- Hispanic health care difficult for patients, doctors
- Plazas making difference in Utah’s Hispanic community
- Local exhibit promotes acceptance, offers historical perspective
This class has been a real eye-opening experience for me, in two ways. First, it has given me opportunities to meet interesting people in Salt Lake City whom I never would have met or learned about had I not taken this class. Second, it has helped me to realize that working exclusively in print journalism might not be for me, even though for a long time I was convinced that it was.
During the spring 2008 semester, we had two intriguing guest speakers whom we interviewed as a class. The first speaker was Patricia Dark, one of the founders of the Dual Immersion Academy, Utah’s first bilingual school. The second speaker, Sandra Plazas, started Mundo Hispano, the state’s first Spanish-language newspaper, with her mother. Both Dark and Plazas opened my eyes to the vibrancy of Salt Lake’s Hispanic community and alerted me to many of the silent challenges the city’s Latinos face.
I also had the pleasure of interviewing Armando Solorzano, a professor of family and consumer science at the University of Utah. Professor Solorzano is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He holds seven degrees and is working on his eighth, all while teaching and working full time. Solorzano put together a photo documentary titled, “Invisible No More,” featuring a compilation of about 700 photos from a 2006 immigration rally, the largest demonstration in the history of Utah. People like this make me want to learn more about the world around me and interact more with those in my community.
Finally, I interviewed Erik Storheim, a Salt Lake City dentist who is fluent in Spanish. Speaking with Storheim was an extremely interesting experience. He told me that even though he speaks Spanish, he learned the language in Chile and can barely communicate with Latinos who speak other dialects. He helped me to see the linguistic challenges of educating patients and explaining procedures.
Learning and writing about these interesting people has also helped me find my own career path. I think sometimes you have to find what you don’t want before you can discover what you do. As I’ve learned more about the newspaper industry, I’ve found things that I don’t like and don’t fit my personality. I don’t think I would like being a hard-hitting journalist reporting on gloomy or morbid subjects. I like to write, but I think I’m more inclined to include my own thoughts and opinions. Reporting only factual detail and not taking sides isn’t for me.
However, I think my writing and analytical skills have improved a lot, and I’m grateful for my experience in this class and in college. Even though this class has been challenging, it has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I think that’s a good thing.
Thank you, Professor Mangun, for all your help!
My name is Jeff Dunn and I am a senior at the University of Utah. I have always enjoyed writing, and I am currently wrapping up a degree in mass communication with a news-editorial emphasis. Though I’m not sure I want to end up working in print journalism, I’ve enjoyed improving my writing skills in college. I have a few classes remaining this summer, and then I’m off to the real world to make millions and become a celebrity. Just kidding, but I don’t want to just drift off into professional oblivion.
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