13 feb. 2011

Wearing Heels and Walking Backwards

Ginger Rogers reportedly compared herself once to Fred Astaire, saying she did everything he did: “...but I do it backwards and in heels!”

Essentially, what the Spanish major does is to require students do what students in other liberal arts disciplines do, but with a certain "handicap." Analyze this novel, this poem, develop a thesis about it and write it up in a well-developed essay. Do all of this, but in a foreign language. The novel is written in Spanish, class discussion takes place in Spanish, writing takes place in Spanish.

Now a couple things might happen. The education might take place at a lower level when students are mostly concerned with figuring out the plot and looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. Yet I believe most students are also doing advanced critical thinking and research as well, on the level that an English major would achieve in English. This is an extraordinary achievement.

1 comentario:

Clarissa dijo...

This is a great observation. I've had similar idea brewing in my head as I watched my kids write their first midterm in my Survey course. I just couldn't verbalize my ideas in such a precise way.

Now I'm thinking that "backwards and in heels" could be part of a promotional flyer to promote our department.