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November 2015 - Erin Holroyd

With an attitude as positive as they come and boundless motivation, Erin’s joy of learning is truly contagious. Inspired to study Spanish by her travels to Mexico, her sincere interest in Latin American culture and making connections with native Spanish speakers have driven her to make swift progress in her studies and take advantage of every opportunity to practice. A meticulous, detail-oriented student, Erin is determined to attain a solid understanding of every structure studied and dedicated to spending time outside of class building her skills. Her warmth, humor, and extraordinary patience with herself and others render her a pleasure to teach and a sterling companion to her classmates. We are thrilled to have Erin as a student at Tierra and excited to watch her follow her dreams wherever they may lead!


Name: Erin Holroyd
Occupation: Massage Therapist
Time Studying at Tierra: Since January 2015

1) Why are you studying Spanish?

"I went to Mexico for the first time in 2014 and absolutely loved it. I didn't speak any Spanish at that time. I really hoped to go back to Mexico one day, so I decided to start taking classes before my next trip.

Based on the glowing recommendation of a friend, I signed up at Tierra in January of this year. After only six classes at Tierra, I returned to Mexico for another visit and had another fabulous time. Just that short amount of time studying at Tierra really boosted my confidence and I was able to (surprisingly) communicate in basic Spanish with the locals. They were warm, friendly and patient as I tried to practice my new skills. After that trip, I was so excited to get back to Tierra to learn more!"

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

"I love everything about my experience at Tierra! Let me tell you why:

Administration:  Regarding homework requests, general questions and registering for classes, Abbey has been quick, attentive and very helpful. Gracias!

Small class size: I love having 6-8 students per class. It allows ample time for questions and personal attention; I never feel lost or left behind like I might in a big class; it creates a fun, dynamic, interactive environment; there's a sense of camaraderie and mutual support amongst students.

Lessons: They are well-organized, diverse and challenging.

Teacher:  While I am sure all of the Tierra teachers are amazing, I must give special thanks to Teresa. I have studied with Teresa from the very beginning and she is a huge reason why I love learning Spanish so much. Her enthusiasm for teaching and her ability to get my brain to understand Spanish has sparked an unexpected love of learning Spanish. She is incredibly patient, encouraging, fun and even theatrical. I am always excited to come to class and I always leave looking forward to the next one."

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

"I have a friend of who studied Spanish in high school and college and we like to speak Spanish on our hikes. A really fun place to go to practice Spanish is The Portland Mercado in the Foster neighborhood: a collection of over 15 outdoor Latin American food carts as well as an indoor marketplace. Anytime I meet someone who is a native Spanish speaker, I try to practice what I've learned at Tierra. Even though my conversation skills are just starting to develop, Tierra has given me the confidence to put myself out there and to practice speaking Spanish to the best of my ability. I can't express how much I am loving learning Spanish. ¡Muchísimas gracias, Tierra!"

¡Felicidades Erin!