Story written by Miranda Meyer, IEM/MPA, ’18
Spanish and I have a love/hate relationship. Some days I absolutely love listening to it, speaking it, and thinking about it. Other days, I struggle to come up with words, my pronunciation is terrible, and if I hear one more song in Spanish I want to scream.
Story taken from interview with Francesca Aka, MPA, ’18; Written by K.Throgmorton
Growing up a ‘third culture kid,’ Francesca learned quickly how to adapt to new places and new people. Francesca describes being a third culture kid as being a bridge between cultures. She navigates her family culture and the dominant culture of wherever she is. As far as her culture goes, she says she sometimes picks and chooses different parts of other cultures she’s come to know to form her own version of each. She accepts some and rejects some part of each culture she identifies with as she tries to find the best way to navigate social interactions. Lo que no mata fortalece. She does not identify with 100% of any single culture but finds a way to bridge multiple. Continue reading
Story by Merideth Bush, MPA, ’16
Spanish has always been an important presence in my life. My mother lived as a medical missionary in Guatemala before marrying my father, so I became familiar with the language at a very young age. I went on to major in Spanish in college, and then to travel abroad to Guatemala to study Spanish and volunteer with the same medical missions organization my mother had served with. Determined to continue to develop my Spanish fluency, I moved to Chile to work as an English teacher after college and built a cozy life for myself there with a wonderful community of Chilean friends. Continue reading
Story taken from interview with Karla Piacentini, IEM/MPA, ’17; Written by K.Throgmorton
“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” ~Ludwig Wittgenstein
Language is a bridge that connects people across cultures that engenders an intimate authenticity among language learners. Learning a new language forces you to make mistakes and falter in efforts to gain a better handle on the new language. In that process, speaking with native speakers is a gateway into their genuine nature and compassion. Karla has experienced this over and over in the various language learning settings she has been a part of. Each time, she gains new insight into the culture of the people she is sharing a conversation with. She has seen how genuine they are in their appreciation and gratitude towards a new person trying to learn their language.