The kindness of strangers: Meet

I was just checking my students’ blogs before calling it a night and discovered this extraordinary exchange between my student Jonah, and a Spaniard named Morgan.

Look at the time, and the care, and the detail that Morgan took to help Jonah with his Spanish. No one is paying or insisting that Morgan do this…he simply offered his services to me through an extraordinary “time bank” for Spanish speakers called Kroonos. In Kroonos (named after the Chronos the Greek god of time) individuals give an hour or two of time to others, and build up “karma” within the system of pedidas and ofertas, with the promise that someone within that extended online community will help you when you need something.

I mentioned my students’ blogs to Morgan, and off he went. Morgan and Jonah negotiated between themselves what would be helpful, what would be too much, what worked for them… all in the target language. Look at the conversation that emerged as a result. Look at the give and the take…the conversation that grew between them. And remember…these are strangers.

And then take a step back and compare this exchange to how Jonah was writing when the semester began

We have only been at this for four weeks, and already… remarkable changes and connections have emerged.

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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