over. Then of course, most Americans know that gas stations along interstates are hubs for human trafficking. I felt so sick. But again my student is military trained and comes from a country where they drink like fish, so maybe, maybe, she isn't the easy target for the trafficking scum. But still.
So here's the next bit of our chat.
Me, "No, I'm just surprised they are allowed to have immigrant students with trump as president
If it is a scam I will come get you"
Student, "no it is not"
Me, "OK it is a truck stop
Gas station"
Student, "okay"
I think alot of ESL teachers might at this point say, have a great summer and go on with their life. Not me.




permalink written by  carseat tourist on June 7 from Summerville, United States
from the travel blog: Bucket List
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