Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hawaii Interview

I had my interview with Hawaii Pacific University yesterday. They asked questions that really allowed me to shine... like, "What's your experience in your teaching field [Spanish]?" "Have you had experience working with young people before?" It feels good to have lists for answers to those questions.

"I've spent a total of over a year in Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. I also minored in Spanish at BYU."

"I worked at a residential treatment center in Orem, Utah with at-risk youth. I've also worked three summers at a summer youth conference. I also taught a seminary class to high school freshmen and sophomores."

They also asked why I want to teach, what professional values and attitudes are required to teach, what I hope to gain from their program, etc. They asked where I want to be in five years, which I had just recently talked about with Heidi, so I was completely prepared. I said, "I'd like to be living in southern Utah, hopefully teaching in the same district or school as my brother. I'd like to teach the higher-level Spanish classes, but I'll take what I can get. And I want to lead study abroad programs in the summers to give my students opportunities to be immersed in the language and Latin American or Spanish culture." Then they said, "Where would you like to be in ten years?" I said, "Still doing the same thing!"

At the end of the interview, Dr. Abordonado said something like, "Well, Brett, your passion for Spanish and for teaching are obvious, and they're contagious." She said they'd give the admissions people "our strong recommendation for your admission" and, "We'll leave the porch light on for you here in Hawaii." My poster had fallen off my wall during the interview, and I had made a comment about it. At the end of the interview, Dr. A said "I think your poster falling off your wall is a sign that you need to start packing your bags for Hawaii." She said I should call in a week or so if I haven't heard back, but that she expects I'll hear very good things from the admissions people. Heidi mentioned that I should have asked if they were going to pay for me to go there... wish I'd thought of that! I have to look into that now.

Speaking of Heidi, she came over last night and we made a fort in my living room. The fort incorporated the TV, so we could watch a movie from in the fort. :) It was fun! Today we're going to help her aunt with a mutual activity for youth with special needs. We're doing yoga! Should be fun.

So... life is GOOD and I'm just waiting to hear from the University of Virginia. Honestly, though, now that I know Hawaii has a Spanish teaching program, it's going to be hard to resist the opportunity to live in Hawaii for a couple years. BUT it would be like a mission all over again, and I have so many nieces and nephews now! I've been spoiled by the Powelsons' proximity for a long time, and I can't imagine going that long without seeing those boys... and the soon-to-arrive little girl. Of course, now the Richards are even CLOSER and K, B, & B are not terribly far away, either. So the only bearable way to leave seems to be Houston, but for some reason Houston is just not causing any kind of resonance in my mind... probably because they don't have a Spanish teaching program.

......... decisions, decisions.


  1. soooooooooo cool that they liked you that much! It would be nice to get a scholarship because it's expensive to live in Hawaii.. but how amazing would it be to live there! Good luck!

  2. oh and the way you said you talked with Heidi about your five-year plans makes it sound like you're discussing your plans TOGETHER. Is that so?

  3. I'm thinking maybe Hawaii for FamVac instead of Aspen Grove in 2011.......

  4. I read that I my main thoughts were how wonderful it is that you know what you want. Obviously that came across in the interview really strongly--how awesome to have the interview go to well. And especially that they have a Spanish teaching program. Any idea when Virginia will contact applicants? And that's a bummer that Houston doesn't have a Spanish teaching program. But also---in some ways---maybe that will make a tough decision a little bit easier since you do have a passion for Spanish.

    It's exciting and scary---I'm excited for you! And if you go to Hawaii it WOULD be hard to be away from family. But I've always wanted to take my little (ok--not so little as time marches on) family on a vacation to Hawaii. :)

    How long would the program be at Hawaii? 2 years? Love you, love the update! Good luck!

  5. Wow! Are you sure she didn't get your list of "Ideal Interview Questions for Brett" before the phonecall? Sounds suspicious to me. :)

  6. Thanks guys! Brittney, I'm sorry, but Heidi has not agreed to join me in Southern Utah! We were just talking about our plans individually. Melissa, I believe the program would be 2 years.

  7. I am glad your interview went so well. Sounds like Hawaii and Houston want you! Thanks for keeping us posted.