el otoño

Yay!  It’s fall!  So step outside, take a breath of fresh air and be thankful for this new season!  I’m promise you won’t regret it!

Some fall vocabulary for you:

las hojas- leaves

el otoño- autumn

el árbol- tree

el viento- wind

la brisa- breeze

la calabaza- pumpkin/squash

el té- tea

el café- coffee

la canela- cinnamon

el camino- path

caminar- to walk

 

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fresca como una lechuga

Let’s start off the week all ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’!  It will be great, we’ll get so much done, and you will feel awesome!

Now I have to explain the saying that is my title.  My freshman year of college I took this great seminar class where we explored the political history of Latin America through its authors.  It was such a wonderful class taught by a very interesting man, Juan Allende.  Name sound familiar?  Anyone out there who is a Isabel Allende fan (you may freak out….or not, but I really did) will be excited to know that this man was (is) her brother.

I will tell you right now that this intimate (we only had about 8 people in the class) little seminar was the best class of my college career.  Being a freshman, I only knew two things:  1. I wanted to study Spanish and 2.  I wanted to learn about Latin America.  Sorry U.S., but we’re seriously lacking in the history education department.  In my experience, the only history you learn (secondary education) is U.S. History and Western European History.  What about Asia? Nope. Latin America? Nope. Africa? Nope.  The Middle East? Nope.

So, you can see that this seminar class was an exciting eye opener!  Near the end of the semester the professor (who we grew to really love and tried to convince him to show up one day to class in his pajamas…he refused and that is another long story) told us to write our own pieces of poetry, about whatever we wanted, and present them to the class.  The day before presentations he said to us, “I want you to be as fresh as lettuce!”.  And we all gave him that ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look.  What??  Lettuce??

Yes, and now that is an expression I’ve heard many times: ‘fresca como una lechuga’ a.k.a ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’.  So, here’s to hoping you have a fresh week!

Take notes like a BOSS!

I thought I would have some fun with this post!  Lately, I’ve been teaching some note-taking and organization sessions and loving it! (I guess my inner nerd is making a statement!).   During these sessions we take a look at things like:

1. How to use a planner
2. How to make an effective study-schedule
3. How to prepare for upcoming projects and tests
4. How to take some (awesome) notes

Now, I know that the note-taking ‘thing’ may sound old-school and entirely outdated, but I bet you could to the same thing on your computer.  Unfortunately, even though I do use the computer, I feel like I don’t really remember anything unless I write it down.  That’s why I still have a planner (archaic I know!), but I think that having a written record of something is better than having a million-and-one alerts in my phone. (Maybe that’s just me, I know we all have to do what works!)

So, I’m going to share with you the note-taking method I learned in high school.  Now, these notes have a name, but I don’t remember it!

Method:

Fold the side with the holes over about 1/4 of the way

On the same side as the holes, write your main headings, indent for sub-headings

On the other side write your key terms and definitions

How to study:

Fold the side with the holes back, that way you show all your headings and can quiz yourself on the terms and definitions!

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My Story

When I was in high school I was voted: Most Likely to Become a Foreign Diplomat (we were all given a superlative, it was a small school).   Although that wasn‘t exactly what I wanted to do, it was close.  I was thinking more along the lines of interpreter, traveling, working for a government agency, etc.

That was my plan.  So when I started college I declared a major in International Relations with a minor in Spanish.  And I started taking classes in Economics and Political Science.  I loved my Spanish classes, but the rest really wasn‘t doing it for me.

I changed schools (unlike some people who change their major many times, I changed schools) and ultimately ended up at Clemson University (Go Tigers!).   While there I also changed my major, Spanish Language with a minor in Tourism.  And I was still contemplating interpreting, but that slowly began to change as I started my work-study job in Clemson‘s Language Lab.  For the first semester I was an admin assistant in the lab and I would schedule and coordinate time slots for the language tutors and students.  One day I asked my supervisor how I could get a job as a tutor.  He told me to contact the director of the Academic Success Center, and from that day on I became a thorn in the director‘s side.  I wanted to make sure that I at least had the opportunity to interview for the Spanish  tutor position for the following semester.

After the interview I was informed that the position was mine if I wanted it and that training would begin in the fall.  I kept in touch with the director all summer and I was so excited for that first meeting with all the tutors. After that first day, I felt an excitement and sense of belonging that I can‘t explain.  I loved working with my peers.   As part of our training we all took an education course to obtain tutoring certification.  There I learned about teaching styles, learning styles, learning disabilities, time management, etc.  And I loved it.

I loved tutoring.  As the one Spanish tutor on campus, I was busy and never knew what to expect.  One night I would have one or two students, the next fifteen to twenty, in different classes and levels.  I worked for the language lab until I graduated in 2009.  Once I had my degree, I was like most recent grads, I had no idea what to do.  I knew I wanted to use Spanish, I just didn‘t know in what capacity.  So, I got my first ‘real’ job as a bank teller.  I used my Spanish daily, which was great but I despised working with money and trying to sell banking products that I would never use myself.   I worked at a bank and as a personal assistant and I was miserable.  The stress level was very high and it wasn‘t very fulfilling.

I tried to find something else, but there wasn’t much out there.  One afternoon while I was visiting my dad and his neighbor we were trying to figure out something different I could do.  The light-bulb went off!  Tutoring, duh.  Why didn’t I think of that before?  So that’s what I did.

In February 2011 I started tutoring after work. In September 2011 I moved to Atlanta and slowly began to grow my business.  Two years later, I can say that it’s been quite a journey, but I’ve loved every bit.  Now I’m helping others and doing what I absolutely love and I’m so thankful!