Assistant Teacher - Spain 2017
Marianna Cid, Assistant Teacher

Hello everyone! My name is Marianna Cid and I come from the “City of Azaleas,” which is just another way of calling our beloved South Gate, a city about thirty minutes away from Downtown Los Angeles on a good day, without traffic. (Crazy fun fact: the famous first female pilot Amelia Earhart learned how to fly here!)

You might already suspect that I have extreme hometown pride, but… allow me to explain why South Gate is quite magical.

Places have such a powerful way of shaping you. As simple as that may sound, those are the first thoughts that come to mind when I think of South Gate. Think of your own hometown -- what special thing makes it different from other cities or towns? For me, that special thing was Spanish! I come from a place where it’s nearly impossible to walk around without catching a glimpse of a sign written in Spanish or accidently listening into a casual conversación in the street.

This is technically my biography, but I can’t tell my story without telling you a little bit about my parents’ story. Both my mom and dad were born and raised in Zacatecas (that’s a state right in the center of México!) and just a year before I was born, they decided to start from scratch and begin a new life in la Ciudad de Los Ángeles. Although I was born in California, my very first language was actually Spanish; in fact, I didn’t speak a word of English until I was about three years old!

I wasn’t aware of the process of learning a language until I started high school. At a young age, I came under the following conclusion: English was for school and homework, whereas Spanish was for home and family. This, of course, changed when I began learning the nuts and bolts of Spanish grammar. (I have to admit that my mother’s persistent corrections while growing up really did come in handy!) Learning the grammar opened the doors of Spanish Literature for me -- by the time I graduated from high school and was getting ready to head out to college, I felt this strange amount of joy when coming across names like Don Quijote or Gabriel García Márquez.

As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, I didn’t study Spanish, but I had the amazing opportunity to work with college students that did, and I absolutely loved it. During my first Fall Term in 2010, a fellow Spanish-speaking friend of mine suggested that I attend the Rassias® Method orientation meeting, and that changed everything for me. My first experience with the Rassias® Method may have been on the Apprentice Teacher’s side as a “driller”, but I sure do know what it’s like to learn a language (and everything else that comes with it) as a non-Native speaker!

Three months after that meeting, I was enrolled in my “Introductory German” course, learning how to count from zero to one hundred and attending drill (as a student, this time) four times a week. Six months after that, I was studying in Berlin, Germany with a group of fifteen other Dartmouth students for the summer and staying with my first host family, Jürgen and Jo. It was there that I truly understood that learning a language was not only verb conjugations and vocabulary -- it was culture, history, literature, art, and so much more!

I am beyond excited for you. Learning Spanish is absolutely amazing and studying abroad is an amazingly powerful way to reach your language goals! I cannot wait to work with you all in Gijón! Nos veremos muy pronto!