Max and I

by Ben Perreira

My friend Max is a traveler at heart and seemingly by profession. His dad retired in Guatemala and Max has spent the past several years traveling through Latin America for about six months every year. He didn’t know much Spanish before going down there and has since learned to speak the language very well.

I started learning Spanish when I was in 7th grade. I took countless tests over five years of classes and did pretty well. I learned every verb tense and the intricacies of the language that can most efficiently be learned in a formal setting.

Max and I both speak Spanish but in different ways. His vocabulary is much richer than mine, while my grammar is probably better and I can probably read and write the language better. 

Who cares? I hear you.

Certain industries favor education over experience; others favor experience over education. I hold that one needs both to gain full understanding. Education teaches us the rules of the game and experience teaches us when to break the rules. Without education we lack finesse. Without experience we lack context.

And that is why I continue to develop both as much as possible.