Meet Our Teachers: Ariel Calmes

008Bonjour, je m’appelle Ariel Calmes, et je suis Francophile! As a high school student, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a foreign exchange student through the Evanston Rotary Club.  My host country? Belgium! I had a classroom background in French, but was nowhere near conversational when I arrived.  However, the Belgians are a wonderful people, and during my one year stay in their country, they taught me to speak French.  After returning to Wyoming I sought a Bachelor of Arts degree of French, which I received in 2008 from the University of Wyoming.  During my undergraduate studies I traveled in Japan, and there found my French language skills helpful.  Many Japanese study and speak English, however equally as many spoke French.  I found common ground with the Japanese in our common second language, and speaking French with the Japanese people took the pressure off everyone.  Neither of us had to try to speak the other person’s native language well.  I never imagined that my time in Japan would be enhanced by speaking French. After graduating from the University of Wyoming I received a Juris Doctor from the University of Utah, and currently work as an attorney at the Harris Law Office in Evanston.  I may work as an attorney, but I still have a passion for French.  I teach French 1010 and French 1020 at the Western Wyoming Community College Evanston Outreach Center, and I hope that you will consider taking French, either to fulfill your foreign language requirements as part of a degree program, or simply to enrich your life and improve your international travel experience. So, should you take French with WWCC? Do you……

1. Use the internet? French is the third most used language on the internet after English (first) and German (second).

2. Have an interest in foreign affairs or international sporting events? French is the official language of The United Nations, NATO, UNESCO, The International Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee, International Courts (including the HAGUE) and the European Union.

3. Seek educational opportunities? Fluency in French may qualify you for French government scholarships to pursue higher education in France or qualify you to seek internationally recognized French degrees and education.

4. Like to talk with others and make new friends? Over 200 million people on five continents speak French. Even if a native French speaker speaks English, he or she is more likely to bond with you if you speak at least some French, and speak it well. Many people also speak French as a second language, but do not speak English, or are not comfortable conversing with you in your native language.

5. Want to learn a skill that is useful everywhere? French and English are the only languages that are taught in every country in the world (and you already speak English!) and French is the ninth most-spoken language in the world

6. Want to work abroad? France has the world’s fifth biggest economy, and French speakers have job opportunities not only in France, but also in other French-speaking parts of the world, including Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, and North and sub-Saharan Africa.

7. Like to travel? France is number one tourist destination in the world, with more than 70 million visitors annually, and there’s more to see than just Paris! Go to the Cote d’Azur, the French Alps, the beaches of Normandy, or the coastline of Brittany.  Additionally, French will help you when traveling to Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, the Seychelles islands, Tahiti, Monaco/Luxembourg, French Guiana, Vietnam, Guadalupe, Martinique, and many countries in North and Sub-Saharan Africa (including the gorgeous Tunisia).

8. Enjoy baked goods? Make some Kouign-Amann using an original French-language recipe. It’s delicious.

9. Understand your native language better? About 50% of the vocabulary of the English language derives from French.

10. Want to learn other languages? French is a gateway language to other romance languages, like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. (All statistics courtesy of the French Consulate General; http://www.consulfrance-houston.org).

Meet Our Teachers: Holly Horton

001My name is Holly Horton, and I am the Evanston Outreach geology instructor for Western.  I have a BS in geology from MIT and an MS in geophysics from Stanford.  I have been teaching geology for Western since the fall semester of 2009, both online and in the classroom, and I also teach Math Lab for Western here in Evanston.  I plan to teach a classroom version of my geology course here in Evanston in the Fall2014 semester.

I have worked for various companies that are active in the mining and petroleum industries for over 30 years, and I have a broad and varied experience with geology.  I was transferred to Evanston by Chevron in 1992 as a geophysicist, and I retired from Chevron in 2002.    I am currently working as a geophysical consultant for an energy company in Salt Lake City, in addition to my teaching responsibilities.

Teaching geology and math is, for me, a way to give back to the community in which I live and work.  I greatly enjoy teaching geology, and I can promise you that when you have completed my geology course you will look at the physical world around you with a new viewpoint and greater appreciation.

Geology is a dynamic science, and we see it in action every single day.  Whenever we read about a volcano erupting, a tsunami occurring, or a rockslide destroying homes, we are experiencing geology.  In this geology course you will learn how the four major physical systems of the Earth (atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and biosphere) intricately interact with each other through geological processes, and why these processes occur and can sometimes result in disasters.

We are all curious creatures and we want to learn.  This is an opportunity to learn about a fun and interesting science that most people don’t understand.  We see geology in action every day, but most people don’t know why geological processes occur.

This course is not about lectures.  Instead, as a group, we will extensively discuss geology and geologic processes.  You will also learn through lab work how scientists study the Earth.  And I plan to include a local geology field trip.

In this course you will:

  • Learn what science is and how we use science to learn about the world around us – (Why do geologists think that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old?)
  • Learn to interpret landscapes and other aspects of the world that surrounds you – (Why did that landslide in Jackson cut that house in half? Could that have been avoided?)
  • Learn and apply important geologic concepts – (Do the continents really move around on the Earth? How does that happen?)
  • Understand the relevance of geology to your life – (Is that house that I want to buy located in a risky setting?)
  • Learn to use the new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking to become a more informed citizen – (So that’s why that earthquake caused a tsunami.  I understand now because I took a geology course at Western).

So if you have ever been interested in learning and understanding more about the physical world that you see around you and that you frequently hear about in the news, take my geology course.  I hope to see you all this fall.