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Learning through culture

By Luciana Ferraris
On November 6, 2005

Wilson Garcia, Spanish professor at Plymouth State University immigrated from Columbia to the United States of America seven years ago. He graduated in Columbia from the Universidad de Antioquia, a public university, with a major in Foreign Languages. Soon after his graduation, Columbia entered an economic and social crisis which lead Professor Garcia to immigrate to the United States. He said, "Columbia was not only going through a social crisis, but also, was getting dangerous for the citizens." He arrived in New York in 1998 and lived for a couple years in theborough of Queens. He couldn't find a job teaching because theschools in the USA ask for teacher certification. With no money inhis pocket, he went through many different jobs with hopes of one day earning his teacher certification. Professor Garcia worked odd jobs in different areas of New York, such as in restaurants, bars, and hotels. He said that he learned a lot from all of these jobs, not just about the line of work, but also about people. "I worked with people from different countries, and I lived with them, too. There was not a difference between each other in the neighborhood because we were from Latin countries; we were like a big family." The hotel chain he worked for eventually invited him to move to New Hampshire to work. Here, he met Dr. Barbara Lopez M., director of the Spanish department. She suggested he start with teacher certification at Plymouth State University. Since then, Professor Garcia has worked on his graduate studies, and taught here. He loves his profession; there is nothing else that he would like to do more for a job. He says he is constantly learning from his students and colleagues; everyday is unique. Professor Garcia feels that through culture is the best way to learn and study a language, not just in a class room, but also in life. The diversity we experience in our student body is a big step in developing both education and life.

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