Some city hidden gems
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
― Virginia Woolf
(by Alice Fagiolo)
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
(by Alice Fagiolo)
Dear Sir / Madam,
This is me:
Can I have your attention, please?
I am 35 years old and looking for a chance to expand my horizons in an English speaking country. I am from Brazil, and things have been kind of difficult lately with many political uproars and scandals of corruption. Though I love my country, I feel there is no place for me to grow here, and this has been hurting my family and me.
At the age of six I wrote a little notebook of poems called “The Chair”, the first one being about a crooked chair who just could not fit anywhere, nor could accept being sat on. I kept on writing poems throughout my teenage years, but at the age of twelve I fell deeply in love with Agatha Christie’s stories, which made me start writing mystery novels myself. As the profession of “writer” is nonexistent in Brazil unless you are very, very good, or lived before the 1950s, I had to pursue a more ‘realistic’ career. I graduated in law in 2002, and sadly realized it was not all what I thought it would be. Though I excelled in Criminal Law, International Law, Constitutional Law and Business Law, I never felt part of that world. At least not here in my hometown anyway. For the reality of it seemed very distant from all those beautiful words about justice and due process of law I had studied for five years. Still, I got my degree, took the test and got my license to practice it, because I never liked being a quitter.
After some soul-searching I began studying English on my own and my love for it grew so much that I decided to become a teacher. And thus, I have been an English teacher for more than ten years now. I took courses to improve myself, studied and got all three TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) certificates with straight As, had a wonderful time in Cambridge, England, and even went punting. If only I had managed to stay in England somehow. I could not, for lack of means, but I returned to Brazil very hopeful. I was now fluent in English, with a specialization in English language, translation and literature. How could my future not be bright?
Well, it is Brazil. Being a teacher in Brazil is hard, as the salary is normally quite meager. Being an English teacher in Brazil is even harder, because most English teachers here have a degree in a different area so they are not considered ‘real teachers’, just learning instructors. I have worked pretty hard over the years and the payment, though not much at the time I started, was alright to get me by. I did not mind so much then because things at home were more or less stable and I truly adore teaching. I have had some wonderful students over the years. They taught me a lot, and I hope I have helped them as much as they’ve helped me. Teaching is an every day discovery. You discover much about people and about yourself. Mostly you find that you can never stop studying no matter how good you think you are. I am constantly learning new things.
I am recently employed, and I do like my job, but unfortunately the situation at home is not as it used to be, and every day I cannot help my parents is a day of depression and failure in my mind. Fortunately I have two loving brothers that are doing their best to help us out. However, I would like to help out more, which is impossible with my current salary. My parents have worked hard their whole lives and they deserve better than a government which denies them their retirement payment and treat them as second class citizens because of their age. I want to give them a better life, a more relaxing lifestyle, but most of all, peace of mind.
I believe I can set my mind to do anything as long as I earn enough to provide for my family. I am clever and patient. I am currently studying French and I have been thinking about studying International Relations.
Some of my personal achievements include:
- A small collection of poems in a book called “Série Internacional – Novos Rumos” which was published in Europe by Shan Editores Ltda.
- Illustrations made for the author Norbert Heinz in the book ‘Como fazer o bem” (ISBN 978-85-911413-7-1).
- First place in a context that takes place every year in the city of São José do Rio Pardo to study and develop a composition about the writer Euclides da Cunha.
I am passionate about literature, writing, revising, translating, history, arts, poetry, language, illustration and photography. One day I still hope to become a writer.
If anyone knows of any opportunities abroad (England, Canada, USA, Ireland) or in Brazil, I would really appreciate the help. And for those who cannot help but wish they could, I appreciate the support.
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. You are a marvelous soul.