Where are they now? Rachel Bushong: Heeding Her Calling to Hawaii

Nov 16, 2016 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

Students around the globe learn to write with IEW in a variety of settings. Many learn at home, but others take part in co-ops or other small group settings with a parent leading the way. Rachel Bushong had the opportunity to be taught by a close family friend who is also dear to IEW—Jill Pike. Whether students graduate from high school and continue their education or enter the workforce, they consistently report that their IEW training helps them communicate effectively in their daily endeavors. Enjoy reading Rachel’s thoughts on IEW.

Could you share a few words about your family and upbringing?

I grew up in a small town in northern Indiana. Although it may not be the most exciting place, it provided an outlet for my friends and I to contrive our own adventures, whether running around my family's woods or jumping in lakes. My mom homeschooled my two older siblings and me throughout our primary education. While I was given the option of attending school during my high school years, I'm thankful I opted for homeschooling since it gave me more creative freedom.

What do you do now?

Since I graduated two years ago, I've stayed in my hometown, living with my parents while figuring out my next steps. Currently I'm a nanny for a wonderful family with three young boys. However, after the new year I'll be moving to the Hawaiian island Oahu for a year with an organization called Surfing the Nations where I'll be ministering to the local inner-city community.

When did you begin using IEW, and what courses did you take?

I started IEW courses during my freshman year. The courses consisted of Speech Boot Camp and Windows to the World. I was taught structure and style with Teaching Writing: Structure and Style.

What was your favorite part of IEW?

Naming my favorite part of IEW can't begin without first giving praise to my outstanding teacher and family friend: Jill Pike. Her articulate and applicable teaching allowed me to see how structural formality in writing does not hinder creativity, but makes way for easier expression. The IEW curriculum enriched my writing voice while also advancing my ability in writing essays, both academic and creative.

What type of writing do you most enjoy?

I most enjoy a more poetic prose style of writing, one that uses everyday elements and scenes to bring clarity and joy. One of my all-time favorite books is Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, a book that could be labeled as a youthful ode to summer.

Do you see any connection from your IEW training to your ability to communicate beyond writing?

Absolutely! In any area of life, communication is vital. Over time, I've found how having a clear and candid writing voice naturally voices itself in conversation. It feels as though the easier it is for me to communicate on paper, the more honest I desire to be with people.

Do you have any plans for the future where writing and communicating will be needed?

My plans beyond the year serving in Hawaii are still unknown. However, I'm constantly jotting down feelings and experiences in random notebooks. I'm hoping someday to compile them into a small book filled with photos I've taken and thoughts I've written during that time. Writing is a way for me to process my life, so I'm always using that outlet.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Don't worry so much about creating the right thing and reaching a personal goal, just be honest and present in the moment and let the rest unfold naturally.

Rachel found that IEW enriched her arsenal of tools to effectively express herself both in writing and speaking. As she heads overseas to serve, we wish her a wonderful year as she logs the details of her experiences. Who knows? Maybe we’ll read about them in a book someday!

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