Monday, October 24, 2016
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Insights from the 2016 Conference from the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education
This is just one example of the wonderful information that can be found at Rice University's CLIC website, Bridging Research and Practice.
Last weekend I was very happy to attend the Annual conference of the Consortium on Useful Assessment in Language and Humanities Education (CUALHE) at Notre Dame.
I wanted to attend the conference because in my role as Director of Undergraduate Studies in our department, I will need to lead the assessment efforts when our university goes through its accreditation process in a few years. (My awareness and interest in this level of assessment comes from presentations and conversations with Dr. Staci Provezis in the Provost's Office.) Indeed, I picked up many good ideas about assessment, and I hope that our department can follow through on some of them.
For me and my interests for our department, the highlights were these sessions:
- "Teaching and Testing Interaction Competence" by Maryam Emami, Kevin García, Katharina Kley / Hélade Scutti-Santos from Rice University. They provided very good examples of how they explicitly teach pragmatics and intercultural communicative competence in their Spanish basic language program. (I loved seeing Helade again! She presented their model of assessment that included the stages of practice --> awareness --> classroom instruction --> practice --> awareness/homework --> assessment, in which they video record their final conversation practice and receive a grade --> practice.)
- Keynote: ¨Proficiency and Pragmatics: Expanding our Repertoire of Language Assessment.¨ by Julie Sykes, University of Oregon. Julie gave a very inspiring talk with wonderful examples of pragmatics and with a very intriguing look at what they are working on in her program in order to create simulations of pragmatics. I'm looking forward to learning more as her work progresses!
- "The Evolution of One Foreign Language Department's Electronic Portfolio Assessment Program." by Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz and Katherine Barbe at Northern Illinois University. It was very interesting to hear how they have their language majors create a portfolio throughout their coursework in the major, an idea that could work for us. They offer three one-credit courses each semester, so that counts as "one" course for a faculty member's teaching load.
- "Improving the Student Experience through Program-wide Assessment and Articulation." This was a very impressive study of the proficiency levels of students in their basic language program. We have never had a broad assessment like this, as far as I know. This is what I wrote to myself after seeing their results: "What are our goal posts? (It feels funny to use that term while here at Notre Dame at a conference that is held int heir athletic facilities.) We gather data, students create portfolios, we see what students can/cannot do in linguistic and cultural terms, ... but where does all this information sit in relation to what, developmentally, student can actually be expected to do? In other words, I think that we sometimes overestimate where students can arrive without immersion. Other times we underestimate what they can do intellectually and socially."
- "Assessing the Impact of Community-Based Learning on Student Learning Outcomes in a Spanish Program." by Rachel Parroquin, Connie Mick and Shauna Williams from Notre Dame. Of course I was interested in this! I know all three women and respect them greatly. They have a wonderful CBL program, and their results showed that.
- "Improving Equal Access in Lower-Division Language Courses: A Collaboration Between the Language Program Director and Accessibility Services" by Muriel Gallego, Ohio University. I am very interested in issues of accessibility for people with disabilities, so this session was inspiring and important.
- Other programs have an emphasis on intercultural competence and pragmatics that we don't have at any level. Kevin Garcia presented a five-step process that they follow with students: 1) Reflection on how language works; 2) Contrast that between L1 and L2; 3) Analysis of L2 structures; 4) practice in speaking and writing; 5) translingual/transcultural discussion and reflection (at home). I wrote to myself, "This is a good response to the MLA special report that calls for translingual competence, not native-like proficiency. So in the end, what are our goals for the basic language program (BLP)? What do we want to achieve? (It seems like right now we are only focused on language acquisition.) What does the university want tot achieve? Why do they require foreign languages? What do students actually want to achieve in these required courses? Lastly, what does our society need us to achieve to further our civic society?"
- Conversation partners. Rice and Carnegie Mellon both have "conversation partners" for their language students. The partners are advanced undergraduates (at Carnegie Mellon, anyway), and they are paid for that work. Could we use Mi Pueblo in a more systemic way like this? Or should we implement the conversation partners model?
- Our department excels at linguistics and second language acquisition research. However, there is a broader body of literature and research out there that people draw upon for their language programs. We should widen our perspective.
- I like the idea of a required 1-credit portfolio course during students' senior year, like they have done at Northern Illinois University. I wonder if we could do that at a School level, not just the department level.
