An exciting spring semester has come to an end and I am closer to accomplishing the degree that I am diligently pursing. Now the big question is, “What am I going to do for the summer?” I usually spend a good portion of my summer catching up on my reading. I organize my reading in three categories: academics, inspirational, and pleasure.
Being halfway through the awesome M.S. in Written Communication (MSWC) program, I have already created and begun implementing a post-graduation plan of action. A few months ago I took advantage of the adept services offered by the Career Development Office here at NLU and had my resume critiqued. My job has now become looking for a job, and the CDO was instrumental in assisting me in crafting a first-class resume that I can submit with total confidence to potential employers.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. After high school, I went to college but had to take a break to care for my mom, who was ill at the time. During that period, I had a lot of student debt to pay back, and I saw an ad on TV about how the Army could help with student loans, so I decided to pursue it. I loved the Army and the structure of it. Most people don’t love boot camp, but I did. While in the service, I spent most of my days in a giant vault, dismantling weapons. I also was able to travel a lot while in the Army and spent my last tour of duty in Egypt. I was in the military for a total of eight years and am 49 now.
Michael Bahi, a member of the ESL STEM Success Grant cohort B and a teacher in Niles Township High School District 219, was recently published in the latest issue of “ITBE Link,” the quarterly newsletter of Illinois TESOL-BE. His article, “A Deceiving Counting System,” deals with the numbering system used in Arabic and the difficulties for those from Arabic language backgrounds in mastering the “Arabic numerals” used with English. You can read it here.
When I attended NLU for undergraduate studies, I was enrolled in the B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences (ABS) program, and it was an incredible experience. This interdisciplinary program is accelerated and intended for adults with significant life experience who have completed previous college coursework. The program is taught using a cohort model, which means I went through the entire program with the same group of students. There was such a trust and bond that formed that the cohort became like my new extended family.
I was born and raised in Chicago. When the Army recruiter came to my high school, my ears perked up. I knew I wanted to be a law enforcement officer and learned a great deal about the field through my roles and responsibilities in the Army. My two primary roles in the Army were as a military police investigator and army recruiter. In 2011, I retired with 22 years of active duty in the Army, along with an additional 10 years of service in the Reserves.
It is a cliché to say, “I started writing when I was a young child,” but it is true. Being diagnosed with chronic asthma at the age of five often confined me to the indoors, and there were only so many cartoons I could watch before becoming bored out of my mind. So I began to spend a lot of time reading and writing. I wrote short stories to entertain my family about growing up on a farm. I also wrote short stories with fictitious characters and pets; sometimes my pets talked and were heroes. One of my favorite pastimes was writing stories and making them into little books for gifts.