Multiculturalism in Theory and Practice

I came by my lifelong interest in foreign languages and cultures honestly. Mv grandfather, Andrew Jackson King, Jr., migrated to a Hispanic-populated area of the Territory of New Mexico in 1906. Acquiring a small ranch, he hired some (Spanish-speaking) Basque shepherds and raised sheep—for a while, that is, until one morning he discovered that both sheep and Basques had disappeared, never to be seen again, from these shepherds my teenage father "picked up" what he modestly called "sheepherder Spanish."

Later my father homesteaded land in the same area (Santa Fe County), got married, and settled down to raise pinto beans (and a few cows). 'That's where I come in. Growing up in this bicultural environment—with a third culture, that of Pueblo Indians, nearby—I found that mv Dad's "sheepherder Spanish" served him well in maintaining friendships with our Spanish-American neighbors. In mv third-year high school Spanish class, I was the only non-Hispanic student, and by the end of the year, by making an effort to speak the language both in and outside the classroom, I had made a good start toward a mastery of Spanish.

Because language is the most intimate expression of a culture, I consequently acquired a real appreciation of Hispanic culture and of other languages and cultures in general. When World Fair II came along the Army sent me to the Philippines. There I tried...

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