Nicole Vermillion spends HS as a scholar of many different languages

Kaylynn Dodge, Journalism 1 Writer

Nicole Vermillion is a senior of many talents like music and writing, but she also had a passion for languages since she was young. “In the future, I hope to be bilingual so that I can fluently speak both English and Spanish and another language that I will pick up in the future.” says Vermillion.

She first started spanish in 7th grade at West Middle school. In high school, she showed an interest in Latin. She tried Latin in Sophomore year and really enjoyed it. But her passion started way before middle school. “In preschool, she showed a quickness in picking up spanish.” says Nicole’s father, Eric Vermilion. “Granted it was from Dora the Explorer: but she enjoyed it nonetheless.”


Strengths and Weaknesses


For both languages, conjugations and vocab can be a struggle. “ English is stupid.” says Vermillion, “We don’t have the same gender number rules as most other modern languages. Also we don’t have the same kind of verb conjugations and stuff. That can be a struggle for people learning a second language.” She recognizes that there are other things that are harder for people and that people have different strengths and weaknesses.

Nicole has different strengths for each class. “I am really good at reading and writing in Latin and really really good at the opposite in Spanish.” says Vermillion. “I’m really good at having a conversation, listening, and comprehending what people are saying.” She is working on getting better at her weak spots in her classes in class.

Even though she’s not the best at reading in spanish, she still enjoys the literature of Spanish books. “I’ve learned a lot of different poetry.” says Vermillion “I just really enjoy reading different works of literature like being able to read a book in Spanish. I think it’s really cool.”  


Why Language?


One of the big reasons why Nicole enjoys world language is that she’s really good at it. “I am really awful at math and sciences. I’ve never been good at it.” says Vermillion. “But I’ve always just been good at languages. I loved reading and writing in English. So I was like ‘Let’s give it a shot!’ Then I did really really good in my Spanish classes and because of that, I fell in love with language. So I love studying language and it’s something that I enjoy doing.” She can see herself in her future continuing language in her life.

She hopes she can learn more languages in her future. “I want to learn a lot of languages. I want to be linguistic and be able to speak every language.” says Vermillion. “But realistically, I hope to know at least a little bit of Japanese because I want to travel to Japan sometime in my future. German is also a really cool language that I have interest in. But pretty much any language, I’m down for learning.” She hopes to be bilingual in Spanish.

Language also helps students with english and writing. “For Latin, I also use Latin a lot to help me and my writings because Latin is the root language for a lot of modern day language.” says Vermillion. “You can usually find really really big fancy words just by breaking it down into the Latin roots.” Even though Latin is a dead language, it’s still used today in other languages.


Watching Nicole


Mrs. Friedman enjoys teaching Latin to her students. “[My goal is] to develop an appreciation for the influence of Latin in english and to appreciate to presence of basic premise of Roman culture.” says Friedman. “[I enjoy] watching students go from nothing to being able to handle an authentic text with confidence.” It’s a great experience for Freidman to watch people thrive and grow up through the years of taking Latin.

She especially has seen how much Nicole has thrived in her class. “Nicole’s amazing.” says Friedman. “She’s a breath of fresh air, volunteers readily, willing to take risks, seems like she understands material very well, and asks questions when she doesn’t.”

Mrs. Paynich was Nicole’s teacher for 2 years of Spanish. “Nicole was great in Spanish” says Paynich. “She always tried her best to speak Spanish, even if other people didn’t want to.” It is very clear that Nicole is one of her stronger students and continues to progress to this day.

As she progresses, Nicole is almost fluent in Spanish. “[She knows] much more than she leads people to believe.” says Eric Vermillion. “I’ve watched her speak and 80% of the time, she doesn’t have to stop and think of the correct word or phrase.”


Real Life Experiences


Nicole really enjoys talking to her Uncle that speaks Spanish. “Talking with him is a lot different than talking in my Spanish classes.” says Vermillion. He was born and raised in Mexico. Nicole finds it cool to speak with him because he is a native speaker.

Not only Nicole talks to her uncle, but she works in a grocery store where people that speak less english come in and shop. “Seeing these people is actually kinda sad because they don’t know english so they have to point and mumble and we have to guess what they want.” says Vermillion. “I wish we can just talk to them just like we can talk to other people.” Being able to communicate with other people in a different language makes Nicole feel good about herself.

There are also some fun things about understanding a person. “I really enjoy watching her eavesdrop on people that assume we don’t understand them. After they leave I always ask what they were talking about. It’s funny.” says Eric Vermillion. “One time she was eavesdropping on a family at Aldi’s where the kids were begging for different food items. Then the mother got angry and Nicole said they were gonna get an a** whooping”




Nicole’s advice for other students learning a language is to “Just keep trying at it, work hard at it, study it, and you’ll get there. You’ll understand it. It just takes time and practice.” says Vermillion. “Keep trying because it’s gonna get hard and there’s gonna be something that you’re just not gonna understand.”

She encourages everyone to learn a new language. “I do think everybody should learn another language because being able to talk to somebody in another language is amazing and it’s a pretty wonderful experience you won’t get sitting in a classroom.” says Vermillion. “You’re not gonna get it from snapchat or instagram. It’s definitely a very interesting thing. I think everybody should at least know a little bit of another language, not necessarily be fluent but at least know a little just for communication purposes.”