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Student Profile: Tori Combs

Meet Tori Combs, a senior in the Spanish Program.

Tori face

Tori Combs

Where are you from?

I am from Fayetteville, NC and have lived in Hayesville, NC.

What are some places you've traveled?

I have traveled to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Liechtenstein.

What are you studying? Why did you choose this combination?

I am studying Spanish with a minor in Pre-Physical Therapy, with aspirations to attend Physical Therapy school after graduation. I chose Spanish as my major because it has always been a goal of mine to speak another language, and there is a great need for bilingual people in the health care field, especially in physical therapy. I also plan to possibly practice physical therapy outside of the US in Spanish-speaking countries.

What is something you've been thinking about lately?

One thing that has always caught my attention when I hear it is when someone says to me, "it is not what happens, but how you react." Especially in trying times like 2020, it is easy to dwell on the never-ending list of bad things that are happening, but I focus on how I will react to these things and how I can grow from it.

What defines you?

I think the best thing that would define me is my ability to adapt to my surroundings and continue to be myself. As someone who moves around a lot, I find that I never know what is around the corner, but when it comes I am able to find the best in each situation and continue working towards my life goals.

Tell us about your motivation to study Spanish.

As is the case with many people, I started learning Spanish because I was able to sound cool and because no one in my family could understand me. Somewhere along the way, I found myself mesmerized by the rich culture, traditions, and especially the food. I have shifted my focus from just learning the language, to learning and practicing aspects of their ways of life; for example, I have learned various types of dances that tell the stories of many Spanish-speaking countries.

How do you foresee using Spanish in the future?

I see myself using Spanish not only in my household but also with my patients, and, depending on whether I end up moving out of the US for a while, I may have to use it every day.

Tori at Candler Elem

Tori reads her booklet to kindergarteners at Candler Elementary.

In Spring 2019, Tori completed an honors contract for her Spanish language class, in which she combined her two majors and created an illustrated bilingual booklet aimed at small children. The booklet shows ways that children can keep themselves healthy, like staying active, drinking plenty of water, brushing their teeth well, and eating a variety of foods, all explained in both English and Spanish. The Department of World Languages had Tori's booklet printed, and she took it to Candler Elementary School in Buncombe County, which offers a dual-language immersion program. She spoke to a class of dual-language students and read her book to them. Before leaving, she gave each child their own copy of the booklet to take home so that their parents could read with them, regardless of whether their home language was Spanish or English. She also left a copy for the classroom and another in the school's media center.

¬°Felicidades, Tori! Estamos muy orgullosos de ti.

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