Louisville Magazine

NOV 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.18 57 In your opinion, what's the best way to learn a new language? "I guess just be consistent with it. I think it's helpful to study it in school, but that's just what's available to me. Outside of school, I have language classes for Chinese and I listen to audio resources, like videos. I find magazines and reading materials in that language. That helps with pick- ing up vocabulary as it's used." Do you have a dictionary you keep with you? "Well, I have my phone. It's helpful for Chinese characters, because then you can just write them and it'll tell you what the character means." What language do you want to learn next? "Arabic or Russian. I like to learn the literature and the culture. It's not something I take lightly. It's a big commitment." Would you rather be able to play any instrument in the world or speak every language in the world? "That's such a hard choice! But I'd go with languages. I think that every language is like a new way of think- ing, and seeing the world. I feel like it'd make me so much more mentally flexible. I think someone once asked President Obama what his superpow- er would be, and I think he said he'd speak every language." (A 19-year- old asked him this question. — Ed.) What's something on your bucket list? "I'd like to read Anna Karenina in Russian. I read the translated version on a dare. Someone was like, 'Oh, you can never finish this book.' I was like, 'Well, I'm in eighth grade, I have a lot of time. I might as well just try.' I hear people talk about how the translated version doesn't do it justice. I want to explore that and understand it from a Russian perspective." Anne Prince Age 17, 12th grade, Louisville Collegiate Anne is fluent in Spanish (having taken AP classes at school) and studied in China after both her sophomore and junior years. (One on a University of Kentucky scholarship, another through the State Department.) She likes to play the violin, run and swim. Tell us more about your work with Educational Justice. "It's a nonprofit organization that works with underprivileged children to offer them free tutoring from fifth grade through eighth grade. I'm one of the activists and I've been paired now for three years with another student; it hasn't been the same student. One of our biggest issues is transportation. Due to the cycle of poverty, there are some things we can't fix that prevent students from coming. I've been with different students, but a lot of the time I'll see the same sort of issues with them. They have the opportunity to unleash their potential, but don't have that extra push." You're also involved in a mind- fulness program. What do you think about how mental health is understood? "It's very scary. It isn't understood enough. In our incarceration systems, and so many of our systems, we're not looking at mental health. Especially in low-income communities, it's not something that comes to mind — at all — or that they have access to. It's not just about depression, anxiety. It's also about being present with ourselves and dealing with trust and being aware of who we are, that little voice in our heads. It's important to be aware of our mental health in this society that's hustle, hustle, keep going, never stop, to be in the present." Dream job? "I just want to be a change-maker. I don't know what that means really yet, career-wise." Tell us about the pins on your jacket. "People not prisons. I envision a world without discrimina- tion. I demand equal pay for equal work. Immigrants and refugees are welcome in my Old Kentucky Home. Be the change. Transform." Lorena Bonet Velazquez Age 17, 12th grade, Fairdale High Born in Cuba, Lorena moved to the U.S. when she was seven and knows the struggles of adapting to a new country and language. With this experience, she works to lift other ESL students up through the Adelante Hispanic Achiev- ers organization. She calls herself an activist.

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