As I know it ...
Acknowledgements German Pages Spanish Pages Miscellany About the Author
About the Author

Richard C. Aguilar
One of the best things about life is that it is so diverse. You never know what's going to happen from one minute to the next.
I grew up #3 in a household of 10 kids and 2 parents.
In other words, I helped raise 7 of 'em.
During my Junior High School and High School years (at Belton High School), I became an accomplished musician (I never called myself that) - specializing in percussion. This carried over into my college career, which began as a "student of music."
It was always a great joy to perform with such orchestras as the Baylor Symphony, the Waco Symphony Orchestra, the Temple Civic Orchestra, the Southwest Texas State Orchestra, and other chamber ensembles.
As my music studies progressed, I became more and more interested in German composers. This began my German studies. The initial experience studying German in the classroom was enlightening. Having grown up speaking Spanish and English, the German mentality (word structure, grammar, new sounds, etc.) seemed fascinating.
This study of German lead to a dual major: music & German. But, being the "logical thinker" that I considered myself to be, and after having studied English for so many years - a requirement, isn't it! - my Spanish language studies began. Being Mexican-American, we spoke English & Spanish at home. It was obvious that Tex-Mex was the language spoken in my home life. There were words in books that I didn't know! It took years for me to figure out how to spell almohada.
So, Spanish became a new field of study.
My Dad is half Czech, so he also had a smattering of Czech language in his background. At least we listened to the "Czech Melody Hour" every Sunday afternoon, and danced to the polkas & waltzes. I learned A ja sam before I learned many German folksongs!
As my language studies progressed at Southwest Texas State University, the Modern Language Division provided me with the opportunity to teach Spanish and German as a Teaching Assistant (TA).
I found myself teaching "foreign languages" as a job to pay my way through graduate school. My interest in music had not waned, but rather fell to a back burner. Not that far back though! I'm still working on my Aztec opera!
By this time I had learned to play other instruments, including piano, clarinet, saxophone, viola, and accordeon. My first accordeon was actually a gift presented to me by some college buddies who surprised me with it one Christmas! I sat down, learned "Ach, Du Lieber Augustin" - then went on to bigger and better tunes. I still don't know "Lady of Spain." Other accordeon tunes that I play are found in the German Folksongs section of this site.
After finishing the academic requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching, it was time for the "Internship Abroad." I went to Germany as the recipient of a DAAD stipendium, and studied at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg-im-Breisgau. Obviously, this was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life!
Upon completion of the Master's Degree it was time to go to work. These work experiences are listed in my Vita, and each has provided interesting learning experiences. You never really quite finish learning!
The most enjoyable part of teaching was the "differences" I found in the students. Each had his/her own vocabulary, his/her set of experiences, his/her areas of interest. My task was to provide each individual with the vocabulary, the means, the ability to express him/herself in a new language. This is extremely challenging, yet I had assumed the role of "facilitator" - providing each student with the knowledge that HE or SHE could indeed learn another language. Final exams proved to be a rewarding experience, as I found the students very appreciative once they had seen that they COULD learn another language. It always amazed me how many of them really thought "they couldn't learn!"
As "the teacher," it seemed like it was pretty well up to me to "see to it" that they learned. I had to look up word after word after word, just to keep up with the vocabulary they required. And of course, that was another wonderful part of foreign language teaching. I had to find words that I might never have considered using in my own vocabulary. It kept me busy "learning" throughout my teaching career.
Much of this website developed as a result of my trying to maintain a collection of worthwhile activities and exercises, learning tools & pronunciation guides, music & lyrics, etc., to fulfill my duties as the teacher: Reaching every one of the students somehow!
The accordeon and other musical instruments became "teaching tools" to be used in the classroom. The students learned a lot of language, just singing songs on Friday - instead of the usual lecture-recital-blahblah-workout. These pages are also intended to provide the opportunity for any of my former students to listen again to many of the songs they learned in classes.
If you're reading this and you were in my class somewhere, EMAIL ME!
I'd like to hear from you!
Most of my efforts throughout the course of my life have been in the direction of learning. I'm still learning!
This website is teaching me more and more about ...
Richard C. Aguilar
PS: A tip or donation (in the right column) would be most graciously accepted and sincerely appreciated - but only if you're learning something!

Thank you for visiting this site!
TLLP (c) RCAguilar 2004
March 2004
WebTrafficSchool 120x600
Overture Search the Web.