Month: November 2019

Working for the People

In the summer of 1995, I was first called to act as a court translator for the Eighth Judicial District Court. I had been an instructor at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington since 1981 and teaching Spanish since 1988, so I was not a stranger to the community. I had grown up in a bi-cultural, bilingual family and had worked with Spanish-speaking populations in agriculture and public service programs, so I was not a stranger to the community I was about to serve. As it turned out, some of the defendant’s friends and family members were former students of mine, and other friends and family members would be students of mine in future years.

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In the Great Tradition

When I was a grad student at UC Davis in the 1970’s, I believed in a liberal education. With a B.A. from UCLA, I entered the Ph.D. program in English in 1971, and I was in no hurry to specialize. University life seemed natural to me. Unlike some of my fellow students of that era, I enjoyed preparing for the foreign language exams, I liked all areas of literature, and I loved teaching English 1, the freshman composition course. Philosophically at least, I felt responsible for everything in my field, but I also felt I should be free to study what I wanted.

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