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Student Voices

Alyssa Grubbs making Texas State handsigns at door to Shared Studios Portal

Shared Studios Portal

By Alyssa Grubbs
Nursing Major (League City, Texas)
October 17, 2018

I visited the portal that is located at Texas State University. When you walk inside there is a screen that reaches from the top of the container to the bottom of the container. I was able to look directly at a screen and be able to have a conversation with another person in a different country. When I first heard that we were talking to someone from Mexico City I had no idea what to expect.

We talked to a girl named Celia. One of our first questions to her was “How was the weather there?” We then explained the similarities and differences of how we live our day-to-day lives. For example we explained that we drive anywhere to get to where we need to. She explained to us that she walks everywhere due to Mexico City being very crowded. Being able to walk instead of driving is so much easier and more time efficient. We explained to her that biking is becoming more popular here and offered the idea of riding a bike instead of walking. She said that she never learned how to ride a bike, but she does knows how to roller skate. I found that very surprising, but very cool! This made me realize that different things we learn pertain more to the environment that we live in. In this case, transportation differs. It could be roller skating, driving, or maybe riding a bike. For Celia living in Mexico City, she learns what she needs to help her in the environment she lives in.

I really enjoyed the portal experience. It was a great opportunity to be able to experience another country, but still be here at Texas State. It is so crazy to think about what is occurring in our lives, and how in a different place, at the same time, many other things are occurring that we don’t even know about. One major takeaway I got from the portal experience is that our communities we live in help shape what we do and have an influence on the people we become.

Astronaut Jose Hernandez speaks to Evans Auditorium audience while video of space shuttle launch plays onstage

LBJ Distinguished Lecture: José Hernández

By Lauren Fulenwider
Psychology Major (Abilene, Texas)
September 25, 2018

I attended the LBJ Distinguished lecture on September 25. José Hernández spoke of his whole life journey thus far. He started at the very beginning, with how his dad was a migrant worker in Mexico and the U.S., and eventually became a U.S. citizen at the age of eighteen. […] He claims that a huge monumental moment in his life was when his second-grade teacher, Mrs. Young, explained to his dad that he cannot keep moving around California and Mexico every three months if he wants his children to have a strong, rooted education. He later goes on to say that he ended up inviting Mrs. Young to the launching of his first mission, because he credits a lot of his success to her. He also recalled the moment he learned he first wanted to become an astronaut. He was watching the first moon landing on TV. When he told his dad he wanted to be an astronaut, he gave him a recipe for success. First, know what you want. Second, know how far you are from the goal. Third, make a road map to your success. Fourth, prepare for the challenge. And lastly, work hard and never give up. After talking about his childhood, he talked about his first mission into space in detail. After his whole speech, he allowed some people to ask questions. One of his answers really stuck with me and made me tear up. The question was: what is the most memorable thing you saw in space? He said two things: 1) Seeing earth from outer space is completely different than seeing a globe. There are no colored continents, and most importantly there are no borders. He said that is one of the most profound things he saw, that North America was all one. 2) He watched many sunrises, 214 of them. He recalled being on the dark side of earth and watching the sun come up from the other side. He said he could see the sun rays over our atmosphere, and he noticed just how thin it really is. And in that moment, he became a tree hugger. It was incredible hearing him talk about overcoming his adversity, and I feel completely inspired.