Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011

Opportunity for College Seniors

Image
by Ann Abbott

One of my former students, Sandra Mazuera, was involved in this program so I feel very recommending it to all my students and all my students to this selective program. See message below:

Hi Professor Abbott, Thank you again for your help spreading the word about the MATCH Corps this fall!
To refresh your memory, The MATCH Corps is a highly selective one-year fellowship program that allows recent grads to tutor inner-city kids in Boston for a year. After the year, fellows usually go on to top grad schools, work in public policy, or become full-time teachers in inner city schools. I just wanted to check in and see if you have any students or recent grads you’d like to nominate for the 2012-2013 cohort. We are still accepting applications! Please feel free to pass the following blurb along to any students who might be interested. Students are welcome to contact me directly for more information.

Happy holidays! Colin Bottles, Director of Recruiting MATCH Charter Publ…

Student Spotlight: James Peters

Image
by Ann Abbott


So many of my students know that they want to live and work abroad, but they're not sure exactly how to go about it. There are many paths, of course, and several of the "Student Spotlight" entries on this blog highlight former students who are now living abroad or incorporating Spanish into their lives in the United States.

The Peace Corps, of course, is a well-known way to live and work abroad for a few years. That is the path that James Peters has chosen.

James was in my course on social entrepreneurship last year. James really stood out to me because he was full of ideas, willing to participate and because of his dedication to the Boy Scout troop he worked with in the community. So I was delighted to receive an e-mail from him recently recounting his adventures in Luque, Paraguay. I loved the insights into the local language and indigenous culture. I asked James if I could share his information with others on my blog, and this was his reply:

Hola! Yes I w…

Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health: Spanish Community Service Learning's Role

Image
by Ann Abbott


I just received my copy of Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health(Springer), edited by Lydia Buki and Lissette Piedra.  I'm very proud to have a chapter in this book that not only defines the problems surrounding Latinos' access to mental health services but also makes concrete policy and organizational recommendations to address the need. (My chapter describes why and how human service agencies can contact their nearest college Spanish program to begin a mutually beneficial community service learning partnership.)

Our university's Inside Illinois also profiled the editors--two professors on our campus--and the impetus behind the book. Congratulations to Lissette and Lydia for putting forth a guidebook that outlines the issues and possible solutions!

Student Spotlight: Laura Woodward

Image
by Ann Abbott

It is always such a pleasure for me to hear from former students. I especially like hearing about their professional aspirations and growth--whether they include Spanish or not.

Laura Woodward's message (below) should be of interest to current Spanish students for at least two reasons:

1. She has identified an educational program (Masters in International Disaster Psychology at the University of Denver) and career path that is unusual but that could actually fit many of my students interests, experiences and goals.

2. Her message models many good things about how to contact a former professor and ask for a letter of recommendation. First, her "luck" in finding work in a restaurant immediately reminded me of her sense of humor. (Each student has a unique personality, and believe it or not, we almost always notice that.) She reminded me specifically of the course, the semester and the community work that she did in my class. I need those reminders! Finally, t…

Student Reflection

Image
by Jacqui Kukulski
“Mira directo.”
“¿Está tomando algún medicina?”
“¿Está casada?”
I’ve been working at Frances Nelson Health Center for roughly three months at 7.5 hours a week.  When I first started I was only on the phones, and occasionally translating at the front desk.  They had me shadow the translators in the room so I could learn how to translate for the doctors and learn the medical terminology in Spanish.  When November came, I was still following the translators around, like a lost puppy.  I only had the freedom to go to the front desk and translate there or answer the phones without them having to be near me.  If I was ever in a room I certainly wanted them there.  I didn’t have the confidence in my Spanish or my medical terms and if I was ever translating for a patient I was glad that there was another translator there to help out when the patient or doctor said something that I understood but couldn’t translate effectively (or didn’t understand in the case of the patient).
Al…

Student Reflection

Image
by Jacqui Kukulski
-Quiero una cita.
-¿Para qué?
This is part of the conversation that I often have with patients over the phone.  We get many calls everyday all for the same complaint: “I want an appointment” (which really isn’t a complaint or symptom of anything). On our outgoing message we have the usual request for information: name, birthday, phone number and the reason for the call.  I guess you could say that we’re getting all of those, but the reason isn’t always specific.  This then starts a phone call game of tag between the translators and the patient trying to get all the pertinent information as well as the reason why they’re calling, ie their symptoms.  It gets even more interesting when you can’t even make out the word for their symptom.
I once had a woman explain her symptoms to me, but she kept talking.  I tried my hardest to understand everything she said.  I continually asked questions to make sure that I understood what she was telling me.  I didn’t understand her comp…