I was paired with Pierucci Aponte from the University of Puerto Rico for our Thanksgiving Theme Week. She is a writer for their chapter but is currently taking a break to focus on completing her Master’s in Linguistics. While she does like to read and write for fun, it’s been difficult for her to find the time between all her research.
We launched our conversation talking about her studies, discovering our mutual distaste for poetry analysis. Her goal is to become a professor, as her parents are both teachers. She recalls the days when she attended the same school that her mother taught at and how she heard her peers speak poorly of her mother. Her inspirations for the profession also stem from the lack of teachers and schools in her area and her commitment to change those statistics.
Pierucci and I shared many things in common, such as a passion for video games. The only one both know has to be Tetris. One of her favorite snacks is Hershey’s Hugs, which I found out today is not the same thing as Hershey’s Kisses. We both consider ourselves to be introverts and she said her parents encourage her to become more social because she is an adult. It was refreshing to see another person share the same struggles with social interactions.
UPR is still mostly virtual besides a few labs, so Pierucci resides three hours from the school and lives with her cat, Marley (named after Bob Marley), which is what she is thankful for this year. We compared our different college experiences and how the pandemic has affected it. Instead of having to write a thesis, she has to write multiple research projects. And due to this workload, Pierucci reminisces about the times when she was able to read and write for leisure rather than for an assignment.
I had a great time connecting with Pierucci and being able to listen to her experiences.