Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Brick in the Wall...Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

I'm really enjoying all my classes and this semester has been one filled with growth for me as a scholar and a follower of Christ. I look forward to using my experiences in the classroom and on the streets in my future. (Another cool thing about classes down here: we only met 4 days a week, giving us 3-day weekends every week! Talk about getting spoiled…)
Here’s a list of the classes I took:
· Beginning Spanish I & 2
· INTS: Latin American Studies
· Christianity in Culture
· Differential Equations (Guided study)
Beginning Spanish 1 & 2: Studying Spanish in a semi-immersed environment has been a lot of fun. It actually gives you incentive to learn in class because you’re actually going to go out and use the stuff you just learned. We have the class 4 days a week and we really have to work hard to keep up with our crazy teacher Amelia. She is a really great teacher and balances bookwork with oral practice and singing contemporary Spanish songs in class. We also have a Spanish lab where we can practice the vocabulary and grammar and pronunciation in a smaller group context. Many days in lab we learn “scripts” and then have to go out of the house and talk to random people. Very stressful for a introverted person like me, let me tell you. But the people of Montevideo are really nice and all you have to say is that you're learning spanish (Estoy aprendiendo espanol.) and they become really nice and helpful.
INTS: Latin American Studies: This is a class that studies basic structures of culture and the history of Latin America and Montevideo/Uruguay in particular. For assignments we get to go out and explore museums and monuments and statues writing about what we saw and experienced in a journal. Lynette Sharp-Penya, our on-site program director, teaches this class.
Christianity in Culture: This class, taught by Prof. Ken Cukrowski, is teaching us to examine culture while thinking theologically. We’ve discussed issues such as capital punishment, abortion, women’s rights, and homosexuality. It’s been very interesting both to hear the views of other students in my class and to develop my own thoughts and beliefs on these issues. Where culture is concerned, we’re getting a double serving by examining the culture of Uruguay and Latin America and then compare it to our culture back home, often discovering some unfavorable things that we do in our daily lives, especially with regards to our treatment of other people.
Differential Equations: DE has been quite an experience for me and Marissa, the other physics major studying abroad this semester. We had to take the class as a prerequisite to a lot of upper level physics classes that we will have to take in the future, but obviously they don’t offer anything like that down here. So, we are taking it as a guided study, basically teaching ourselves the ins and outs of modeling with differential equations, doing homework on our own, and faxing our tests and quizzes to the professor back in Abilene. It’s been a lot of work keeping up with the class at ACU, but the work will pay off in the long run.

And now next semester I get to look forward to Thermodynamics, Solid State Physics, Math Methods for Physics and Engineering, and Business and Professional Writing. Whew! I'll take back anything I ever said bad about classes in Uruguay...

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