In the three years I’ve been at ACC I have had several memorable learning experiences. I should start by explaining that like many other ACC students, I have a non-traditional educational background. I had been out of high school for about five years when I first enrolled at ACC. Having spent that much time away from an academic setting, it took a while for me to become acclimated. I began with the standard first-year courses; Government, History, English Comp 1…etc, and a developmental math course I was required to take. The math course proved to be a bit more difficult than I had expected. I ended up repeating the class four times before finally receiving credit. Needless to say, it took a toll on my self-confidence. After a while I began to notice that in almost every class I had there was always someone who was truly passionate about the subject matter. For example, in national and local government there were quite a few students whose enthusiasm made government seem like an effortless course in which to succeed. I found myself wondering, “I wish I was as talented or as passionate about one of my classes.” Then I enrolled in Spanish 1 with Professor McMinn. Spanish 1 required a lot of studying outside of class but it was McMinn’s encouragement in class that motivated me to go above and beyond what was required. His teaching style was pretty straight forward and his lectures were far from boring. What I found most encouraging about Professor McMinn was that when he told you “muy bien, very good” you knew he meant it. He wanted us to understand how the language worked and he sometimes found comedic ways for us to remember the ins and outs of it. His genuine love for languages made his class a real treat to be a part of. The things I took from that class are priceless. I learned how hard work can truly pay off, and I discovered how simply enjoying what you do can have lasting effects. This class, under the direction of Professor McMinn, revealed to me that I am in fact a capable student … and in between all of this, I learned Spanish. It has become my strong suit. I've been able to do just as well in upper level courses and it's because I was given an amazing foundation by my Spanish 1 professor. After that semester, I decided to be as studious in my other courses as I had been in McMinn's class. It worked. I found I was making better grades all across the board, and it wasn't that difficult. Three years ago, I never would have dreamed that I'd be the kind of student I am today. While I have had several memorable experiences at ACC that have shaped the type of student I am today, it all started in a Spanish 1 class. My original goal was to graduate with a degree in Broadcasting from the University of Texas at Austin with the hope of becoming a news anchor. I now plan to graduate with a degree in Spanish and intend to teach first at the high school level then maybe at the college level. The possibility of doing for a student what Professor McMinn has done for me is humbling and one I plan to pursue fervently.
Submitted at Are You ACC?