M-P alumnus to study in Spain
By Dean Shipley
¿Entende usted Español?
Spanish students will recognize that phrase as, “Do you understand Spanish?”’
¿Habla usted Español?
Do you speak Spanish?
J. Lee Martin Jr. understands and speaks Spanish based on four years of the language at Madison-Plains High School. The sophomore at Shawnee State (Portsmouth) yearns for a greater understanding of and ability to speak Spanish.
So he’s headed off to Spain. From Sept. 10, 2012 through Jan. 10, 2013 he will attend Universitat Jaume (James 1 University) in Castellon, Spain. It is Shawnee State’s sister university, where Martin will study Spanish as a part of the university’s Center for International Programs and Activities. As a bonus, the university is located in a city on the Mediterranean Sea.
“I love seafood,” Martin said.
Even though he studied Spanish in high school, the opportunity to immerse himself in the language he feels will solidify his ability to hear it spoken and respond appropriately.
It will be one more out of the country trip to add to his experience. Earlier this year Martin spent some in Costa Rica on a trip with a focus on marine animals, which dovetails with his degree goal, environmental biology. He wants to be a wildlife biologist.
Martin spent two weeks in Central America. Some time was spent on Costa Rican beaches where sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Part of his team’s job there was to obliterate the turtles’ tracks in the sand in an effort to conceal the turtles’ nests from poachers. He said poaching is a problem there. The turtle eggs are stolen from the nests for food and to sell.
If they came across a turtle, it was tagged.
He also studied the caiman (cayman), a reptile related to alligators and crocodiles, but not as large. Martin said the caiman’s diet is primarily fish and small animals and it is not particularly dangerous to man.
He said one caiman lived under a pier near the spot where the team took meals. Team members would toss their table scraps to it. Martin said the caiman always showed up around meal time.
Following college Martin would like to become a member of the Peace Corps.