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September 2020 - Brian Sussman

With a heart of gold and inspiringly positive attitude, Brian infuses the classroom with his warmth and generosity. Since starting his studies at Tierra in the spring of 2019 he’s been unfailingly dedicated to his morning Spanish classes, advancing through our curriculum as he steadfastly and patiently worked hard to master new grammar structures and develop his speaking skills. A musician and composer by trade, he has an artist’s sensibility, rooted in empathy, and makes being a supportive classmate a top priority in his Spanish classes. Brian isn’t afraid of making mistakes, and this is key when pursuing a second language; in treating himself and his classmates without judgement, he helps set the tone for others to likewise liberate themselves from our inner critics. We are grateful to have Brian as one of our valued students at Tierra and look forward to continuing to accompany him on this amazing learning journey.

Name: Brian Sussman
Occupation: Composer/ Musician
Time Studying at Tierra: April 2019 to Present

1) Why are you studying Spanish?

"My step mom is originally from Puerto Rico. As a kid, I enjoyed hearing her occasionally speaking Spanish around the house. I think that’s why, when it came time to choose a language to study in middle and high school, Spanish was an obvious choice. As I began to learn the language, I also began to develop a growing interest in the cultural aspects surrounding the language. I've taken a few trips to Spanish-speaking countries since then, and have gotten to experience some of that culture firsthand. I still have so much to learn, but even with limited skills, it’s obvious that speaking another language is a fantastic way to connect with people from other backgrounds – and make the world feel ever-so-slightly smaller."

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

"Tierra’s wonderful staff of teachers know how to make the learning process fun. The class sizes are small, the curriculum is well-organized, and the pace is perfect for adult learners with busy lives. The best part is how the Tierra community feels like a small, supportive family with a shared, benevolent goal. I couldn’t be happier with the experience and recommend it all the time."

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

"I’ve been to Mexico three times. The most recent visit was this past January, after many months at Tierra. Thanks to my classes, I had developed enough confidence to engage in more conversation than ever before. Being able to do that not only felt like a personal achievement, but seemed like an excellent way to show respect and continue to learn. Thank you so much, Tierra!"

¡Felicidades Brian!