For my cultural immersion experience, I choose to interview my Spanish professor about her experiences here at Veritas. My teacher, Roxana Arias Jiménez has been working here at the university for fourteen years. She is one of the few teachers who is bilingual and has known how to speak English for twenty-five years because her husband is from the United States. Her favorite thing about Veritas is her coworkers and all of the fun activities and “fiestas” that take place.
One thing I found interesting that she noted was an organization on campus for teachers known as “Associacíon Solidarista” which provides teachers with an opportunity to save money through investment. Roxana said she was able to take out a loan for her house with this organization with very low interest and, by the end of the year, she was able to almost double her investment. I thought that this was quite amazing! She said that she also likes the schedule she has here because she only teaches classes from one set class and does not have to spend her entire day at the university. Of course, another plus is the good salary offered for teaching here.
When I asked her what other activities are offered at Veritas that may not be offered in the United States, Roxana gave me two possibilities. She said that during Christmas time, the students and faculty participate in something known as “Sonrisas” (smiles) where they go out into the community and give gifs to those children that cannot afford them. Also, Veritas has many Bible study groups.
Roxana has taught many classes in her fourteen years here and among her favorite to teach are: intermediate Spanish conversation (the class I am currently in), cultural heritage, and Latin-American literature in the movies. Because two of her sons attend school in the United States, I was interested to see her opinions in comparing Veritas with Oklahoma State. She said that she believes, although education is cheaper here, there are a lot more opportunities for students in the states to have experiences such as study abroad, mission trips, or other travel options. She believes the academics in the states are much stronger and also the larger schools allow students to meet many more people.
Finally, I asked Roxana what she hopes to teacher her international students other than those things learned in the classroom. She said that she wants her students to gain a respect for the Latin-American culture and accept and love its differences. She also hopes that her students have a yearning to learn more Spanish in the future through other experiences and opportunities.
I think that Señora Jiménez was an interesting person to interview about her views on the university as she knows a lot about the United States and their culture. Thank you, Roxana for sharing your experiences at Veritas and offering your insights!