Sunday, October 31, 2010

The other day at class, everyone was assigned to read two chapters of a book that would talk about the Panamanian Laboral Economy and then to be ready to answer questions about it, the following week. Nothing really weird about it, if you are studying at college. But...the catch here, was that the reading was in English and the challenge was for many whose English level was little or null.

However, among the different disciplines represented in class, we have a young lady who is a lawyer and did raise her concern out loud in front of the class. Her argument was that although she handles the language, she decided NOT to read the document because she wanted to be solidary with those who could not read, let alone understand the assignment. Furthermore, she reminded us all, that our mother tongue is Spanish and that when she signed up for the MBA she was not notified about the use of a different language other than Spanish. The professor looked at her in disbelief and very politely, graciously but firmly and convinced, stated that in all her years of educating at a master degree level nationally and internationally, she had never heard such a complain. She explained to us all, that in order to be competitive in an ever growing globalized community, only those with a wide variety of competences and up to the task of overcoming challenges with wisdom and an attitude to learn will succeed. She explained that only those people, would be the leaders in any organization that will guide the boat to safe harbor.

This makes me remember a professor I had last period who recently attended a worldwide seminar about H.R. management in Brazil and gave us an assignment to read and write a paper, which was in Portuguese. We were all in shock, but we all took the challenge. Some googled it and found the document and used the Altavista tool to translate it to Spanish and in doing this,not only learned the lessons but learned to learn. I personally found it interesting that after spending a season in Italy and learning the language, it shared similarities to the Portuguese and Spanish which made it less difficult to do that one assignment.

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