Future residents Celine and Antonio (with Keilah, blog editor, en el medio)
This week, we’re shaking things up a bit. Instead of featuring a current RLH member, we’ve interviewed two of the students who will be joining the RLH community next fall: Celine Fuchs and Antonio Gomez.
* * *
What is/are your major/s (and minor/s)?
CF: My major is a Romance Language major; I haven’t officially decided on any minors yet.
AG: I am an English major with emphases in Linguistics and Criticism; I am pursuing minors in Studio Art and Spanish.
What language(s) are you studying?
CF: Currently I’m studying French and Spanish, and I am planning to start Italian next semester.
AG: I am studying Spanish, and, this semester, Catalan. In the past I’ve worked with ancient Greek.
What are some methods you use to develop your language skills?
CF: Methods I use to develop my language skills are to watch A LOT of videos for fun, sometimes listen to music and learn the lyrics (especially if it’s a song I know in English already), and to speak it where I can, maybe stop and repeat something I just said to myself in another language and see if I know how to say it. Every now and then, I’ll also read some pop culture articles.
AG: I’m a native Spanish speaker, but, from all the years that I’ve studied in the States, my language skills and the fluidity of my speech has atrophied. I thought that since it was my native language that I didn’t have to work at it, so when I found that out, I panicked. I have since tried to read more and study more history and linguistic structures, to fill the gaps I missed by not going to Mexican university. I was never really taught to write fluidly, and I love writing. I do what I can to desperately achieve what I want.
What has been your favorite language-related course thus far?
CF: So far, my favorite language courses have been my Spanish ones, 101 and 102; my professors were amazing, and it’s been fun to start a language from scratch and compare it to French, which I already know quite well.
AG: Catalan Language and Culture has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I speak very badly, but I feel that I can understand immensely more than I used to. Landing in a culture that I couldn’t reach has broadened my mind in a way that only new languages can, it seems.
How do you intend to use this/these language/s in the future?
CF: I’m not exactly sure what I want to use this for in the future, though I have a few ideas; I definitely want to travel, though.
AG: I would like to study historical Spanish linguistics in Spain as graduate work. I love working with manuscripts, reading things no-one else has read before. I wouldn’t mind being a journalist or philosopher either.
With what organizations are you involved?
CF: I’m currently involved in Stargazers, Anime Club, the SCA, and the Newman Center.
AG: Not very many. I haven’t been here long, and I’m terrible at socialising.
Why did you decide to join the Romance Language House?
CF: I decided to join the house because next semester, unfortunately, I might not be able to take a French class since I’ll be starting Italian and continuing Spanish, so I want to keep that language alive. Also, I want to learn to speak Spanish outside of the classroom as well, as I speak more French than Spanish to begin with. I have family in Belgium, where my mom is from, so I want to keep my French as alive as I possibly can.
AG: I decided to join the House because I was asked, and because I am fascinated by Romance language linguistics. Had I gotten to Truman earlier, I would likely have done that, but, as we are, I’d like to finish undergrad soon. I love the dedication of people deciding and stubbornly sticking to living their personal lives in second languages; it makes me feel immensely ashamed at my own lapses in courage.
I am the son of a native of Monterrey, Mexico, paternally and Bukavu, Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo), maternally. I was a lanky, un-sporty and portly child with not a clue regarding human interaction. I hated books until I loved them, and thought I was going to be the next Stan Lee. I then fell in love with Death Note and decided that I was going to be a relatively uncommitted goth. When my American and Mexican schooling became incompatible with each other, I homeschooled through the last bits of high school. When I finished high school, I enrolled in theology school, and soon found out that I was miserable there. Though I had friends, I felt far away from anything I´d ever loved, and so I transferred to Truman because I heard it was hard.
* * *
Thank you, Antonio and Celine! We look forward to getting to know both of you in the fall.