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Holbrook, Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth Holbrook
Acalanes Class of 2015
Certified English as a Second Language Instructor, 
Tutoring in Spain

Mary remembers frequently being asked where she was going to go to college. She thought of going to DVC, just so she would have an answer to this question, even though she just wasn’t sure that college was for her. Although she enjoyed her art and Spanish classes, she didn’t enjoy most of her other subjects and hoped to find something outside of the “normal formula” that she found confining.  

She had always enjoyed traveling and working with people and, during the summer after her junior year, had gone on a trip to Nicaragua where she stayed for 6 weeks with a host family. Mary was supposed to help teach the local people about things like hygiene and women’s rights. During her senior year, she returned to Nicaragua, this time working on sustainable agriculture.

Late in her senior year, just as she was feeling considerable pressure to have an answer to the constant “next year” questions, a friend of her sister’s went to Barcelona to teach English as a second language. With the combination of travel and working with people, this sounded like a great idea to Mary. She decided that, after graduation, she would take an online course in teaching English as a second language. Following the coursework, there was a required “practicum.” To fulfill this requirement, Mary assisted with an “English as a second language” course at De Valle Adult Education, for a total of 20 hours. 

Mary is now living in Bilbao, Spain, where she will be tutoring. She plans to visit Madrid and Switzerland in the coming months. She eventually wants to return to Nicaragua, where she really enjoys the people and their less materialistic way of life. She would even like to live there for a few years.