Christina Alger is a 2019 Council Scholarship recipient. She is in her first year of graduate school at the University of Minnesota, studying curriculum and instruction. She sat down with Council Writer Katherine Corbett to talk about her love of teaching, how contemplating identity has changed her life.
Katherine Corbett: Tell me about the first time you knew you wanted to be a teacher.
Christina Alger: In high school, I had a great English teacher who encouraged me. I thought “I want to be like that.” I am working toward being an English teacher. I think communication is the most important thing we can do and it impacts every aspect of life.
Katherine: Identity seemed to be a theme in your application and throughout your life. Could you talk more about that?
Christina: I started to grapple with my own identity as someone who is visually impaired when I entered college. A program at my undergraduate school (Beloit College) emphasized identity and talking about the different lenses through which we see the world. I had never thought about it that way and it helped me frame a lot of my experiences. I had always been trying to understand the world as a sighted person when I was not fully sighted. To think about life from my true perspective was really empowering for me.
Katherine: What kinds of activities do you like to do in your spare time?
Christina: I like to read and write a lot, particularly fantasy literature.
Katherine: How have you adapted your hobbies to accommodate your visual impairment?
Christina: I like listening to audiobooks, especially those read by the author. I feel like I get more out of them since I am hearing them read in the way the author would want them represented. Getting an iPad was very helpful for me because I was able to read print much more easily. Using technology on computers enabling me to zoom in and see the screen a lot better makes writing and reading, which are very intense visual pursuits, more accessible to me.
Katherine: What are three words friends or family members would use to describe you?
Christina: They would say I am compassionate, diligent, and they would probably say I am the nerdiest person they had ever met.