- Robert Davis showed the organization chart of their Spanish basic language program at the University of Oregon; he is the director of the program geared toward L2 learners, and Claudia Holguin is in charge of the program geared toward heritage learners. That brought to my mind other ways to organize a language program. At Rice, like Stanford, the language courses are their own program; the linguistics and languages are a separate department. What other ways could we logically organize ourselves? When's the last time we thought about this? How do our new online courses fit in? Could experiential learning have its own channel?
- How can we make our courses more inclusive for students with disabilities, from a social justice perspective? I was very inspired by Muriel Gallego's talk, but I'd like to know more about how we can do that. We need to do that.
- Finally, how does the emphasis on pragmatics and intercultural communicative competence fit in with the cultural competence sections I wrote for Día a día: de lo personal a lo profesional? I mean, the perspective of the presenters was still very language based, whereas my sections in the textbook have a more conceptual framework and tackle social issues. How can these two approaches fit together?
Monday, October 10, 2016
As I've written here before, I like to have my Business Spanish students practice being facilitators. I think it's a very important skill to have in business, and I think they already have enough practice giving presentations.
But the fact that it is not a common academic assignment can create confusion. So here is one student's explanation to other students about how to prepare.
Monday, October 3, 2016
One of the hats I wear in my job is Director of Undergraduate Studies. I work closely with our advisor, I speak directly with potential students and their parents, and I am on our department's curriculum committee.
1. Spain-centric programs
2. Spanish as a tool
3. Heritage speakers
Business Spanish Students' Social Media Posts
Documentary Screening and Student Panel
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Starting a Spanish community service learning course is challenging but very doable.
This semester I have talked to two faculty members who are either starting or planning to start a Spanish CSL course, and I have shared everything I have with them.
So I thought I'd share it with all of you, too. You might think of this post as "Spanish CSL in a box."
- Course description for "Spanish in the Community." (Scroll down to SPAN 232.)
- Textbook: Comunidades: Más allá del aula. (I am not trying to hawk my book--I barely make any money on it anyway. Ask your Pearson sales rep for a review copy.)
- Course calendar. This calendar for Fall 2016 includes a visit to our Krannert Art Museum to visit a pertinent exhibit, so you would simply change the dates around a bit.
- Comunidades Companion Website. You can find the audios and videos mentioned in the textbook here. I think the videos are especially valuable. The site isn't very intuitive, so do the following: Go to "Select chapter" --> Select any chapter --> Click the "Go" button --> Navigate using the categories on the left (Audio, Video, etc.).
- Instructor's resource manual. I think you'll find the instructions for setting up a community partnership and a course very helpful, and it's at the very beginning of the document. I also use this document to read the scripts for the listening comprehension activities that I do in class.
- Topics for ensayos de reflexión. This is an updated list of the topics and instructions that I give to students for their reflective writing.
- Readings that I use with students: 1) "Sociolinguistic Dimensions of Immigration to the United States" by Kim Potowski; 2) "Introduction: Heartland North, Heartland South" by Allegro and Grant Wood; 3) "Civic Engagement and Community Service Learning" by Ann Abbott (this is an abridged version of a chapter that is forthcoming).
- Course wiki, where students sign up for the place where they will work and log their work hours weekly (here's an example). If I had to do it all over again, I would use Google docs. But back many years ago when I set this up, Google docs had a limit of 200 people, and that caused problems for me.
Monday, September 26, 2016
¡Hola! Mi nombre es Araceli! Soy estudiante de tercer año y estoy estudiando la educación primaria con una concentración en el español en la Universidad de Illinois. Este semestre estoy tomando el curso: español en la Comunidad. Para este curso tengo que completar 28 horas de servicio en la comunidad donde trabajo con la comunidad de hispanohablantes en Champaign-Urbana. Estoy muy contenta de tener la oportunidad en la que no solo puedo practicar mi español, pero también ayudar a las familias de habla hispana en mi ciudad. Sobre todo estoy emocionada porque ésta no sería mi primera vez trabajando con las personas cuyo primer idioma es el español. Me crié en un barrio de Chicago donde la mayoría de la población es mexicana, lo cual tiene sentido, teniendo en cuenta que también soy mexicana. No sólo eso, sino que también mi primer idioma es el español. Esto quiere decir que he tenido muchas experiencias con la comunidad de habla española.
