Alicia del Barrio Escribano spent her early years in Spain with a growing passion for learning the English language. Decades later and now at Marshall, she uses it to teach Spanish.
Escribano moved to the United States 20 years ago with her American husband and two daughters. American culture was foreign to her. Movies and television, she claims, were no aid.
“I had no understanding [of American culture] because movies do not convey Americans at all,” Escribano said. “In Europe, we run the risk of thinking that movies portray Americans, but they really don’t. Movies are made for entertainment.”
Escribano has immersed herself in American culture with no movie screen guise, having spent a decade in FCPS.
“I’m old enough to feel homesick sometimes, but my daughters are bilingual and bicultural, just as I had hoped they would be,” Escribano said.
Her vision of cultural exploration goes beyond her daughters, she hopes everyone would adopt the same attitude of openness to other cultures that she has.
“Given the overpopulation that we suffer, it’s absurd to stay within the confines of your small community,” Escribano said. “We have to protect some of those things because they are connected to identity, but we also have to be aware of the diversity around us and the enrichment we get when we just step out of our comfort zone and do things differently. I become enriched, I become more understanding, I become more sensitive.”
As Escribano settles into school, she said she hopes to share her passion for monarch butterflies. Her new goal is to plant a butterfly garden on the Marshall campus.