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Rose Soder October 1949-September 2001 Rose Soder
October 5, 1949 - September 4, 2001.

Lessons in teaching English as a second language (TESOL)...
A lesson in life...

Five years ago, while working on my Masters In Education (Teaching English as a Second Language), Rose was kind enough to volunteer for one of my assignments. My assignment involved literacy and entailed interviewing a successful reader whose primary language was something other than English. The tape from this interview was neatly tucked away in a drawer - after completing the assignment that earned an "A" for the effort.

Last September Rose passed away suddenly from heart failure. To some, she was a devoted mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, co-worker or friend. To me, she was a role model - someone willing to reach out and help anyone in need. An avid storyteller, everyday Rose would entertain me for hours as we walked through the neighborhood and down around the park. Without skipping a beat, Rose could make me laugh or make me cry - all in the way she shared her story. With each passing story, a tapestry was woven - golden thread by golden thread - of this compassionate woman's life.

Today I celebrate Rose...her thoughts...her opinions...her short stories of people who helped shape her character - because, in the end, Rose was a far better teacher than I could ever hope to be.

In Rose's words....
Click to hear "I read more of the self improvement books....First Things First is just one of the books written by Stephen Covey and was one of Rose's favorite books. It's about how you prioritize things in your life that are really important. Part of the book is envisioning your own funeral and what you would want people to think and say about you - and how you would like your loved ones that you leave behind to feel about you."
Click to hear "It's more of a fear than a frustration when you're learning how to read in English. You learn how to read in Spanish (some of the words). I could pick them out from the prayers after we said them. We'd pray the rosary. You memorize the prayer. Then when you're reading it, you can pick out the words."
Click to hear "I was always a real good storyteller. I made up my stories as I went along!"
"When Mom realized that we were having a hard time with English, she started bringing out books, reading to us at night...One of my biggest motivators is Mom. Once we learned how to read in English, Mom was always very good about making sure we had material to read."
Click to hear Roosters and Chicks - A child's game.
Click to hear "Sister Mary Rose - she was very young and I think she was the type of person that really enjoyed working with kids. She used to motivate us to do stuff. Like every Friday, she would give us the afternoon to do art. We got to use the colored pencils, the paints, the chalk... She didn't separate the kids that were doing well from the kids that weren't."
Click to hear "Mom had 2 sisters that were nuns. One of my Aunts spent alot of time in Zuni. From her experience with working with just her nieces and nephrews - in helping us with our English - she learned methods of teaching the Indian children how to read English."
Click to hear "Grandfather would always say, "No matter what you do, you get an education. You're not going to stay here all of your life." Grandfather knew Spanish and while growing up, he learned Navajo. I used to come with my grandparents all the time to help them in Albuquerque. I thought I was a hot shot - I knew English!"
Click to hear "When I was in 1st grade, Evelyn was in 2nd grade. To me she was the most positive influence. Evelyn picked up English just like that. I had a tougher time. When you have an older sister, they kinda help you along."
Click to hear "Fiction to me is somebody else's story. My grandfather would have me come read him a story. He liked people reading to him and translating. I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents. Every time that I would get a star in reading, I would save it for my grandpa because he would give me a couple of pennies!"
Click to hear "When you get to understand English, and know how to read it and write it, it is such an accomplishment and that's where your concentration is. I was very proud of myself when I could read that Dick and Jane book with no problem - without struggling with it."

"The world we live in is the legacy of those who have gone before us. The choices we make in it create a legacy for those who will follow."

Excerpt from First Things First
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In Memory of Rose Soder (1949-2001), Edith Barnum Kerber (1919-2000) and Frederick Robb Barnum (1911-1993).
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