Una de mis experiencias más memorables fue cuando fui voluntaria para la biblioteca pública de mi barrio durante mis veranos de la escuela secundaria. Hacer servicio comunitario en esta biblioteca fue una experiencia increíble porque me dio la oportunidad de hablar con los estudiantes que les gustaba leer, pero sólo podian leer en español. Fue muy gratificante ver qué felices se ponían los estudiantes jóvenes cuando les leía y por tener la oportunidad de hablar sobre un libro que amaban.
A pesar de que el lugar donde estaré dedicando mi tiempo este semestre es un poco diferente de lo que he hecho en el pasado estoy muy emocionada. Espero mejorar mis habilidades de expresión oral y escritura en español. También espero poder tener una mejor idea de la forma de vida y costumbres de la comunidad mexicana y puertorriqueña con que voy a trabajar. Estoy más que feliz de poder aportar mi pequeña parte para el grupo de personas con que me he identificado toda mi vida, los hispanohablantes.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Finding that first position out of college can be a real challenge for students. I would say it's especially challenging for students who are inclined toward going to graduate school yet aren't quite ready to commit to a program of study right away. That is definitely the category I would put Maura in: grad school material (100%), but she hadn't been thinking about grad school until much later in her studies. Plus, she's talented in many areas, so choosing a graduate program is even more complicated: MD/PhD? Nursing? Community Health? Medical Anthropology? She would excel at them all!
Maura gave me permission to share this quote from her email to me and her position description (image above) so that other students can see a possible path for themselves.
There are many opportunities out there! Even if everyone around you is going straight from a campus job fair to a job with a big company in downtown Chicago, that doesn't mean that is the only path.
In college, try to have a wide range of experiences with a wide range of professors who can mentor you. Maura certainly did that.
Here are her words:
"My summer has been busy as I balanced a couple of Nursing Assistant jobs and applied for the Fulbright scholarship, but I have been happy to be at home with family and friends. I do have some more recent news that I think you might be interested in - I received and accepted a Jesuit Volunteer Corps position in Austin, TX! My year-long position is called "Employment and Legal Services Specialist" and it sounds like it will be dynamic, requiring interaction with legal services, immigration policy, and worker's rights. I leave this Wednesday for Austin! I've attached the job description in case you want to get a better understanding for what I'll be doing. Due in part to my experiences in your class and at the refugee center (SPAN 232), I was able to demonstrate knowledge and experience for the position. Without your encouragement, inspiration, and leadership in that class and since then, I would not be where I am today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Monday, July 4, 2016
|Sometimes I wonder whether the time and energy we put into selecting (and then critiquing) our departmental leader might be better put to use refurbishing the "ship" they are asked to lead.|
As my department began to transition from one Head to another, we were all invited to speak to the Dean. Specifically, we were asked three questions:
- What do you consider the qualities in an effective leader for our department?
- What are the major challenges facing your department?
- Who would you suggest for the position?
What do you consider the qualities in an effective leader for our department?
Supported and supportive
Able to delegate
Organized--information, money, time
One way to combat this could be to come together as a department and identify about three priorities for the academic year. In the absence of a well-articulated set of priorities, people feel that the leader does what she/he wants, that power is absolute. If someone goes to the Head and asks for something, and if the Head can't give them what they want, it feels personal. Instead, those kinds of decisions (at least some of them) could be clearly articulated and then revisited the following year.
Focused on communication and celebrationIn our department, many people (not all) are sizing each other up and putting each other in their place. We spend so much time and energy on that. How do we move from that to what everyone really wants: a sense of regard, esteem and recognition? Heads have tried to celebrate people's accomplishments, but people reacted very cynically. Furthermore, this sense of celebration and community is complicated by the fact that we work outside the office. But if--if!--there is a way to make people feel seen, appreciated, celebrated, then I think we could solve many things.
What are the major challenges facing your department?
Changing profession and enrollments
Changing student body
Need for income generation
Sunday, June 26, 2016
- Read the first post I wrote about Jill.
- Are you willing to do the networking that I talked about on that post?
- Read Jill's letter below.
- Compare where she was in 2010 and where she is now, in 2016, in terms of her career.
- Note how your beginning doesn't have to be your ending.
- Really think about your passions, and ask yourself if you are on a path to wed your passion and your career.
- If your major or your career doesn't feel like a good fit to you right now, no problem! Just like Jill, your career will have many steps and many doors. Take note of how the path she wants to go down now doesn't negate all the wonderful experiences and learning opportunities that she had in her previous job.
