The Modern Linguist

Alumni Update
A View from Abroad


Stacey Moo

Get to know our new program assistant: Stacey Moo

ML: What are your interests and pastimes?
I am an avid gardener. This last summer was the first time I was able to have a full garden, and I planted fruit trees and berries as well as lots of veggies and flowers. I also love cooking, reading, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, backpacking and international travel.

ML: Where is the most exotic place you have visited?
Definitely Shanghai. The colors, lights, buildings, smells, food, and sheer numbers of people made the experience overwhelming, but I loved experiencing a culture that is so completely different from my own.  (Although I was also struck by the fact that there are more American restaurants and foods available in Shanghai than there are available in England, where we lived for six years!)

ML: What was the best part of living in England? 
SM: The best part was probably having so many diverse cultures, histories and traditions all so close to each other in Europe and being able to travel so easily between them. In England itself, I loved being able to live a local-based life, where nearly everything was within walking or bicycling distance; being able to follow rights-of-way throughout the countryside, ending with a pint by a fire in a pub; seeing beautiful architecture even in the most out-of-the-way places; listening to amazing choirs and attending evensong; learning new traditions; and being able to worship with Christians from many different parts of the world.

ML: What was the most challenging part of living abroad?
Apart from living away from family, the most difficult thing was probably knowing when I needed to respect the culture in which I was living and working and not seek to “improve” things that were important to others; to know when to accept and live within it, and when it was okay to share my knowledge, skills, and my own culture’s way of doing things.

ML: What are your impressions of Whitworth so far?
The genuine friendliness, helpfulness and kindness of everyone I’ve met on campus. And it doesn’t just stay on campus – local store-owners and my neighbors have noticed this about Whitworth, too!

Eye on Alumni

Brian Lays, ’11

Brian Lays, ’11

My first full-time job in the “real world” has led me to a small town called Avon, in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I serve as a ministry intern in a Presbyterian church. What a privilege and blessing it is to get to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a beautiful area! My position includes numerous opportunities to gain ministry experience: I get to preach on a monthly basis, lead Bible studies, teach a confirmation class with youth, lead worship each Sunday, do pastoral visitation, and plan fellowship events.

Perhaps the most exciting part of my job is the outreach I get to do in the Hispanic community in and around Avon. When I arrived at the church, the session was eager to begin reaching out to the area’s large Latino community. Knowing that I speak Spanish, the session has given me an opportunity to look for ways to bring more Hispanics into our fellowship.

Next month we are planning a fall festival in hopes of reaching this community. We will have a pumpkin patch, costume contest, food, and games for kids. I soon hope to start a Bible study in Spanish, as well as ESL classes and possibly GRE or citizenship classes, depending on the local needs that emerge as I meet more of my neighbors. Meanwhile, I am busily translating pamphlets and fliers into Spanish on what it means to be Presbyterian and what our church is all about. In the spring, we hope to start a “futbolín” soccer tournament for the kids in Avon.

Each day I am challenged with opportunities to grow, while also being given opportunities to use my gifts and develop my passions. God seems to prepare a different lesson for me each day, and my evening walks along the river provide an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for where He has placed me.

I’m grateful for the ways Whitworth prepared me for this experience and whatever comes next in life. Each day is a new adventure!

Grace and Peace,

Brian Lays

A View from Abroad

Amy Wyatt, ’12

Amy Wyatt, ’12

Amy is currently taking part in the Whitworth in China Program. 
She is pictured here (center) with her host mother (right).

We just returned from a four-day hiking trip/village visit in Shanxi and Hebei. On Saturday we took a bus from Beijing to Shanxi province. We arrived really late and after dinner had the interesting experience of going to a public bathhouse. It was like Ancient Rome, but Chinese, one room for men and one for women. I experienced the culture in its entirety. We were not only in China; we were doing what the Chinese people do.

On Sunday we traveled to an eight-family village in Shanxi. My group stayed with the Ma family and they cooked the most delicious food. The families live in dirt-packed homes, but they live with dignity. For example, they had flowers on the windowsill and the floors were neatly swept. They live simply, but they make every bit count. After lunch, we got our 18-year-old host brother to play Frisbee and hacky sack with us. My host mom let me and another woman (who was accompanying us on the trip) husk beans with her. It was a really good experience.

From there we began a 10 km hike up a nearby mountain range. It was kind of dangerous with touchdowns and exposure, but totally worth it. We hiked up to a point that was around 6,220 ft. It was a beautiful lookout point. When we started our descent, half of our group almost got cut off by some sheep that were being herded over the mountains – luckily, our group didn’t get stuck. After reaching the bottom, we had dinner and went to bed.

The next morning we visited a really old Buddhist monastery. The drive up was crazy – it was like riding in a roller coaster van! When we got to a flat chunk of dirt, which apparently served as a parking lot, we got out of the van and hiked up to the monastery. The view from the monastery was simply breathtaking. I was in complete awe. You feel like you are up in the clouds and that you can see the whole world. So, that was my weekend. We had a ton of fun and are getting ready to go back to school tomorrow.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

France Study Abroad Program 2013 Informational Meetings
Interested in earning 8 French credits and satisfying your oral communication and fine arts generaleducation requirements, while touring the great monuments of France with Whitworth professors? Come hear all about this study-abroad opportunity at one of our informational meetings on Monday, Oct. 24, from 5-5:45 p.m., or Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 3:45-4:30 p.m., in Westminster 252.

Survivors: Students Take on Study Abroad
Come hear about study abroad from those who have done it and lived to tell. Pizza, study abroad alumni, modern languages faculty, and your questions answered. Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 4:30-6 p.m. (location West 252). All welcome!

DELE Exam 
The Spanish program at Whitworth invites students to take the DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extrangera). The DELE is an exam provided by the Spanish Ministry of Education in conjunction with the various Instituto Cervantes centers in the United States. The exam is only offered two times a year at Whitworth: Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, and a date yet to be determined in May 2012 (after graduation). If you would like to register for the Nov. 19 exam, you must register by Oct. 14. If you are a 400-level student and have studied abroad, we recommend you take the C1 this November. If you are interested and need help with registration, please contact Associate Professor Angeles Aller in Westminster Hall, x4205.

There are online activities available to help you prepare for the DELE, as well as a level-check test. Following are some helpful sites: (“Prueba de nivel”): This is a practice test to check your level. It is quite comprehensive and includes multiple-choice, reading comprehension, and listening activities. Sample examination materials by level; at the end of each level page there are practice materials, including reading and listening comprehension exercises. Seattle Instituto Cervantes website. You can find the registration documents under “formulario.” We also have copies available in the modern languages office. Test dates Prices per level

Vol. 8 Issue 1 Oct. 2011

The Modern Linguist was birthed from the desire to unite those who study in the modern languages discipline at Whitworth University. The newsletter features information, news and stories applicable to those involved in the program. Let it serve you well.

Modern Languages Department
Westminster Hall
Whitworth University
Phone: 509.777.4765
Department Chair and Editor-in-Chief: Bendi Benson Schrambach
Editor: Stacey Moo
For student employment information, please contact Stacey Moo, program assistant, at 509.777.4765

Scripture of the Month

English: Psalm 31:15
“My times are in your hand.”

Spanish: Salmo 31:15
“Mis vida entera está en tus manos.”

French: Psaumes 31:15
“Mes temps sont en ta main.”

German: Psalm 31:15
“Meine Zeit steht in deinen Händen.”