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headed by an editor. The class created a shareable online glossary to ensure that the teams consistently translated specific words and phrases that appeared repeatedly in the English-language document. “This was a very collaborative project,” explains Hughes, an environmental studies and philosophy major. “During class, we would meet with our editors and discuss challenging words or phrases of the translation. Every single decision that was made needed to be followed by the whole class, in order to have continuity in the final text. Therefore, we were constantly conferencing and debating with one another, which was my favorite part.” Students who worked on the translation for the startup got to meet Coon in person. “He inspired us all to do a great job on the assignment,” Ragan says. “Translators rarely get to meet their clients face-to-face or hear from them how much they appreciated the work.”


Beatriz Jimenez ’19 participated in the winter break trip to Mexico—actually, a travel component to SPAN 221: Healthcare, Social Work, and Education that was designed for students interested in careers in those fields or in Spanish-English language interpreting. “Interpreting has always been one of my interests,” she says. “And there is no better way to continue to develop skills in a language than by being surrounded by everyone who speaks it.” During the fall 2018 term, students in the course—some of whom were also taking another of Ragan’s classes— met weekly to prepare for the twoweek journey. They discussed logistics and examined the area’s geography and culture. Once the Knox group arrived in Oaxaca, students started every weekday by shadowing and assisting professionals at Centro de Esperanza Infantil, a nonprofit organization to help children; Hospital Civil (a hospital); Centro de Salud Ejido Guadalupe Victoria (a health center); and Escuela Primaria Andres Portillo (an elementary school). Knox students also met with guest speakers who discussed topics that included health insurance and racism and took weekend trips to nearby villages. Jimenez, a Spanish and political science major, helped teach English at the elementary school and worked with children and families who received assistance through Centro de Esperanza Infantil. “I taught children from ages 7 to 12, and I was able to help out in gym and computer classes. I also got the chance



Russell Coon ’08 visited SPAN 205 students to thank them for their translation work.


Exploring Careers in Oaxaca

While in Oaxaca, Robin Ragan’s students shadowed and helped professionals in several places, including a hospital, health center, and elementary school.

to observe the teacher and learn their methods of teaching, and I got the chance to work in Centro de Esperanza, where I played and helped children with their homework,” says Jimenez, who hopes to become a Spanish professor. The trip enabled her to learn about Oaxaca’s culture while also gaining teaching experience. “One of my favorite memories was when the children in the school would invite me to sit with them during their lunch period. They called me ‘Profe Betty’ and were so excited to talk with me. They wanted to learn more about me and how life was in the United States. Their excitement and interest made me feel very special. I got attached to the students despite only spending a few days with them.” For Alyx Farris ’21, too, the trip to Oaxaca was an unforgettable one. The art history major spent part of her time there visiting the homes of families who were applying for benefits through Centro de Esperanza. “Essentially, my role was that of a social worker; I filled out a questionnaire regarding the financial status and living conditions of

Profile for Knox College

Knox Magazine - Summer 2019  

Knox Magazine - Summer 2019