Joaquin Gonzalez, a veteran teacher, coach, and Housemaster, tells us why students should study a second language, how to get the most out of their residential experience, whether we should be cheering for Real Betis or Sevilla, and more. “5Q4” is our chance to ask Lawrenceville community members – you guessed it - five (sometimes fun, sometimes serious) questions.
Why should students study Spanish?
It is not only Spanish, it is why students should study any language. Learning a language is not an easy task, it requires self-discipline and to practice certain habits that can be very useful for any aspects of life. You need to collaborate and communicate with others, it requires problem solving skills, and you are constantly forced to think on your feet. Not to mention the windows into other cultures that open for students.
You were a longtime Woodhull Housemaster and are now affiliated with Upper House. What three tips can you offer students regarding Lawrenceville residential life?
Get to know all of your housemates well, get to know your housemasters well and make an effort to reach outside the house to get to know even more people.
What is the best book you read over the summer?
I am going to go with two. "The Force" by Don Winslow. It is a crime fiction novel that follows a police officer since his first days on the streets until he finds himself caught up in corruption. Winslow is, in my opinion, one of the best authors of crime fiction that we currently have in this country. The other one is written as a fictional story but it is actually a very detailed report about a bizarre kidnapping case that happened in Mexico not that long ago, the title is "Una Novela Criminal" by the Mexican author Jorge Volpi. A fascinating book that talks about corruption at the highest levels of government.
What is your favorite meal to cook?
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go to the fish-monger and see what they have caught that day. I go there without a preconceived idea, I let the fishmonger sell me whatever he wants and I start thinking about how I am going to cook it on my way back home. One of the best moments of the day.
Real Betis or Sevilla?
I am afraid that if you are asking me that question you already know the answer: ¡Viva el Betis manquepierda!
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at email@example.com.