Isaac William Harris '18
I was drawn into the Spanish department after taking Intro to Literary Analysis with Prof. Chavez-Silverman my first semester. Continuing with her seminar on Latin American and Latin@ poetry, I loved the practice of "slow reading," or unpacking symbolic meaning line by line. Now I have learned to approach works as social texts, implicated in systems of power and in constructions of history and mythology.
Why am I a Spanish major?
How could I not be? It all started on a random day before the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. A not-yet-anxious first year, in a Spanish information session. There would be talk of the Spanish placement exam-and of a certain Spanish course.
The course, which became known to me as 125B, sounded like a dream from heaven. Rather, that’s the way it was presented to me (and to the rest of the rapt audience) by Professor Chávez-Silverman. I took the course with the intention of being a Spanish minor. After all, I had already taken three years of Spanish in high school and knew that I wanted to continue studying Spanish literature.
What happened, however, in this first semester of my college career was unexpected. I ended up loving the course and developed a strong feeling that I wanted to focus on Spanish. However, I deferred declaring until I took another course. By the spring semester of my first year, I was hooked. “Tropicalizations,” a vastly different course from 125B, but also taught by Professor Chávez-Silverman, convinced me of my love for Spanish. It was in this time, while having Professor Chávez-Silverman as my advisor, that I committed to studying Spanish literature.
Since then, I have gone on to be Spanish liaison, to study abroad in Perú, and to be a teaching and research assistant. Now, as a second semester junior, I am looking forward to helping the Spanish section plan a Spanish retreat for next semester. I have now begun to consider a career in academia in the field of Spanish literature. I must say, if I had not gone to that Spanish session just before class registration, I would have missed out on one of the most transformative experiences of my life.