Who’d have ever thought that I’d take French?
Being that I’m from Houston, Texas, I was raised on a hearty diet of Tex-Mex, Spanish and Fútbol from themoment I left the womb. I learned how to count in Spanish long before my first formal math class. I
could order un sandwich de jamón y queso and ask someone, “Cuantos años tienes?” before I could reliably make a ham and cheese sandwich myself or tell someone how old I was without using my fingers! In my high school International Baccalaureate curriculum, I chose to pursue Spanish as part of my diploma, and in doing so wrote papers like La doctrina económica Laissez-faire en América Central y América del Sur for my profesora, Señora Companys.
But I had had quite enough of language classes by the time I got to Homewood, and hence did not register for any Spanish classes (or English classes, for that matter) during my Freshman year.
Yet, here I am now with a foreign language on my class schedule for the Fall, and it’s French Elements I. How did I
get here? How did I fall so far??? (Jokes)
In fact, the reason I’ve decided to take French has nothing to do with wanting to learn another foreign language (which I do) or strongly identifying for the French, their language and their culture (which I don’t). Instead, the reason I’ve decided to take French is that I couldn’t take a class I wanted to take because its time conflicted with a class that I wanted to take more.
But I’m not worried. I’ve found that some of the classes in which I’ve grown and learned the very most have been those which I never expected to take. For example, Introduction to Bioethics and Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy are two classes that bear little relevance to my chosen academic trajectory but which have significantly deepened my understanding of and improved my ability to analyze the roots and repercussions of world events. So I have a healthy respect for the spontaneous choice of the curriculum broadening class.
Which brings us back to French. Why am I taking it? Because my girlfriend is a French Cultural Studies minor and she told me to? That’s part of it. Because I plan to take my mom to France one day like she’s always wanted? That’s part of it too. But I think the real reason is that I believe college doesn’t have to be a narrowing of general interests to solely professional pre-medical necessities. I want to take a few classes outside of my major, I want to explore the vast catalog of courses that the University offers, I want to continually test my interest in areas other than Molecular & Cellular Biology and Neuroscience if only in the end to have made doubly sure of my desire to pursue them.
So, for this semester semester at least, Nous Allons Hop!!! (Or whatever…)