Sights of Reunion 2015

The Spanish classes that I took at Carleton were collectively some of the most thought-provoking, challenging, and downright enjoyable academic experiences that I had during my four years. I studied and learned about art history, film, philosophy, capitalism, social justice, Baroque literature, poetry, politics, and translation, all in Spanish! I also had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Peru and in Spain with Carleton professors and fellow students, trips that allowed me to dramatically improve my language skills through applying them to real life. Not only did the Spanish department make it feasible to complete the major’s requirements and the Carleton distribution requirements while spending two terms abroad, they reassured me that doing so was truly valuable for my personal and academic growth. I believe that as long as a student has a fundamental interest in the Spanish language and in the humanities, the Spanish major can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding, whatever their academic interests or career aspirations may be.” (Jordyn Adeboye ’15)

“I chose to study Spanish at Carleton because I was excited about the interdisciplinary nature of the major and because I saw value and importance in being able to communicate in Spanish. Through my Spanish major I was able to study in Peru with a Carleton program and I was later able to study at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan in Mexico. These experiences complicated my understanding of the world and helped me see the wide opportunities and connections available to me because of my language skills.” (Sonja Dangler ’15)  

“The Spanish department trained me to think critically and deeply about myself, my culture, and other cultures in ways that allowed me to experience the world in a wildly different way. The education I received allowed me to become more socially conscious, more open-minded, and a much more well rounded individual. Because it is such a small department, I was able to receive constant one-on-one feedback and guidance, which the faculty takes very seriously. I will always be grateful for my experience with the Spanish department at Carleton and highly recommend being a Spanish major. It is so much more than just learning a language. It is about having the opportunity to study, read, write, and learn along side a group of incredibly talented and intelligent scholars of the Latin American and Peninsular world.” (Anthony Harb ’15)

“I spent my first winter break at Carleton shadowing in an underserved community clinic. Many of the well-intentioned doctors with whom I worked during those six weeks were unable to successfully connect with their patients on an emotional level through an interpreter and felt unprepared to process nuance and emotion in another language. I committed to majoring in Spanish after rotating in that clinic because I wanted to be able to reassure and understand all of my patients, both English and Spanish-speaking, in the language in which they are most comfortable. Because language and culture are inseparably linked, living abroad has been a major part of my life after Carleton. I spent a year teaching English in Ecuador, two months in Peru doing house calls on pregnant women who were unable to make it to clinic, and one month in Colombia on a medical mission. My last rotation before graduation from medical school will be general medicine in San Jose, Costa Rica.” (Ethan Bernstein ’11)

“After graduating, I began two years as a Teach for America corps member in Gary, Indiana and was hired as a K-8 Spanish teacher. Learning fundamental Spanish at Carleton and working at a TA allowed me to teach Spanish to students who had never before experienced another language. After my two years with TFA I moved to Massachusetts and began to work as one of the founding College Counselors at a charter high school in Lynn, Mass. Along with coaching the first graduating class of seniors through the college application process, I helped build and translate our college access programing for our predominantly Latino population and lead bilingual parent engagement events to help demystify the college application process. In 2016, I moved into the role of Director of College Counseling and have continued my work to help support a college-going culture in our high school. One of my seniors from our first graduating class is now at Carleton, so I must be doing something right!” (Patricia ‘BG’ Tucker ’11)

“Learning Spanish has been so much more than just learning how to speak; it has given me opportunities to synthesize, connect, and create. However, just as in life, it has done so with ambiguity, discomfort and a no-nonsense requirement of hard work. In my opinion, that is where real progress is made (Daniel Matthews ’10)

“I moved to Spain almost seven years ago, upon graduating from Carleton, with a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Little did I know that what started as a nine-month commitment would turn into a lifelong adventure. After a couple of years teaching in Madrid, I moved to Barcelona to pursue a Masters in the History and Culture of Food at the University of Barcelona while teaching English through the arts and working as a baker, freelance editor, translator, and writer. I am currently completing my PhD in Food Anthropology focusing on food cultures and migrations, also at the University of Barcelona. My Spanish studies gave me my home in Spain. They led me to opportunities in new professional and academic fields, to resilient, dynamic, and lasting cross-cultural friendships, to a new multifaceted identity, and even to my husband!” (Catherine Gallin ’09)

“Not having used Spanish for years after graduation, I studied up on it to become, for only one year, a bilingual paraprofessional in a bilingual classroom in the Denver Public Schools.  After that, my Spanish remained mostly unused until a ’61 classmate led a trip to Costa Rica.  That trip was so successful that I subsequently signed up to go on a church mission trip to Honduras, working there with kids (ages 4-12) in an orphanage, living “on campus” with them.  (It’s called “immersion”!)  In all, I have made 5 such trips to Tegucigalpa.  Now I use my Spanish to translate for “guests” who visit the homeless shelter where I have volunteered for a number of years.  In between times, I read novels in Spanish and watch TV from Mexico so I don’t lose the language again.” (Isabella Horsky ’61) 

 ***Some quotes have been shortened or edited for clarity