Nina Huynh Ly is the 2018-2019 president of Club Lightbulb, which is devoted to building relationships among Anteaters and developing and exploring empowering, holistic outlooks on education. Now in her senior year, Nina is double majoring in Philosophy and English. She shared her thoughts about her educational experiences.
Education has always been a rocky pathway for me. I knew that I wanted to go to college but did not know what I wanted to do after college-that is until I heard about Club Lightbulb (formerly SCTA at UCI). I grew up in Los Angeles and in the LA Unified School District for the majority of my school career. I went to a STEM-based magnet high school where more emphasis and importance is placed upon the sciences and mathematics. I had an interest in and fully respected the STEM fields but personally did not enjoy going into the deep ends of it. When college applications came around and it came time to choose a major, I felt compelled to follow the current of the school but decided to swim against it.
Fast forward to my first year in college, I am a Philosophy major and starting to craft a slight inkling of spreading my joy of philosophy to high school students. Many student whom I have encountered on campus exclaim their frustration and distaste for philosophy after taking one of the many introductory courses, most, if not all, of whom have had no prior exposure to philosophy when taking the course. However, this inkling was just that. I did not delve any deeper into my interest of teaching until a friend of mine, the past President of Club Lightbulb, introduced me to the organization.
Whenever I was in the club and with other members, most of whom are interested in teaching, I started to understand myself more, and saw that teaching is definitely a pathway I want to explore more in depth. Although I am not declared as an Education Sciences major, my deep connection with Club Lightbulb and the other education organizations provided me the space and time to discover more on where my interests, strengths, and weaknesses lie, and how I can use it to find my footing into the future.
Every time I think of what my future may entail, especially the journey towards being an educator, I always look back to and remember the joy I had in the classroom with my 12th grade AP English Literature teacher. He was one of the few teachers who is very passionate (and shows it well) about English Literature and poetry. His enthusiasm when someone finds something new in a poem that he never thought about previously shines across the room, and I could feel that English literature and poetry is not just another subject that has to be taught to 12th graders-it is the stem of his passion.
This is the sort of feeling I want students to feel when learning about Philosophy and all other subjects. Educators can make or break a student’s passion and curiosity in a subject. It is their job to cultivate an environment of growth and development - and I want to be a part of this metamorphosis.
With the unconscientious help from Club Lightbulb and SCTA, I have come to walk the path of educating in the Language department. I hope to aid in crystallizing students’ multicultural views of the world, and (not be afraid to) reach out and learn about other people in the world. I believe the first and most important stage that must be taken is language. Through language, one can reach people-and through people, you can reach culture and new worlds.