Professor of Spanish
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
In Their Own Words
Students of Spanish
Class of 2014
Why did you decide to study Spanish in college?
I took Spanish in high school and since then have always had a passion for the Spanish language. My interest deepened when I traveled to Costa Rica during my year off, and further cemented my desire to pursue a Spanish language major.
What is your favorite Spanish word, term or expression? Why?
My favorite Spanish expression is "La Media Naranja," which comes from Spain, meaning "The One." Its literal translation is "half orange." So, when people in Spain talk about finding "The One," it seems like they are talking about finding the other half to their orange.
What is your favorite Spanish speaking country and why?
Thus far, my favorite Spanish speaking country is Costa Rica because I spent the longest amount of time there out of all the countries I have visited. Although the beaches, volcanoes, and rainforests are beautiful, what I loved most about Costa Rica was the people (called Ticos). They welcomed me with open arms and were very sweet and friendly.
What is your funniest or most embarrassing foreign language conversation/translation story?
When you are learning a new language you will always have an endless amount of funny and/or embarrassing stories to tell. However, one story in particular comes to mind. When I was in Mexico on a Spring break service trip, we had the opportunity to work at an old folks home. One day, I walked up to a woman there to say hello. She said hello, then began speaking very fast. I am a relatively fluent Spanish speaker, but I could not for the life of me understand what she was saying. So, I called my friend over who also spoke Spanish and asked her if she could understand what the woman was saying. After a few seconds, my friend looked over at me and said, "she's not speaking Spanish, she's speaking Mayan." Needless to say, I was pretty embarrassed.
Have you been able to utilize your Spanish language skill in a foreign country? How and where?
I went to Costa Rica for 4 months and volunteered with children. During my stay in Costa Rica, I also went to Nicaragua where I traveled around the country for a week and stayed in hostels. I also went on the winter term trip to Cuba this year. My most recent experience in Latin America was in Cancun, Mexico, on an Eckerd Spring break service trip.
What do you like most about studying Spanish at Eckerd?
Eckerd has a great deal of opportunities for Spanish majors. Aside from the fun and unique Spanish courses that are offered, there are a variety of opportunities for studying and volunteering abroad in Spanish speaking countries. This is only my second year at Eckerd and I have already traveled to two different countries. I'll be studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the fall!
Additionally, if you want to practice your Spanish conversation skills on campus, you can pair up with an ELS student, which is a fantastic opportunity to improve your Spanish.