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September 2010 - Lynne Gaudinier

Lynne Gaudinier

Name: Lynne Gaudinier
Occupation: Retired R.N., Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
Time Studying at Tierra: Since the beginning of Tierra!

1) Why are you studying Spanish?
"I started studying Spanish when I began my advocacy work with the Juvenile Court. My first case involved a Mexican family who did not speak English. I could not see how I could advocate for anyone I couldn’t communicate with, so I began the struggle to fire up my aging brain to learn something new."

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?
"The people! I have enjoyed getting to know my classmates who come to Tierra from very varied backgrounds. The small classes are great because we really get to know one another. The teachers are -muy simpáticos-, and readily diverge from the book learning to provide interesting cultural side notes, and to encourage conversation."

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?
"I started using a few Spanish words here and there with the children in my first CASA case. As time went on, I was able to read to the kids in Spanish, to talk about their homework with them, etc. They were learning English (at a much faster pace) as I was learning Spanish. On my last visit with them, when the case was closing, I tried to speak with them exclusively in Spanish. They, in turn, spoke to me exclusively in English. It was a nice ending to a long case, which ended very happily."

Congratulations Lynne!!