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Have you ever wished you could communicate in Spanish? Would you like to understand the dishes in some of your favorite Mexican restaurants? How about helping someone who speaks only Spanish with information in a bank, airport or hospital? I know just how you feel, and I also know how happy I’ve felt to be able to be of assistance. For example, when I was on a plane returning to the U.S. from Peru, I overheard a person from Brazil trying to communicate with the flight attendant in Portuguese. Granted, I don’t speak that language, but it is similar to Spanish, so I was able to speak to them, they answered me in Portuguese, and I transmitted the message to the attendant, who gave me information in English, and I then spoke to them in Spanish. Another time, as I was flying from Houston to Hartford, CT, I met a woman from Colombia returning from a family event in Florida. Her destination was Rhode Island, but she was transferred to another flight, and couldn’t communicate with... read more

Do you ever wonder about how something is made, who first discovered it, who invented it, how it’s used, or how it works? Do you want to understand phrases such as “proton inhibitor” when someone on TV advertises a medication to reduce stomach acid? Would you like to work on a science project that is really interesting and not just settle for building a volcano? If you can relate to these questions, or have some of your own, I know just how you feel. Yes, I am a scientist, but, more importantly, an educator. I know about student anxieties, feeling overwhelmed about an upcoming test or project, not knowing where to begin, or how to proceed. I have been studying all of my life, and there are many things I still want to know. I’ve learned to fly and airplane, eaten raw conch in a boat off the Yucatan Peninsula, and visited Machu Picchu. I’ve lived in primitive conditions, had to haul water several blocks and then up two flights just to wash clothes with cold water and brown soap... read more

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