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Pre-course Assignments

Queridos Dragones.

This is one of the last big yaks that we instructors are going to post before the course. Thanks for reading this and all the others! Now it’s your turn.

With only a few weeks until we meet up in Guatemala City, we have a collection of small assignments for you. We invite you to engage in the themes that we’re going to be learning about so that we’re all on the same page and super excited when the course begins.

If you spread it out, all of these assignments should take only about 10-15 minutes per day over the next week or so. Please make time for all of this. It’s a bummer when people arrive in Guatemala without having put some thought into some of the themes that will inform our learning over the course of the semester – it’s also letting down your peers to not have the context to begin the course on the same level.

Assignment #1: Post an Introduction yak!

We want to know who you are. Please post a short introduction yak of yourself, make sure to post a picture of yourself with the yak, but before doing it:

Watch this video from tz’unun ya’ (atitlán lake) maya hip hop school. It has two songs performed by local Mayan artists and friends. This Maya hip hop school used to work in a couple communities around the lake some years ago and they created great songs. Take a look!

We would love to start getting to know you a bit, so you’ll be posting your Introductions here on our Yak Board over the next week or so. When you do we would like to hear from you about what you found most surprising or interesting in these two videos and songs. We would also like you to let us know what you’re most excited about experiencing during your time in Guatemala?.

Assignment #2: talk with one of your instructors!

One of us will be getting in touch with you to arrange a phone call very soon. We know you’ve been talking with people at dragons a lot, but now you can talk with the people you’re actually going to be traveling with. We like to hear your voices, give you a chance to ask questions, and get to know each other a little. Please check your email so we can schedule a call.

Assignment #3: watch these videos!

  1. Guatemala Indigenous Women and Youth for a new country.
  2. Schooling the world | Wade Davis

Assignment #4: read these articles!

We don’t have too many mandatory readings during this summer, but we would love to get people on the same page with these readings:

  1. Water and Climate Change in Guatemala according to the experts.
  2. Lesbian, Feminist and Congresswoman

Assignment #5: brush up on your spanish!

Five minutes a day of thinking, writing, speaking, or listening to Spanish goes a long way to warm up the parts of the brain that like to adapt to new grammatical structures, sounds, and words. Maybe just listen to the same spanish song every day with a sheet of lyrics and start to sing along.

Watch some Latin American films with English subtitles or films in English with Spanish subtitles.

There are some great apps like Duolingo which are fun to use.

Even if you have never spoken a word of spanish, hearing and saying those sounds will help get the ball rolling. Activate those neural pathways!

Un abrazo fuerte !

Randall, Lauren y Erick