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Learning Castellano Spanish, cooking Merkén Chicken, and teaching English. All in a days work of La Erudita Visitando.
So today marked the beginning of another phase of my Visiting Scholar experience at the Universidad Católica del Maule. I met with Profesora Pilar Vivar of la Escuela de Lengua Castellana y Comunicación (the School of Catellano Language and Communication). As I am going to be assisting her in English, while also learning the Chilean form of Spanish (Castellano). I think I mentioned it before, if not here certainly on Facebook, and that is the Chilean form of Spanish is among the most difficult to learn. In part because 1) Chileans speak very rapidly, and 2) there are so many common words and phrases you never learn in traditional US college courses in Spanish.
Castilian Spanish is a term related to the Spanish language, but its exact meaning can vary even in that language. The Spanish language term Castellano (Castilian) may refer to the Spanish language as a whole, to the dialects spoken in central and northern Spain, or to the medieval language which was a predecessor to modern Spanish (Castilian Spanish, n.d.). Thanks Wikipedia!🙂 So I’m really excited about starting this aspect of my scholarly experienced on this Friday.
Also, I wanted to post a picture of my lovely dinner tonight (see above picture). I have finally become more familiar with where things are in the grocery store so a sistah got her “cook-on” this evening. The flavor of Merkén comes from a Chilean style smoked chili pepper and is among one of my favorite seasonings that I discovered when initially arriving to Chile. Above is a picture of my dinner and the “Georgia-style Fried Merkén Chicken”© I prepared. My recipe doesn’t really have copyright. I just wanted to use the symbol as I wish had time to legally claim this as my original creation. 😉 Nevertheless, it was delish!!
Finally, I must mention that some bad habits have followed me all the way down here to Chile. Most of my professors know that I typically leave coffee mugs (and other valuables) all over campus (particularly in their offices) like the story of “Hansel & Gretel” and their breadcrumb trail. Well yesterday was the first and last day of ownership for my preliminary new coffee mug. I brought it to campus with me on yesterday and have no idea where I lost it. Somewhere between my office and my Body Attack class that evening (I can only imagine). Nevertheless, I found this beauty (pictured below) today and please notice the lovely UGA colors. I am going to try very hard to make this particular mug stick around a lot longer than its predecessor.
Castilian Spanish. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2013 from the Castilian Spanish Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castilian_Spanish
Friday, September 27th
My first day in Spin Class after not having attending a class for about 2 years. I sacrificed bike riding class for more Zumba and Body Pump courses. I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow.
My makeshift cushion (sweater) that I used to protect my “bum” during Spin Class today.
Today also was my first day assisting Profesora Pilar Andrea Vivar Vivar in her Castellana Language and Communications Course. We both noticed very quickly that she was a little bit shorter than me. 😉
Today I am testing my equipment in order to do a trial run of my video/audio recorded focus group with graduate students from Universidad Católica del Maule and Universidad Autónoma de Chile here in the Talca area.
I was very happy to be back in session at UCTalca today, following a week-long closure of the university in honor of the Chilean Independence Day (September 18th). I wanted to ensure that all of my equipment would function properly and record both my video and audio data effectively prior to my traveling to Santiago in a few weeks.
I am excited about conducting my initial focus group trail with graduate students from the Talca area prior to conducting my data collection at the Universidad de Chile (UC). My plans include participants at UNIACC, which will serve as my private for-profit institution, and UC which will be my public Chilean university. Both institutions are located in Santiago where my research has shown the probability of my including participants with high ETS TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are relatively good.
Although the survey instruments are going to be initially tested in English and Spanish, the focus groups will largely be conducted in English. At this point, it’s believed that the use of the Spiral Dynamics framework with the focus groups would be more manageable for me as the researcher, due in large part to the fact that my primary language is English.
Let’s get those Civic Engagement levels measured and described mixed methods style! 😉