My name is Eleanor Morrison and I am truly indebted to the Hispanic Studies faculty at William and Mary. I began to take Spanish classes in elementary school, but I did not fully develop an interest in the language until college. My courses at William and Mary taught me that the Spanish language is much more than a useful skill: it is a necessary tool to truly understand our nation, our culture and our neighbors. My Hispanic Studies courses have sent me back in time by reviewing 16th century manuscripts in Swem Library’s Special Collections; they also engaged me with current issues such as memory and trauma in Latin America. In addition, the Hispanic Studies department broadened my worldview when I left the country for the first time to live in Cádiz, Spain for two months. I am particularly thankful for the freedom the Hispanic Studies faculty gave me to research topics I felt were interesting and important, from Mexican social media to the Spanish-speaking world’s view of the present Russo-American relationship. For all these reasons and more, I am very grateful to the Hispanic Studies staff for their guidance throughout my time at William and Mary.
However, perhaps the most useful direction that I received from the Hispanic Studies faculty was career-based. In my Junior year, I took a Spanish translation course which completely opened my eyes to the importance and complexity of translation work. This course then inspired me to seek other translation opportunities. Since that semester, I took another Spanish translation course, interned as a Russian translator and I am currently studying to become a translator full-time.