- Notice how Spanish can be a part of your personal and professional life years into your future. What can you do right now to keep your Spanish up? Do it! Don't get rusty and insecure in your Spanish.
- Look at how Jill is using volunteering--and Spanish in her volunteering--to explore and bolster her career plans. How can you do that, too, whether you are still at the U of I or somewhere else?
Friday, June 24, 2016
|Let's show students what active citizens and advocates do after a loss.|
- Inform. I find that many of my students, especially L2 learners of Spanish, do not have much good information about immigration, immigration policies and comprehensive immigration reform efforts. I will ask them to read this press release.
- Model. More and more, I am trying to show my CSL students what they can do beyond volunteering. I like to give them concrete examples of what advocacy looks like. This is one.
- Analyze. I 'd like students to separate out all the individual pieces of advocacy within this press release. (Including the press release itself.) Then put them on a scale of least investment to most investment.
- Create. I want to put them in small groups and ask them to take this one long press release and think of as many smaller bits of it that could be used in CU Immigration Forum's marketing efforts. For example: You have five minutes to come up with as many individual tweets as possible. Go! Now, you have five minutes to come up with as many Instagrams as possible. Go! Etc.
The CU Immigration Forum expresses its regret over today’s Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Texas. The court has, in a 4-4 ruling, deferred the implementation of President Obama’s initiatives of expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, the CU Immigration Forum still encourages all immigrants looking for an immigration remedy to schedule a legal consultation with The Immigration Project, a non-profit immigration law firm based in Normal, Illinois with an office in Champaign, IL. The Immigration Project’s four licensed immigration attorneys screen immigrants for other forms of immigration relief.
The Immigration Project and the CU Immigration Forum are hosting an informational meeting on Thursday, June 30, 2016 starting at 5:30pm at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in the fellowship hall (downstairs) at 2200 Philo Road in Urbana, Illinois. Immigrants that are interested in learning about the next steps after the Supreme Court’s decision are encouraged to attend. Free additional parking is available behind the church. For more information about the meeting, contact the CU Immigration Forum at 217-417-5897.
Additionally, the CU Immigration Forum wants to remind the public that the original DACA program from 2012 is still in effect. It provides the legal permission to work to residents who were brought to the U.S. while under the age of 16, have resided in the U.S. since 2007, were not over the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, and have pursued a form of higher education. We encourage all those who meet the requirements to come to the meeting to set up appointments to begin the application process while the 2012 DACA program is still in effect.
"The fight is not over. The Immigration Forum intends to press our elected officials for definitive legislation that will deal once and for all with this country’s longstanding immigration problems," says Tom Garza, President of the CU Immigration Forum. "Until that comes to pass, we will continue to stand with these hard working Immigrant Americans as they struggle with living their lives in the shadows, and join them in their hope for a brighter day when they will be recognized as the full partners in our communities that they have long been."
“These programs had the ability to positively impact the lives of roughly 4.3 million U.S. citizen children,” explains the Executive Director of the Immigration Project, Jasmine McGee. “Now immigrant families remain in limbo – unauthorized to work legally but unable to leave their children alone in the U.S. Studies show that a U.S. citizen child growing up in a household with an undocumented parent faces increased stress from the fear of having a parent deported. In addition these children live in families with lower incomes, inferior housing, and are less likely to take advantage of community services.”
In November 2014, President Obama proposed programs that would provide the legal permission to work and protection from deportation for the parents of U.S. Citizen and lawful permanent resident children. These executive actions expanded the existing DACA from 2012 and created DAPA. Shortly after its introduction, some state governors came forward with a lawsuit and delayed the implementation of these programs. Since then, an estimated 5 million immigrants have been hoping for the start of these programs, but today their dreams for financial and emotional security for their families have been again deferred.
President Obama’s deferred action had the potential to drastically impact the well being of thousands of families in central and southern Illinois. Reports have show that families with an undocumented parent could see a 10% increase in annual income. Furthermore, according to the Center of American Progress, these two immigration programs could have lead to the creation of almost 2,000 new jobs in Illinois and an almost $8 billion increase in cumulative income of all state residents over the next decade. Additionally, the American Immigration Council has estimated that with these programs, Illinois stood to receive an additional $347 million in tax revenue over the next five years.
