The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.
Hello! So I’m Samantha K. Smith, and I’m (gasp!) a senior. I’m a Religious Studies major with a minor in Middle East and Islamic Studies. As part of my course work I’ve been studying Arabic with Abdulkareem Said Ramadan. I love the language, and for fun this past summer I started reading the Harry Potter series in translation. Anytime I can make it through a page without reaching for my Hans Wehr I do a little happy dance.
I gained my appreciation for studying a foreign language at my mother’s hands. Growing up, she would read to me, and my favorite was always The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s work continues to inspire me. He was a linguist by training and invented full languages that helped shape the world he created. To honor my love of his work, I’m knitting a scarf with the text from the One Ring of Power.
Previously I’ve received a Mellon Grant and conducted research on America veterans’ experiences serving abroad in the Middle East. Currently on campus I also work in the History and Classics Office, am involved in ALLies club, and am president of Gettysburg College Mock Trial. I guess you could say that I keep myself busy. I live in the Middle East and Islamic Studies Spark House on campus. Keep an eye out for events this semester the house puts on. Next semester we’ll be hosting a Poetry Night that will feature students reading poems in Arabic with a catered dinner. I read last year, and I can’t wait to participate again.
This summer I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Israel. I have a funny story about how I accidentally propositioned a man in the Arabic market in Jerusalem’s Old City. Stop by and ask me about it sometime.
This semester I’ll be keeping up with America’s Next Top Model, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, and the Black and Gold. Geaux Saints!