Today was the day I agreed to assist Professor Quiroz in his English Translator Preparatory class. I arrived early at David’s Universidad Latina. This is in keeping with my old type “A” personality which never allows me to be late. I got one photo in the front of the University.
Professor Quiroz met me outside and said his students were currently in a special seminar with some guest presenters from Panama City. Since we had a little extra time, he gave me a quick tour through the building. On the whole, I was very impressed with the facilities. I took this photo of one of the empty classrooms that is setup with multimedia equipment and PC for PowerPoint presentations. I am sure Bill Gates is happy that PowerPoint is spoken here.
Still having a little time, we sat in on another English class that was preparing for a Thanksgiving party. I was surprised that Thanksgiving was even known to the students and was told that as a part of the class in English they recognized the holidays. I took several photos of the students practicing a dance routine that would be performed. As I watched, I thought to myself, “Has it been that long ago since I was in college?” The next five photos are from the dance routine.
Applause can be heard in the background!
At the completion of the routine, we left to prepare for Professor Quiroz’s class. I don’t know about the students, but this was a lot of fun for me. We started off with just a little general question and answer. This was to get them familiar with the sound of a Texas twang and to relieve some of their tension. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. There were two people in the room that were not from Panama. I was one and the other was a young lady from Venezuela.
Now with the ice having been broken we started the class exercise. The exercise was for me to give a prepared speech and for each of the students, in turn, to take part in acting as translator for the rest of the class. This is a difficult exercise for both the speaker as well as the translator. The speaker has to remember not to make too long of sentences and to pause for the translator to translate. The translator is in the spotlight having to translate material that he or she has not heard before. Knowing that I would loose my train of thought by pausing, I had written down some material to talk about.
The class exercise took about an hour and I for one thought my time was well spent. I got to meet a bunch of very nice and intelligent Panamanian students and also see some of the education facilities in Panama. I hope they also felt that their time was well spent. I took one photo of the class to record this special day. Professor Quiroz is on the far right.