"Christina’s first love was writing, and she grew up known as the writer, class playwright, and family storyteller. She studied English in college, and since she’s always been fascinated by language and culture, went on to earn an MA in Spanish from Middlebury College. She’s lived in Madrid, London, and Guadalajara, Mexico, but is back home in the beloved Midwest. Christina writes about food, travel, culture, and life on her blog, littlecosas.com. She is interested in using social media and content writing to promote human connections between brands and consumers, and to make life feel a little more interesting, a little rosier."
What made you decide to join the Sprk'd team?
I was interested in learning more about content and social media marketing, and Christine is such a pro when it comes to those things—it's good to learn from someone who has so many years of experience in the field. :) I've always loved the digital world, because it offers such a wealth of information, open opportunity to express yourself, and myriad ways to connect with people (although I sometimes have torn feelings about it—like this movie that depicts the rather scattered, jittery, surface way people now communicate with each other). Overall, though, the internet has opened up a whole new slew of opportunities for writers, and working for Sprk'd allows me to explore them and learn from someone who has such deep experience in the field.
What are you most passionate about and why? Writing? Language? Travel? Books? Helping others? Other?
Hard to say; I love them all! I would say writing has been my first love, since I was a kid. But maybe even before that came reading; I was an avid reader as a child and got lost in the books that I would read. When I was in high school, I started studying Spanish, and even took a year of Latin, and learning languages came quite naturally to me -- I picked them up quickly. I have always been fascinated by language and culture, and I went all the way to getting a master's degree in Spanish from Middlebury College (which took me to living in Spain and Mexico along the way). Speaking a language certainly opens up a lot of doors to another culture. As a result of that, I have also done a lot of work in the Hispanic community (including working as a writer for a digital startup called New Futuro, whose mission is to help Latinos get into college & beyond). And then there's the travel -- I love visiting new places, and again, speaking the language really affords a closer look at the culture. I really think my love of writing, language, and culture has guided my whole life.
I hear you speak "a little" Spanish...
What's something most people don't know about the language or would find surprising? Or why did you choose to become so fluent?
You know, the thing that I find most challenging is not only attaining a near bilingual level -- which I nearly achieved during my master's program -- but maintaining it. I graduated from my MA program and came back from living in Spain & Mexico in 2010, and after three years, I do think I've gotten a little rusty in speaking it. It is enormously difficult to be truly bilingual (by that I mean speaking each language equally well), and I think that question, of how to be truly bilingual, has always haunted me. In fact, when I was a kid, I was listening to some kids speak English as a second language, and I remember thinking, "I wonder what it feels like to speak another language?" I spent several years in the pursuit of the answer to that question. :-) And I'm still not 100% sure of the answer. I guess the answer would be: It's always more of an effort to speak a 2nd language than your first… but at the same time, it's incredibly exciting and rewarding to learn another language (so I would encourage everyone to do it!).
What gets you most excited about social media or content marketing in general?
I love the opportunity to connect with people online; and to connect businesses with consumers. It's fast, it's exciting, it's current, it's expressive, it's connective. It's a great field to be in.
What's #2 on your bucket list?
I don't think my bucket list is ranked in order, but lately, living for a year in Paris has been on my mind. For years it was "I want to live in Spain for a year", and now that I've done that (and then retreated home to the Midwest… the curse of the Gemini… I have both a love for the adventure of living abroad and a serious case of homesickness for the Midwest when I am abroad…)… but now that I've been back home for three years, Europe seems to be calling my name again. (I'm a total dreamer. There's no actual plan for this yet, fyi.)
Do you have a favorite sport?
I'm really not very athletic at all. I was always one of the last picked in gym class… I do like swimming though and have been doing that lately at the gym, though. I also ran two 5ks last summer and who knows, maybe someday I'll do a sprint triathlon… :-)
Get to know others on our team: