Tag Archives: self-confidence

End Fat Talk!

17 Oct

This week is Fat Talk Free Week.  Love who you are and end fat talk!  Declare to abandon all forms of “fat talk” here.  Watch the video below to learn more about fat talk and how to end it.


Danish Red Cross – New Times

27 Sep

Yesterday was my second time volunteering at New Times, a publication put out by asylum seekers via the Danish Red Cross.  I learned of the opportunity through my Cultural Conflict class and thought it would be a great chance to assist those in need and learn about their cultural struggles in Denmark.

My position as a volunteer is to help the asylum seekers who write articles for New Times with their English.  I assist them in writing articles by helping them come up with an idea to write about, formulate a plan for the article, and editing their work.  When they complete an article, there seems to be a great sense of accomplishment for the individual.  New Times in this sense provides them an outlet for their creative abilities while seeking asylum in Denmark and provides them with a break from the waiting game on their decision.

Also in the process of helping the asylum seekers with their articles, they have the chance to talk to me in English and share their stories with me.  It is hard not to side with the asylum seekers when they tell me stories about their lives and the difficulties they have faced, but it is important as a volunteer of the Red Cross to remain neutral and not take the side of the asylum seeker or the state.  But none the less, I have learned so much already.

I currently am working with a man who is about 30 on his writing skills.  He had written a few pieces already that I have reviewed with him.  His English is not bad, with only minor grammatical errors.  However, his organizational skills in regards to writing an article are lacking.  His pieces have great ideas behind them, but they do not flow well and it is hard to dig out the key idea of each article.  I often find myself almost re-writing the articles with him based on the information he already has.  But this is not what will teach him how to write better articles.  So I am trying a new approach.

I thought back to how I learned to write a paper when I was in middle school and high school.  Before you begin writing, you have to have a main idea with the article and then formulate an outline on what you would like to discuss.  When we were talking casually about things non-New Times related, he told me how excited he was for a concert this weekend that he is attending.  The artist is an artist he grew up listening to in his home country.  He had been asking me for ideas on what to write next and when he told me of this concert, I instantly knew that this is what he should write about next!  When he told me that he did not think anyone would be interested in it, I told him to make the focus of the article not on the concert itself, but the emotions and memories that the artist evokes for him.  From this, I helped him draw up an outline on what type of material to include in the article and in what order.

I made him promise me that he would have a rough draft for me the next time I am at New Times.  I normally will be volunteering there on Mondays, but this coming Monday I will be in Istanbul for a class trip.  Therefore, I have given him two weeks for the assignment.  I think I will e-mail him before next Monday to ask him how the concert went and remind him of the article I hope for him to write.  I have made it so that he knows how excited I am about the potential article so that hopefully this motivates him to write it.

I am interested to see how this method works in the outcome of his article.  I am also excited to follow his progress through the semester that I am here and also to meet new asylum seekers along the way.  I wish I could share the stories of the asylum seekers on my blog, but my position as a volunteer is more focused on building their confidence and helping them with their English and sharing their stories seems tobe a breach of confidentiality in my eyes.