Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alan Campbell to teach Spanish at Ravenwood High School

Speaking Spanish with native-speaker co-workers in high school was "the first time I could really use something I'd learned"

Returned from Army stint in Afghanistan in May

The Tennessean reports here that Alan Campbell, son of Brentwood Planning Commission chairman Randy Campbell and graduate of Brentwood High School and Virginia Tech, will be teaching Spanish at Ravenwood High School this year.

The Tennessean reports that Alan picked up Spanish with the help of co-workers at a restaurant job in high school and also majored in Spanish in college, followed by a master's degree in second language education:
Campbell, who admitted he didn't exactly know what career path he'd take when he was growing up, discovered his spoken word skills when he got a part-time job in a restaurant kitchen when he was a high school sophomore. Most of his co-workers were from Mexico and Guatemala and were native Spanish speakers, so he started picking up words here and there talking with them.

"It was really the first time I could really use something I'd learned, outside of for a test at school," he said.
Alan served as an Army lieutenant in Afghanistan after college and returned in May of this year, according to the Tennessean. Campbell blogged about his experience in Afghanistan at

Before he left for Afghanistan, Campbell published this poem about risk on his blog in both Spanish and English:
Reír, es arriesgarse a parecer un tonto.
Llorar es arriesgarse a parecer un sentimental.
Hacer algo por alguien, es arriesgarse a involucrarse.
Expresar sentimientos, es arriesgarse a mostrar tu verdadero yo.
Exponer tus ideas y tus sueños, es arriesgarse a perderlos.
Amar, es arriesgarse a no ser correspondido.
Vivir, es arriesgarse a morir.
Esperar, es arriesgarse a la desesperanza.
Lanzarte, es arriesgarse a fallar.
Pero los riesgos deber ser tomados,
porque el peligro más grande en la vida es no arriesgarse a nada.
La persona que no arriesga, no hace, ni tiene nada.
Se pueden evitar sufrimientos y preocupaciones, pero simplemente
no puede aprender, sentir, cambiar, crecer, amar y vivir...

To laugh is - to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is - to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is - to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is - to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas before the crowd is - to risk their loss.
To love is - is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is - to risk dying.
To hope is - to risk despair.
To try is - to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest
hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing and is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but he simply cannot learn, feel,
change, grow, love - LIVE.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave,
he has forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is free!

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