Kay lastima! Farewell to una gran maestra
by Chip Latcham
Jul 09, 2010 | 1321 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When we learned that Spanish teacher Kay Past is retiring from Coastal Bend College in August, we immediately thought what a loss for area students.

Having attended two of Señora Past’s conversational Spanish classes at CBC and traveled with her on one of her annual summer expeditions to Cuernavaca, Mexico, with our entire family, we know firsthand her decision will be felt in Beeville and the college district.

What a joy to have experienced the beauty, history and culture of our neighbor to the south. We count that as such a blessing to have had the pleasure of staying with a family in a foreign country and touring not only Cuernavaca, but Mexico City, Taxco, the Pyramids, Tepoztlan and many other fantastic sites – particularly with Past’s proficient leadership as guide and instructor.

We never felt unsafe there, despite the stories of kidnappings and robbings of Americans and such. Although, as Past quickly responds, there are places in the U.S. where visitors are more apt to run into random violence.

Her many attributes are what make Past such a memorable instructor – her ever-present smile, colorful Mexican attire, extensive knowledge and love of Mexico and fluency in the Spanish language.

She is demanding, yet kind and caring, always interested in seeing all her students understand the concepts of each class session.

She insisted that each of us at least learn basic phrases, such as how to order at restaurants and barter at the markets, before setting off on our adventure south of the border – and that most assuredly came in handy.

There’s no doubt that countless Spanish students from the college have benefited greatly from her trips to Cuernavaca, Monterrey and even to Spain. We dare say that it opened up a whole new world for some.

“She has been an incredible part of this institution,” CBC President Tom Baynum said. “She will be terribly missed.”

Adios, Señora. Gracias por todo. Buena suerte y hasta luego.
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