Ramadan, Goats and French are just part of Dr Barnard – lutfixsec.my.id

Dr. Barnard browses his collection of books in his office at Oakley Hall on April 8, 2022. This fall marks Barnard’s 16th year working as an associate professor of French at Tech. Photo by Sarah Aku.

A bright, inquisitive young woman sits on a toilet in Tunisia, nervously tossing popcorn into the corner of the hay-covered bathroom in hopes of keeping the ram busy while awaiting her Ramadan sacrifice.

Through the power of French, Dr. Debbie Barnard had the chance to experience the true Ramadan tradition of protecting the sacrificial goat in the bathroom from possible theft.

Barnard is an associate professor of French at Tech and is celebrating her 16th year with the campus community in the fall. Although she remains busy teaching French literature and language at all levels, she always finds time to tell a good story.

Barnard saw his future involving foreign languages ​​from an early age. At age 10, she began learning Spanish with her parents’ missionary friend. Originally hating French, she focused on Spanish in high school until her “incredible” teacher took a group of students on a school trip to France.

The students stayed at a homestay with a French family in Tours, France, and attended classes there for three weeks.

“It was fantastic, and this experience changed my whole perception of French,” she said.

After graduating from high school, she left her hometown of Concord, North Carolina and headed to an in-state university called Western Carolina University. Western allowed Barnard to combine economics, foreign languages, and political science into one degree in pursuit of a career in a foreign embassy.

Towards the end of her undergraduate studies, she realized that working for the government meant portraying their values ​​rather than her own.

“I did not think that the ideas that I would convey abroad would not be my values ​​but those of the government. It was inevitable. I was going to have to represent things that I didn’t believe in,” she said.

She found the same conflict while interning at a non-profit organization.

“Not everyone had the same goal in mind, which was to help as many people as possible,” she said.

On the verge of graduating, she realized that she had to change her path and pursue her studies.

“I wanted to make a difference, and I thought about who made a difference in my life. And they were my teachers.

At the beginning of her last year of college, she took as many French lessons as possible without majoring in French because she also had German and Spanish lessons. Soon after, she began applying for graduate programs in French.

After her acceptance to Vanderbilt University, she postponed her enrollment for a year to teach middle school English in Paris under the Fulbright Program, an international educational exchange program.

Barnard said: “It was also a bit scary because as soon as I got to France I had to go through immigration and get a visa to go there. But my visa stipulated that you had to apply for a temporary residence permit within two weeks of your arrival and that you had to have an address. So, I ended up taking a job with a family as an au pair.

Within months, she was able to find a top-floor apartment with another woman. The charming French apartment had slanted ceilings, which made it impossible to stand up in places, and the small kitchen was complete with a dorm-size fridge, toaster oven, two hot plates and a sink. slim. Not to mention the lack of an elevator.

Upon her return to the United States, she attended Vanderbilt for four years and earned her doctorate. Barnard was considered ABD, or anything but dissertation. To gather more research on her thesis, she applied for a Fulbright program in Tunisia.

“I had been to Tunisia before and met my ex-husband on my first trip there. And I went back to study Arabic, and we got together and got married while I was there. on my Fulbright. I couldn’t even talk to my mother-in-law,” she said.

However, over time, she learned quite a bit. She knew enough Arabic to ask her sister-in-law why there was a giant sheep in the bathroom, only for her sister-in-law to respond with a small bag of popcorn.

Upon completion of his thesis, Dr. Barnard secured a position teaching French, specifically Francophone Literature and Language Abroad, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Although Barnard has completed his Ph.D. in a prestigious large school, its strong values ​​did not correspond to the values ​​defended by the campus community.

“But here [at Tech] it really aligned with my career goals because I wanted to make a difference and help students understand that the world doesn’t belong to people who go to Vanderbilt or those types of people,” she said.

“Tech reminds me so much of West Carolina because it’s a rural school. It’s a city anchor, like Tech is a cultural anchor in Cookeville. Many students were from the first generation that they wanted to learn, and their two colors are purple and gold.

About Norma Wade

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