Leah Ganse

Class of 2008
Major/Minor: Spanish

One of the best things that happened to me at Washington College was finding a home in the Department of Modern Languages. Becoming a Spanish major opened so many doors for me, the first being my semester abroad in Madrid. It was in Madrid that I learned about the films of Pedro Almodóvar and the plays of Paloma Pedrero, where I saw works by Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso firsthand. I fell in love with Spanish culture and decided to return just a few months later for a summer internship in Barcelona through the University of Dreams. A grant from the Cater Society of Junior Fellows made my summer there possible, and I can’t thank them enough for it.

Living and working in such a vibrant international city only increased my love for Spain, and as graduation loomed ahead of me, I looked towards Spain again as I browsed career options. I now teach English as a foreign language in Granada and couldn’t be happier. Some people criticize academia in that it can fail to prepare students for “real-world” careers. I couldn’t disagree more. The experience I gained learning Spanish language and culture at WC has been invaluable as I’ve navigated my first year teaching in Spain. Without the internship teaching EFL through the Modern Languages department, I would have been hopelessly unprepared for my job here. Within my Spanish major, I cultivated a love for the language as well as the practical skills necessary to work within my field.

As the school year draws to a close, I’ll be heading to Barcelona for another summer to work as a Co-Resident Director for University of Dreams, and then hopefully returning to Granada in the fall for another year of teaching. I’m beyond thankful to the department for their devotion to their students and to me in particular, and in turn I hope WC’s students continue to take advantage of all the opportunities the department has to offer.


English Thesis

Cross-Dressing: An Agent of Controversy and Creativity in Early Modern England

Supervisor: Prof. Moncrief

Hispanic Studies Thesis

Travestismo, feminismo y juegos metateatrales: el progresismo social y técnico de Paloma Pedrero

Supervisor: Prof. Stein