In Illinois, there are an estimated 519,000 residents who are undocumented, with a portion living in Champaign County, Illinois. The majority of the undocumented population eligible for DAPA in Central and Southern Illinois have strong roots, strong family ties, and have been residing for more than ten years in the U.S.
The programs considered today by the Supreme Court were meant to alleviate immigrant families from deportation temporarily. The Supreme Court decision should impel Congress to stop putting politics over people and to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Local residents who want to take action should call Congressman Rodney Davis at 202.225.2371 and tell him to support a just and humane immigration bill.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
I love my job. I have a wonderful position: Director of Undergraduate Studies. I feel respected on my campus. (I earned that respect, of course.) I am surrounded with resources and inspiration. I wish my department would embrace a more progressive undergraduate curriculum, but, hey, I understand where my colleagues are coming from. I have a fabulous office and work with many great people--not to mention my students who always energize me.
But there's a dark side to being non-tenure track. Sure, there are the contract issues. Honestly, though, that doesn't even worry me too much. (Just a little.) I have always known that I can create another career for myself at any time. Smug? No, I am just confident that I have the smarts, creativity and skills to give another type of employer a lot of value. Or I'd put together something of my own.
Really, it's the little digs that do it to me.
To be honest, they don't come from everyone. But some people really want to put you in your place. (Maybe it's unconscious? I don't know. Don't care.)
Mostly, I just shrug them off. Yes, I fret about them and pour out my hurt feelings to my husband in the evening (or the poor soul who will listen to me on the phone while my husband is still at work.) But after a good night's sleep, I'm usually able to regain my perspective and slip right back into my routine of looking ahead, creating something new, tackling problems like I'm working on a puzzle. That's me.
Sometimes the digs aren't at me. They're at someone else who is NTT. About being NTT. For forgetting her place. Or perhaps the worst: being the best suited person for a position but not even being considered because, you know, NTT.
A couple of really egregious cases have come up lately. Or maybe my consciousness has been raised. I don't know, but I felt the urge to put together my NTT manifesto. It's full of pride. Imagine me SHOUTING it out loud. That's what it is. I'm not angry. (I ain't even angry.) This isn't aimed at anyone. This isn't timed to any particular slight. No, it's just a very clear statement of who I know myself to be!
A very clear statement of who I know myself to be!
(It feels a bit scary to put this out there. I'd love to know what you think. Did I go too far? Is it right to be so assertive?)
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Yes, this gazebo is in my back yard.
Yes, this is where I plan to several hours each day. With my laptop. With a pitcher of herbal iced tea. Listening to the birds. With some privacy, while the kids are in just a few steps away in the house. Away from the phone. Alone with my work.
I'm trying to balance work and family; disconnecting from work yet advancing on projects; enjoying my creative process without burning out; keeping my family close while also claiming my own space.
Does this sound anything like your summer? Maybe the particulars are different, but do you also have to manage competing needs? Between wanting to be active and wanting to just still your mind? If you're a mother, do you want your kids to have fun yet refuse to turn yourself into a taxi driver and money machine?
Summers are a little complicated.
I hope that by limiting my summer goals, I can both accomplish something and revive my spirit.
Online course development
Personal, entrepreneurial project
- Revising and submitting a manuscript to Foreign Language Annals with data from the survey that Rejane conducted with our community service learning students.
- Writing and submitting a short piece to The Language Editor about teaching digital literacies through bilingual social media marketing. Due July 1.
- Writing and submitting a chapter for the volume related to the LSP conference. Due July 31.
- Drafting a short piece for the AAUSC 2017 volume.
Healthy, relaxing meals
Lots of movement and exercise
Family, fun and relaxation
What about you?
Saturday, May 14, 2016
I do. Not as much as I used to, but still, it happens. Even with a relatively small writing project I sometimes feel like I need a block of time (even if it's small) that I don't have. Or I think that since it won't take long I can wait until it's closer to the due date. Or I just don't feel like I'm in the mood for writing.
So I've learned not to write. Just to list.
See, successful writing comes in large part from having strong, clear ideas with supporting evidence. That's structural. And for me, a lot of that can happen before I even write a complete sentence at all.
The trick is to know that jotting down your ideas and listing them is writing that doesn't feel like writing.
Making a list has none of the psychological pressures of "writing." Jot down. Scratch out some ideas. Let me think about this for a couple of minutes. None of those phrases cause as much anxiety as "writing."
