Other Interests

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Computers and Technology

As you have no doubt noticed, I am fascinated by languages, cultures, and travel. I am equally fascinated by technology. When I was a teenager I tried to learn computer programming, but I was never any good at it. After getting frustrated with it, I hardly touched computers for several years.

Once I learned how to use the Internet, computers were easier to use, and I have been fascinated with using software applications and the Internet to make life easier. Now I use the Internet to communicate with people all over the world, practice my languages, and find information about every topic imaginable.

In addition to blogging and working with digital photos, I am a member of Second Life, the online virtual world. Not only have I made friends through it, I think it is an excellent educational tool. I am now trying to build sites from the Republic of Armenia in three dimensions there, that people can explore on their own.

Libraries

I worked in public libraries for four years.  I enjoy finding information, and it was interesting to work on the technical side of processing materials.  This goes hand-in-hand with my interests in researching media and information online.

Social Work and Education

While I was a university student, I tutored and taught classes in English as a Second Language as a volunteer with various programs, which brought me into contact with people from people from all over the world.  I also provided conversation practice in English for international students at the University of Maryland when I was a student there.  There are two different programs there.  The Learning Assistance Service has a group conversation program and a Conversation Partner program, and Maryland English Institute has a Speaking Partner program.  I continued participating in both these programs for many years even after I had finished my degree at the University of Maryland.  I later taught English in Japan, too.  I have grown a lot and learned a lot from these experiences.

I believe that learning is empowerment, and that people need to take their own initiatives to learn and grow.  They have to seek out their opportunities and set their priorities.

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