View the photoset from the Spring 2017 SAGA here.
“Sharing stories, especially ones fueled with such inspiration, really brings your soul to the surface. It makes you walk away with a heart beat a little less heavy and a smile across your face. That's a good feeling”, Michigan State Senior Hannah Tizides said as she reflected on the second SAGA event held April 4th, 2017, at SCENE (Metrospace). Not only were administrators and staff who commit their lives to language advocacy and education present, but students and community members as well.
With song and story, eight different language advocates spoke on behalf of the challenges, inspirations, embarrassing moments, life-changing learning, and even self-discovery that blossomed from their journey as language learners. The reality is, this event would not have been what it was without the support from the community, and the willingness of storytellers to be vulnerable. Kristin Nahorodny agreed saying, “Since part of learning a language is all of this and more, about people, building communities, connecting with others, finding new sides of yourself and seeing the world and those around you in a new light; I think this event shows how, by opening up, we can allow other people to share and learn from our experiences as well.”
In between the stories there were moments of discussion and reflection, over a platter of international cheese and assorted crackers from Whole Foods, donations from MSU Bakers, and of course, Starbucks Coffee. After all, what is language and cultural advocacy without the infusion of food and drink? It truly takes a community, a new cultural environment, and the support of others to dive head first into the world of language proficiency. “Learning a language is almost never a solo endeavor”, said Spanish instructor Dan Trego during his storytelling moment. His statement was a powerful testament to his story, and the story of so many others within that room. This is only the beginning for SAGA, because language learning is a constant endeavor within this community, and the stories that arise as a result are always waiting to be told.
Thank you to everyone for your support, participation, and passion for language advocacy! We could not have done this without you.
Danke vielmals. Teşekkür ederim. Spasibo bolshoe. Dziekuje bardzo. Duo xie. Amesegnalehu. Asante. Gamarjoba. Ese gan. Muchas Gracias. Aapno abhaar. Grazie Mille.