So that's what I try to do when I feel myself procrastinating on a writing project. Just make a list.
I often write letters to myself, and looking through some of those letters recently I came upon this advice I had given myself:
"One thing that worked well for you and always does was to jot down ideas, let those soak in and percolate for a while, then write from that list. ... Don't forget this important strategy. Long before something is due, jot down your ideas. Your brain will work on them even when you're doing other things."
Do you use this strategy? Do you have other advice for moving from the procrastination stage to the pre-writing stage? From pre-writing to writing? I think this is so important because I meet so many people with wonderful ideas, fascinating experiences, important knowledge, funny stories who could edify the world with their writing. There's nothing wrong with not writing, of course. You're still smart, funny, wise and experienced without writing anything! But if you want to write and fear holds you back from crossing the threshold between not writing and writing, then why not try to just list your ideas. See if that moves you into writing.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
|How do you welcome new members to your faculty?|
This past year we were lucky to hire three instructors in our department to help teach Spanish, one advisor and one Teaching Assistant Professor to direct the Portuguese language program. For a department that has not experienced the same growth in non-tenure track faculty that many other departments have, this was a big jump.
Perhaps because we were not used to hiring so many people at once, the "onboarding" (as they say in business contexts) was bumpy...and at times non-existent. Some things were out of everyone's control (e.g., late arrivals due to visa issues, problematic visa categories, etc.), but other things, in hindsight, could have been handled differently.
But when it comes down to it, people in our department work very independently, are rarely in their offices, and share no real common spaces. Building a sense of community is hard in a department that doesn't really function as...well...a community. (This is not a criticism. It's simply the way that many people in the humanities work when they are not teaching or doing committee work.)
I won't revisit the past here. Instead, I want to share some ideas for beginning to create a sense of community, at least among the non-tenure track faculty.
Write on Site Meetings. Just because a person is non-tenure track doesn't mean that they do not have research and writing projects. Perhaps a Monday and Thursday meeting each week could be a good chance for people to bring their laptops, focus on their writing and build a sense of camaraderie.
Grading "Parties." The instructors were hired to help out with any course the department needs, but mostly the composition course. I know that students write three compositions in that course, and they are graded in stages. I can find out the deadlines in that course and organize an afternoon (or evening or weekend?) grading party. I say party not because it would be fun, but because we could make it more enjoyable by sitting together in a conference room, playing nice music, ordering/bringing in food, etc. Of course it wouldn't be required, but it might be a way to make that big, daunting task a little less daunting.
Lunch. A few years ago, a storage room in our building was cleared out to create a faculty break room because there was no common space in our building for people to meet and build a sense of community. I don't think that this break room accomplished what it was supposed to, but at the very least there is a place to sit for lunch and also some comfortable chairs. I almost always eat lunch at my desk, but it would also be nice to see if people wanted to meet up for lunch or coffee breaks in this area.
Personal invitations. I invited all of the new people to our home for dinner toward the end of the fall semester. Not everyone was able to come, but it was a nice way to get to know each other outside of our building and offices. Although my evenings and weekends are pretty packed with the children's activities, I definitely would like to make more time for relaxing and socializing with colleagues and friends.
But in the end, whatever I am able to do for and with new people, I will also be doing for myself. I sometimes feel isolated. I sometimes want someone to write with. I could use the accountability and structure of grading parties.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Friday, May 6, 2016
by Joey Gelman
Monday, May 2, 2016
|Take your engagement with cultures and languages even further: consider the Peace Corps.|
I know several students who have gone to the Peace Corps after a college experience filled with travel, language learning and transcultural encounters. It's a fantastic experience, and they come back with unique perspectives and skills.
Scrolling through LinkedIn this morning, I came upon a blog that my former student, Andrew Piotrowski has contributed to. His posts are about El Salvador, and I just loved reading them. I admire the way he presents his experiences, the people who he worked with, and the way the he sees things now that he is back in the US. I encourage you to read them on Peace Corps Volunteers: Stories about the Toughest Job You'll Ever Love.
If you search through this blog, you'll find old posts from Andrew. Here is what he wrote to me after I told him I much I loved his blog posts.
Thank you Annie! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. I feel like I got my start blogging by writing articles for your blog to earn that extra credit hour I needed back at U of I. That was a great experience, and I'm grateful that you helped me reach others through writing!