Hasta Luego, Ms. Jansen

Hedy Gutfreund Staff Writer There is an anonymous quote in Spanish that reads, “Decir adios es como decir hasta nunca… Mejor digamos hasta luego y brotará la esperanza de volver.” In English, it means, “Saying goodbye is like saying ‘see you never.’ It’s better that we say ‘see you later’ to bring forth the hope of a return.” This quote reflects the general feelings of anyone who has had Señora Jansen as a teacher or has had any interaction with her, saying that hopefully, this won’t be the end. However, this quote seems to pertain more to Ms. Jansen in the fact that she is returning back home to Alaska to her family so that she does not have to say “hasta nunca” or “see you never.” Ms. Jansen has been an essential part of the Spanish department at Latin, teaching classes from Spanish 2 to Honors Spanish Literature. I talked to Ms. Jansen about her reasons for leaving and her overall experience at Latin, and she says that she is moving back home to Alaska to be closer to her family. Her plans for the future are to “go back to teaching in a program that I started out teaching in where I’ll work with younger kids who are bilingual. And so I’ll teach in a completely different environment, and I love working with the children of immigrants. For me, that’s been a very rewarding job in the past.” Ms. Jansen sees a clear difference between working with kids from a private school versus immigrant children. When asked what advice she’d give to her successor, she advises to avoid this difference. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” she says. “Latin is a school that a lot is said about it; a lot of people think things about it before they come here, both about the students and the people who work here. I think I even had misconceptions about what even just teaching at a private school was like. A private secular school, I should say. Just to be open to the fact that these things can be sometimes disproved.” Ms. Jansen does admit that she will miss her favorite parts of Latin, but most importantly, she will miss seeing the language department develop. She says, “I’ve put a lot of work into the language program and how it’s changing. I’ll miss watching that continue to happen and watching the students go through the program. It’s an experiment, so it’s exciting to watch. And I will certainly miss my colleagues. I have amazing, amazing colleagues. I’ve never had colleagues like I do here. So, I will miss the lunch conversations and just the resource they are.” Though Ms. Jansen will miss her colleagues, it’s clear that her students – who she says have a unique “type of scholarship they want to do versus other places I’ve worked” – will be missing her as well. As Mic Ordower, a senior in her Honors Spanish Literature class, puts it, “I think that Latin is losing a pretty remarkable asset. Good Ol’ Sarah’s encyclopedic knowledge of Latin American history, combined with her passion for the Spanish language, makes her a valuable commodity. It is her compassion for her students, however, that makes her really shine.” It’s clear that Ms. Jansen has changed Latin’s language program for the better, and her wonderful two years at Latin will have a lasting effect on our school, even when she is gone.]]>