Meet Jordan Cuthbertson, one of the Spanish Program recipients of the Curtis and Enid Meltzer Scholarship for this year.
I'm from Forest City, North Carolina.
Sadly, I haven't had the opportunity to travel anywhere outside of the U.S. and the only other states I have ever been to are Florida and Georgia. I'd LOVE to travel to a bunch of different countries in the future, especially Spanish-speaking ones like Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, Spain, etc. Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to travel to these countries to get a better idea of their local Spanish dialects and traditions!
I am currently majoring in Spanish and minoring in English and TESOL. I plan to enroll in a graduate program and continue my studies to get a Master's/Doctorate in Spanish and also another BA, this time in English and TESOL. I chose these three programs of study because I love the language learning process and all the benefits that come along with it—cultural awareness, communication skills, etc.—and I want to incorporate these things I enjoy into my work. I imagine myself teaching Spanish classes at the university level, or teaching English to Spanish speaking students. Having these three courses of study will allow me to have a range of options for when I enter the workplace and will allow me the freedom to choose or change my decision with ease.
I recently started watching a show on Netflix called La casa de papel which has really inspired me to continue listening to Spanish speakers as often as possible to keep my mind thinking in Spanish. Also, in one of my Spanish courses this semester, I am having conversations with a classmate over Zoom with the goal of speaking completely, or as close to completely as we can, in Spanish. Both of these activities have made me think in Spanish more than ever before! Sometimes I even have to catch myself before starting a conversation with a family member so I don't accidentally do it in Spanish.
I would say that there are two major things which define me, from the perspective of my personality at least; that I take academic studies very seriously and that I look at every situation as logically as I can, regardless of my possible emotional attachment to it. Both of these traits have gone hand-in-hand as I've grown older; by that I mean that the more I learn from academia, the more I am able to distance my personal and clouded judgements about different aspects of my life, society, or what-have-you, from the logical reasoning perspective I maintain today.
My motivation for studying Spanish started at an early age; I was in middle school when I gained a profound interest in learning the language and all that came with that process. As I continued into high school, I came into contact with a teacher who would impact my future in a way I never would've thought. My high school Spanish teacher was one of the few teachers throughout high school that showed any real encouragement to me. He really pushed me to pursue a career involving Spanish and fostered a lot of my love for the language and culture that I have today. During my senior year of high school, with the help of that same professor, I was able to be a TA for the entire year in different levels of high school Spanish courses. This is where my interest in becoming a professor/teacher of Spanish really began. That opportunity, along with the consistent encouragement from my teacher, caused me to pursue studying Spanish in College and the journey since then has been, to say the least, amazing. Even after all these years of studying Spanish, I still learn something new everyday… I think that's part of what makes me love it so much. This constant evolution of my language comprehension and cultural awareness is one of the biggest motivating factors for my continuing this field of study to this day.
I'd love to become a college professor somewhere, teaching students the beauty of learning Spanish. If not that, maybe I could teach Spanish-speaking students English instead. Even if both of those ideas fall through, I would love to be a translator/interpreter—maybe I could do that alongside my teaching career, if I'm lucky.
¡Felicidades, Jordan! Estamos muy orgullosos de ti.