May 2020: Senior's curiosity leads her to world of language, culture and literature

May 2020: Senior's curiosity leads her to world of language, culture and literature

Aurora Perez
Aurora Perez

Aurora Perez

Major: Double major in English Spanish Language and Literature

Hometown: I’ve been fortunate enough to call a few places home; as a young child I lived in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, then seven years in New England, and lastly, I’ve resided in Georgia for the past ten years. Therefore, my experiences before college have been heavily impacted by geography and culture. In each region that I’ve lived in I’ve felt part of a new community and have been influenced by each one. I was born on Isla Mujeres, where I had familial ties to the Mayan indigenous community; this felt worlds away from my experience as a student at a private high school in Georgia. 

What made you choose your major? Going into college there was a sort of tension with identity and a struggle to put all my experiences coherently together. I knew that I wanted to appreciate and learn more about the complex history of the Spanish speaking world, while indulging my curiosity for literature. I have never been able to comprehend things as flat, with a singular story, which was perfect for the type of cross-cultural, intertextual, and interdisciplinary educational foundation I’ve received. 

What was your favorite class or professor and why? It would be unfair for me to try to pinpoint exactly what class or professor has been my favorite within both departments because each has been so critical to my academic growth. I feel that I have found a solidarity within academia thanks to my professors who share their passions and specializations. However, I can identify the source of what makes each class special for me and that would be the dialectic relationship that comes with the study of a subject. The seeming paradox that every solution that seems to be found always heralds in its counterpoint and creates new questions to be had. 
The anxiety that I had felt earlier in trying to piece together so many contradictions and tensions finally found a place to manifest itself. I learned that when writing any paper-which within two majors that are literary intensive has been many- the most critical point in fleshing out my argument is finding the tensions, or the contradictions, within a text or film. In this way I found that something which I had previously found problematic became part of a process which has helped me burn down to the essence of what I hope to convey in my essays. 

What activities were you involved with at GC? With my fascination and proclivity towards trying to get as much of an intercultural experience as I can, I’ve had many fulfilling experiences as an undergrad at Georgia College. As part of the International Club here I’ve had the pleasure to know students from all around the world, learn more about their cultures and languages, and build close friendships. I will cherish these memories and experiences and I hope that one day I can travel to the places I had the chance to learn more about through the international students. 

What was one of your favorite memories at Georgia College? One of my favorite memories at Georgia College is the annual international dinner which the International Club hosts. The international club’s members cook dinner for hundreds of people and the students do performances to represent their country. This event is open to students, faculty, anyone in the community and is a great occasion that facilitates learning and sharing for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

Regarding my studies I have also sought to write and learn about cultures outside of English and Spanish speaking countries. I’m currently writing a paper about Hayao Miyazaki’s films and for this project it is necessary to learn more deeply about the history of Japan’s literature, film, and literary movements. I’ve enjoyed watching Tokyo Story by Yasujiro Ozu, reading Frederick Jameson’s “In the Mirror of Alternate Modernities,” and some Japanese short stories by Sōseki. This semester I even audited a Mandarin Chinese language course, convinced that I needed to take the opportunity. Over the years I’ve had a growing appreciation for Chinese culture and cinema, from Wong Kar-Wai’s stunning aesthetics to Confucianism philosophy. 

What do you plan to do after completing your degree? My liberal arts education has served me well and created a solid foundation for me to build upon. I am aware of where my interests lie and the subjects that fascinate me most have been representation, media, film, and literature. I’ve been accepted into Georgia Tech for a Master of Science program in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies which I am pursuing to further my education. Within the English department I took a film theory class and for another class I watched the film "Roma" by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, which has led me to think about a future project: the historical oppression women and indigenous communities have faced in Mexico, and in this new age of technology how it could be possible to bridge the gap between these underserved communities and their access to digital platforms.