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February 2022 - Mary O’Hearn

Endlessly enthusiastic about her Spanish studies, Mary has made great progress over the past 2+ years that she’s been taking twice-weekly classes with Tierra. A retired physician, she is engaged in community work with the Spanish-speaking community and has a deep interest in expanding her cultural, as well as linguistic, knowledge. A lover of travel and nature, she recently went on an immersion trip to Spain where she chose to stay in small villages in the mountains, soaking up the Spanish classes and abundant opportunities to practice her language skills as well as spectacular landscapes. Mary exudes joy and generosity in her interactions with her classmates and approaches challenges in the language learning process with open-minded wonder. We are honored to have Mary as part of our amazing student community and look forward to continuing to see her leap past her goals.

Name:  Mary O'Hearn
Occupation: Retired physician
Time Studying at Tierra: 2 1/2 years

1) Why are you studying Spanish? 

"I had studied Spanish in the past and was able to use medical Spanish at a rudimentary level.  After retiring, I decided to devote more time to studying the language on a regular basis with the hopes of developing my auditory comprehension and ease with usage in everyday situations.  Additionally, I would like to eventually be able to read some of the great literature from Spain and Latin America.  I recently purchased the first book of the Harry Potter series in Spanish and am really enjoying it."   

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra? 

"There are so many aspects to Tierra that are really wonderful.  My favorite part has been the opportunity to work with so many wonderful teachers and other students.  Tierra creates a "home" for everyone which makes the experience of learning fun and supportive even when the material can be quite challenging.  I also feel I have made wonderful connections with the other students in my classes.  Although some I have yet to meet in person, I feel very invested in "mis amigos de clase."  It has been an opportunity to learn about other people's lives and perspectives, all in Spanish!"

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here? 

"In October, I took the plunge of attending a 2 week immersion program in Spain.  Before going, I was extremely nervous about my abilities to communicate with others effectively outside of a classroom setting.  There is no question that the preparation I received from my classes at Tierra greatly enhanced my experience in Spain and accelerated the learning process for me.  Returning to classes at Tierra has continued to reinforce my gains."

¡Felicidades Mary!