Dr. Grey Brothers and his wife Carrie will be resident directors of Westmont in Mexico in 2012. Dr. Brothers teaches in the Music Department at Westmont and Ms. Brothers teaches at Santa Barbara Charter School. Dr. Brothers writes:
Since the inauguration of WIM in 2004, I have looked forward to the opportunity to lead the program. My experience of Mexico has come through my research in the early music of Mexico’s cathedrals. During several study trips through Mexico in the last few years, I have become intrigued, fascinated, and delighted with Mexican culture, particularly the wide variety of music, visual arts, architecture, religious expression, history, politics, and food(!).
While I pursued a smattering of Spanish language study in junior high school, I refocused my efforts to learn Spanish around my trips to Mexico. While on sabbatical in the fall of 2008, I traveled with my daughter Hannah Ruth, who had studied Spanish as a high school student, to Oaxaca, for intensive language study. I’ll not forget the exhilaration I felt when I was able to carry on a conversation in Spanish with a scholar I met at the cathedral there. One of my goals, as I prepare for and lead Westmont in Mexico in 2012, is to become more proficient in Spanish.
Carrie and I are no strangers to off-campus programs, having led Westmont’s Europe Semester in 2004 and 2007. These experiences were wonderful, enriching, and… exhausting! While we are enthused about being closely involved with students again in an off-campus program, we are particularly looking forward to remaining in one locale, becoming familiar with a set of surroundings, and making a home. We are also looking forward to living and learning alongside Westmont students in the lovely city of Querétaro. Having lived with families while pursuing language study in Guatemala and Mexico, I am particularly enthused about the prospect of student home stays.
Carrie has also studied Spanish and, besides teaching at Santa Barbara Charter School, is currently taking classes in preparation for studying medicine, with the intention of serving abroad, perhaps in areas where Spanish is spoken. She will be a great partner in this venture! Our son Isaiah, who will be sixteen by fall of 2012, will accompany us. He hopes, among other things, to gain entry into the downhill skateboarding culture of Querétaro.