Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why I signed up to teach senior missionary couples

"Do you speak a foreign language?"
"Sir, do you speak a foreign language?"
"Sir, do you speak a foreign language?"

The MTC people were at a booth in the Wilk, asking people who passed if they could speak a foreign language.  Wait, no, that's wrong.  They were asking the men if they spoke a foreign language.

Look, I understand: statistically at BYU, it's probably going to be the young men who speak a foreign language— after all, the majority of them go on missions, many of them foreign.  But sisters go on missions too!  And some sisters (ahem) learn languages without going on missions as well. 

I felt ignored, especially since languages are one of my main interests.  They were looking for volunteers to teach senior couples, and they were neglecting a percentage of people who could help them!  

"I speak a foreign language!" I exclaimed, annoyed, as I ran up to the booth.  I wrote down my name and contact info with purpose and vigor, proving to them that I as a woman could be proficient in a foreign language!  Without even going on a mission!  Take that!

Yes, it's mostly men who go on missions.  But they are not the only ones who can speak foreign languages.  So there.  I chose my major because of an interest in the language, not because I had a foreign location in which to spend two years chosen for me by strangers and then eventually learned to appreciate the language spoken there.  Whenever someone finds out I'm majoring in a language, they always ask if I served in a country that speaks it.  It's a unique BYU phenomenon.