At the beginning of this trip, I was very nervous. I did not know anyone and the class was a lot of new material. Then I realized that most of the people on the trip were in the exact same state.
Being surrounded by Spanish made me realize that I know more than I think I do but that I have to work on my conversation skills. I came to understand that a lot of Mexico and the United States most recent interactions can all be traced back to NAFTA in some way. That did not stop me from appreciating the experiences that we were being offered. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every lecture. Because most of the material was new I took what time I had to attempt to really comprehend what was being taught. But I can say that by the middle of it I wanted to know more about US-Mexican relations than just what NAFTA was influencing. That is probably why I and Kelly Floyd, another student, turned our attention to the Mexican Film Industry.
We started out by looking at the Three Amigos – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron. Before decided that it was too much and that we needed to narrow our focus. We choose to look into Gullermo del Toro further due to the fact that he is probably the one with more name recognition outside of Latin America and the fact that he has left Mexico to live in the United States. However, we did not want to create any normal essay, even though it would be easier. Because we were looking at del Toro we wanted to pay a bit of a homage to him and his unique style. We then choose to do a graphic essay. What’s that you might ask? Well for us it was a lot of research, taking shape in the form of words and pictures. We knew that pictures alone could not tell the story but we also knew that the words would cause it to lose a piece of what would make the analysis really work. If we had had more time it would be more polished but overall we happy with the result.
At the end of the day, I walked away from the class with a lot of good memories and new experiences. I received an A- in the class. And was able to come back from Mexico with a lot more than I had gone with.