Monday, May 2, 2016

Fulbright Spanish Language Assistant Esther Pescador de Galdo Shares More of Her Interview with Kaitlin Roeper

¡Hola! The Spring semester is finishing and soon I will be going back home. I am really sad about leaving but I am also looking forward to going back home so I can be with my family and friends. Kaitlin Roeper has written an article in The Iron Blade (you may read Kaitlin's article here) about my experience here in Ferrum College and she asked me a few more questions that I would like to share with you.

Q.: How has your experience at Ferrum been different from what you expected?
I did not have any expectations really, because I know every experience is different. It is true that I thought there would be more events concerning intercultural events or the promotion of different countries and cultures on campus but I tried to bring my own experience into my classroom in order to promote my culture and my country as well as to teach the Spanish language.

Q: What was your favorite part about being here?
My favorite part is to be living in such a remote place. I love having gotten used to not seeing taxis, buses, shops and people everywhere. I think I was lucky to be able to experience something so different from what I was used to. I am so glad I was not placed in a big city. There were times when I felt a bit lonely but I am really happy I could experience once in a life time living in a remote place like Ferrum. I have learned to appreciate and value things that I used to take for granted like taking the bus or being able to choose if I wanted to go to the cinema or the theatre and being only 20 minutes away from either. Also I love the accent of the people from around here, which I found very hard to understand at the beginning. And I love going to Floyd and listening to music there. I even tried to learn how to dance with Jessa King but I was not very successful… I am really going to miss Floyd!

Q: What can you take away from this experience?
I have experienced America, since I was used to Ireland and England and the English and culture there, so I have a broader knowledge of the English-speaking world now. So basically I have learned a lot and experienced new things, and become a better teacher and person through my experience here. Also, I am going to miss my students. I love when they see me around campus and they address me in Spanish and say to me: ¡Hola! I have met really nice students and I hope they will miss me a little bit too.

Q: Did you accomplish what you were hoping to get from this experience?
Apart from my teaching experience, and my traveling, I wanted to experience a country in which Spanish is the second language. I just wanted to have new experiences and I wanted to live in this country for a while to see what America is like from my own experience. My previous experiences in English-speaking countries as a Spaniard were always positive. Everyone wanted to talk to me in Spanish, ask me about Spain, tell me they have been on holidays there, etc. Here, however, a lot of people assumed I was Mexican, or either Mexican or Spanish, but there are 21 countries in which Spanish is spoken as an official language! Why could I only be from Mexico or Spain? Also, I have been walking in the street while I was talking in Spanish with friends and I was asked if I did not know how to speak English and I had to speak Spanish instead, and also I was told that in America “we” speak English. On the other hand, I have students who are really interested in learning a new language and in learning about different cultures and countries, so I hope I have showed them a bit from other countries and cultures, and I hope they are curious about what there is outside America and they travel! Also, I hope that students who are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish are proud of their origin and their languages and keep speaking Spanish and speak Spanish to their children one day. My biggest accomplishment would be if my students felt curiosity and wanted to travel and wanted to continue learning Spanish and to broaden their knowledge about different cultures and languages.

Q: What will you take back to Spain to teach others about us?

Well, first that America is not what we see in the movies like Sex in the City or shows like Friends. There might be some parts of America which are like that but there is another side of it, the one I got to experience. The one in which my neighbours are a squirrel and a woodpecker. The one in which there are no buses but pick-up trucks. From my experience, American people are really friendly and welcoming. I love walking in the cafeteria and everyone has always a smile on their faces, and when I walk around campus I always stop to chat for a while with everyone (so then I am always late!). I am taking to Spain great memories that I will share with my friends and family, and also experiences and pictures that I would use in the classroom when I am teaching English there, so as I have been promoting my culture here, I will promote this part of America I got to live to my students there. Hopefully I will come back to Ferrum one day!

See more of my photographs here.

No comments:

Post a Comment