MA, Spanish and Latin American Literature
I lived in Mexico for a year, climbing every pyramid and teaching English. After moving to New York City, I taught Spanish for 4 years. Then, I returned to school for a doctorate in education at Columbia University and ended up teaching ESL at Columbia, where I've been for over 30 years. I speak Spanish daily here, as it's the second language of the city.
Early exposure. Starting at about age 8, I participated in demonstration classes at Middlebury College for would-be Spanish teachers.
Learning Spanish has led to a lifelong interest in culture and art. It's the enduring theme in both my personal and professional lives. I've been a tourist and a teacher-trainer in many places: Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, China, Kyrgyzstan. My latest project is developing a "citizens' curriculum" for an NGO in central Mexico, one that connects Mexicans and Americans through language.
Because I was a graduate student, I took only language and literature classes.
As a New Yorker, I speak Spanish daily on the street, with merchants, friends and family.With family, I travel to Mexico several times a year. Lately, I've begun reading short stories and short novels in Spanish, chosen by a Mexican friend.
Always take a class while in school, then travel, read, and cultivate friendships with people of varied backgrounds.