Friday, December 11, 2009

Student Reflection

by Leslie Barron

My name is Leslie Barron. I’m a junior pursuing a double major in political science and Spanish. After undergrad I hope to attend law school. My family recently relocated from the Chicago suburbs to Boston so I am beginning to look at law schools on the east coast. Spanish has always been of interest to me, at least since I started taking Spanish classes in 7th grade. Ultimately, I think it would be awesome to be able to use my Spanish in my legal career.

Senior year of high school I had the opportunity to go on a two week study abroad program to Cuernavaca, Mexico and live with a host family. This experience really opened my eyes in a number of ways, but most importantly made me realize how much I enjoy the Spanish language. For this reason I decided to double major in Spanish at the U of I with the hopes of someday becoming fluent. I felt as if I learned so much more in two weeks in Cuernavaca than I ever could have learned in a classroom. Next semester I am planning on studying abroad in Granada, Spain and I am sure I will have the same feelings there. I am so excited to have the chance to really better my Spanish and become more fluent while simultaneously learning about the culture of Spain.

So far, the Spanish classes at U of I have been pretty interesting but I am very happy that I am able to participate in Span 232 this semester. One of my friends took the class last semester and raved about how much fun she had volunteering. When I started volunteering a couple weeks ago at Leal Elementary in Urbana in a 1st grade bilingual classroom I quickly realized what she was talking about. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that you are really making a difference and helping these kids learn. I hope that this semester first and foremost I will be able to make a difference in the classroom and be a good role model for the students. In addition, I hope this experience helps me improve my Spanish in all senses – speaking, listening, and reading. Finally, I hope that I will get to know some of these students well and learn about their different experiences living in the US being primarily Spanish speakers.

The picture is from the Cuernavaca, Mexico trip in 2007 when we visited the Teotihuacan Pyramids.

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