PUBLISHED JULY, 2009
JULY 2009 articles | Travel |
Dream Trip Takes Good Timing
Spanish teacher and flamenco student Erica Poole goes to Spain to grow. By Julie Baggenstoss
Hurray for Erica, a flamenco student and Spanish language teacher who is off to Spain for two weeks, as the recipient of a scholarship from the Centro Mundo Lengua. It's an award that puts Erica in a course to improve her skills as an advanced placement teacher of Spanish language in high schools, and gives her the opportunity of free afternoons to spend in - where else - flamenco class.
"Learning flamenco, we get to hear names. A lot of the names only become real from studying video clips. …. Access is granted at that point, rather than just a video seen on (www.youtube.com), " says Erica of her trip.
Like anyone who is into flamenco, this is a voyage of dreams for Erica, a veteran Spanish teacher who has never traveled to a Spanish-speaking country; a flamenco dance student of three years who is seeing flamenco in its mother country for the first time. While it's a dream trip, it's also a shining example of good timing - and waiting for the right time. "Had this happened any earlier, I wouldn't have been ready for it. I really believe that when the time is right in a person's life for something to happen - you can wish for it and want it, but when it comes to fruition, it's really about timing and being ready for it," says Erica.
"The whole opportunity of perfecting myself on the job, or trying to better myself in flamenco - I couldn't have done that on my own. My faith in things bigger than me is important to me," says Erica.
Faith comes in many forms, faith in a greater force, a higher spirit, a guiding mentor, a sharing teacher. Erica recognizes that those around her helped create her opportunity for this summer's trip that will enrich her in ways she can't yet imagine.
It reads like a sweet nursery tale: Erica's professional mentor encouraged her to apply for a scholarship. She did. Her flamenco teachers in Atlanta gave her a base of technique and theory. She accepted challenge after challenge. Her Spanish language students gave her years of inspiration to continue and grow as a teacher, sending stories of success after class ended. Then, on a plane bound for Sevilla, she sits beside her former student headed for an immersive course in Spanish language on pursuit of career as a Spanish teacher. She'll finally put into real life experience the things that she's spent years exploring in books and lessons.
"What we learn is a concept, but you have to put it in a practice for you, so Spanish becomes real to you. Spanish and flamenco training will become live to me once I hit that terrain," explains Erica. With this, she'll have a personal connection to the lessons she experiences as a teacher of Spanish language, and a student of flamenco.
© jaleolé.com 2009