Language Blog

Strommen Student Spotlight – Adam Overton

Adam is an artist, union organizer and a great Spanish student with Strommen.

Adam Overton and Patricia Vasquez

Adam and his teacher Patricia

Our language students are the best and they deserve to be highlighted. In our new section, Strommen Student Spotlights, we will ask our best students a few fun questions and  let them take it away from there. Thanks for letting us help you achieve your language goals and for sharing your story Adam!

PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE?

ADAM OVERTON – ME LLAMO ADAM OVERTON, AND I AM AN ARTIST AND UNION ORGANIZER.

BESIDES STUDYING LANGUAGES, WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?

ADAM OVERTON – I’M A PERFORMANCE ARTIST AND A WRITER

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN LA?

ADAM OVERTON – I’VE BEEN LIVING IN LOS ANGELES SINCE 2003

Andrea Bowers 4-15-11 - Adam Overton bullhorn

Adam at a rally for adjunct professors

WHAT LANGUAGE ARE YOU LEARNING AND WHY DID YOU START LEARNING IT?

ADAM OVERTON – I’VE LIVED FAR TOO LONG IN LOS ANGELES WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH HALF THE POPULATION. PLUS, AS A UNION ORGANIZER I WOULD LIKE TO BE MORE ABLE TO WORK WITH AND HELP EMPOWER THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY. FINALLY, I’M EXCITED TO BEGIN DIVING INTO THE POETRY OF LATIN AMERICA

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT RELATED TO THE LANGUAGE YOU ARE STUDYING?

ADAM OVERTON – EL HUARACHITO IN LINCOLN HEIGHTS! ¡SON MUY RICOS!

ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER STUDENTS NEW TO THE LANGUAGE?

ADAM OVERTON – BECOME AN AUTODIDACTA! THE LESSONS ARE JUST THE START. I FOUND DUOLINGO GREAT FOR BASIC VOCABULARY & SENTENCE STRUCTURE; BUT ALSO LIMITED AND PUZZLING AT TIMES. READING THE NEWS EVERYDAY EN ESPAÑOL (WITH GOOGLE TRANSLATE AVAILABLE WHEN NEEDED) HAS SATISFIED MY NEWS-JUNKIE CRAVINGS, MEANWHILE TEACHING ME VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT AND CONNECTING ME TO LATIN AMERICAN NEWS AND ISSUES; AND BEING PREPARED FOR CLASS, ASSIGNMENTS COMPLETED, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY COMING WITH A LIST OF QUESTIONS OF WHERE I WAS HAVING TROUBLE.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD IN THE LANGUAGE YOU ARE STUDYING AND WHY?
ADAM OVERTON – PRECIOSA (AND ANY OTHER WORDS THAT HELP EXPRESS MY DEEP LOVE FOR MY GATITA, BURDIE)

WHO IS YOUR TEACHER?

ADAM OVERTON – PATRICIA VASQUEZ

WHAT HAS HE/SHE HELPED YOU WITH THE MOST?

ADAM OVERTON – I FIND THAT I LEARN BEST WHEN I CHASE THE LINGUISTIC RABBIT DOWN A DEEP AND WINDY HOLE RELATED TO MY INTERESTS. PATRICIA’S VAST KNOWLEDGE, COMBINED WITH HER AMAZING PATIENCE, FLEXIBILITY AND EXCITEMENT, MEANT SHE WAS ALWAYS ABLE TO MEET ME WHEREVER I WAS AT, WHETHER WE WERE MEETING A WEEKS OR MONTHS APART. AS A FORMER TEACHER MYSELF, I GREATLY ADMIRE HER ABILITY TO SIMULTANEOUSLY CHEER, CHALLENGE, AND INSPIRE!

HAVE YOU ALMOST REACHED YOUR GOALS? OR DO YOU STILL HAVE A WAY TO GO?

ADAM OVERTON – I HAVE EXCEEDED MY GOALS FOR THE 10-HOUR COURSE WITH PATRICIA.

WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE MOST?

ADAM OVERTON – VERB CONJUGATION.

WHAT PART OF THE LANGUAGE ARE YOU THE BEST AT?

ADAM OVERTON – I’M PROUD OF HOW FAR I’VE COME IN BEING ABLE TO READ.

HAVE YOU TRIED OTHER METHODS FOR LEARNING?

ADAM OVERTON – I’VE USED DUOLINGO OFF AND ON, WHICH HAS BEEN EXTREMELY HELPFUL FOR BASIC PRONUNCIATION, BASIC VOCABULARY, AND BASIC GRAMMAR, BUT I’VE ALSO FOUND IT TO BE EXCEEDINGLY FRUSTRATING AND LIMITING. I MEAN REALLY: HOW MANY MONTHS DO YOU HAVE TO GO TALKING ABOUT DUCKS AND CATS EATING BREAD UNTIL YOU GET TO THE BASICS OF DINING IN A RESTAURANT OR SPEAKING TO YOUR FRIENDS?! I RECENTLY FOUND THE FLASH-CARD APP/WEBSITE, QUIZLET, TO BE A REALLY USEFUL ADD-ON.

HAS STUDYING A LANGUAGE WITH STROMMEN HELPED YOU IN LIFE OR WORK?

ADAM OVERTON – ABSOLUTAMENTE.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN ANY OTHER LANGUAGES, OR DO YOU SPEAK ANY OTHERS ALREADY?

ADAM OVERTON – DEFINITELY. I LIVE IN A 4-PLEX WHERE MY NEIGHBORS SPEAK SPANISH AND MANDARIN. DOWN THE STREET I HEAR VIETNAMESE. AND I ALSO REGULARLY ENCOUNTER THAI, ARMENIAN, AND KOREAN. I HOPE THAT I CAN EVENTUALLY COMMUNICATE WITH AS MANY OF MY NEIGHBORS AS POSSIBLE.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TRIP ABROAD (OR IN THE US)?

ADAM OVERTON – I LOVED VISITING ROSARITO IN BAJA CALIFORNIA.

DO YOU EVER GET A CHANCE TO PRACTICE OUTSIDE OF CLASS? WHEN AND WHERE?

ADAM OVERTON – I LISTEN TO THE RADIO EN ESPAÑOL, AND TRY TO PRACTICE COMMUNICATING WHENEVER AND WHEREVER POSSIBLE (RESTAURANTS, SHOPS, ETC). I HOPE TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING MY CONVERSATIONAL CHOPS OVER THE NEXT YEAR.

ANY FUNNY/INTERESTING STORIES ABOUT LEARNING OR SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE?
ADAM OVERTON – I’M FINDING IT A LOT OF FUN TO EAVESDROP ON CONVERSATIONS IN RESTAURANTS OR OUT WALKING!