Dear Mr. Booker and Mr. Watt

Erin Lang - Senegal


April 15, 2011

A year ago, I was sitting in both of your classes, anxious to graduate, anxious to become something…dying to find a purpose and a fulfillment in my life that was never satisfied in my high school career.  I was never a student teachers could seem to understand, one minute I succeeded beautifully on an assignment and the next minute my work would seem lazy and probably extremely frustrating, leaving one of the two of you calling “LANG!” down the high school hallway, as I anxiously fled the opposite direction, hoping not to get lectured for my half-hearted work.  I was confused on who I was and who I wanted to be, and often got caught up in things that did not depict who I really am.  But I graduated, none the less, and I know why now, and am extremely appreciative of the two of you in particular.  Why?  Because you challenged me, and above all else, you believed in the person you knew I could one day become.  I am writing this to tell you that the day has come.  And as I embark on my journey here, I want you to know that the two of stay in my thoughts, each and every day I work in education.  For each life I touch here, you touch one as well, because of the support and compassion you showed me.

I came to Global Citizen Year as a little girl with dreams, and feel that I now am no longer that girl, but rather, a woman with humanitarian ambitions, who has grown and learned so much more than I ever had imagined possible.  This opportunity has allowed me to be who I am and to grow up all in one.  I encounter situations on a daily basis that make me think of you, and pray that I may also be able to have the same kind of strength that you would have if you were here.  My appreciation for education has become a whole new source of energy for me.  I have been reminded through this experience of the value and importance of education, and have built a whole new work ethic off of this incredible rejuvenation.  I thrive off of acquiring new knowledge in the areas of development, education, and children’s rights.  I wake up every day at seven and get the chance to work with children who are so strong and passionate in will and in works.  I love each and every one of the children I come into contact with.  This longing and desire to find myself is being fulfilled, and I know that this had been a prayer you had prayed for me as I struggled to find my footing senior year.  I feel as though I have such an indescribable comprehension of the world and how it works.  I often find myself having flashbacks of discussions and conversations at school about religion, worldviews, and education, and the challenges you presented to us as a senior class for our future.  The questions you asked us to think about as we went off into college have not been forgotten.  They help me learn even more about how society works, my role in it, and what it takes to really be a Global Citizen.  And although I still have so much more to learn about this incredible world, I feel as though this understanding and compassion I have now are really an accomplishment for my personal journey, which without the base I found in you, I would never have acquired.

I have a month left here, and I intend to continue pursuing these challenges that were presented to us, and seek answers and wisdom as much as possible before I leave.  I can not say enough how grateful I am for who you helped me to become, and am incredibly happy that I had the opportunity to work with the two of you in my life.

With deepest respect,

Erin Lang

Erin Lang