Summer Vacation, Rosetta Stone Style

One of the highlights of my summer was traveling to Portland, Oregon, and sharing ideas with university leaders about innovative strategies for language education. Another highlight came a day later, when I raced up and down Mount Hood in my Rosetta Stone uniform.

Each summer, academic-affairs officers from state colleges and universities hold a conference organized around a particular challenge facing their institutions. This summer’s conference was entitled “Course Re-Design: The Key to Institutional Transformation.”

Rosetta Stone was selected to be a title sponsor because of our leadership in educational technology. I was joined by two senior members of our Institutional Sales team, and we presented our ideas for integrating technology in the foreign-language classroom to dozens of conference participants. It was thrilling to see the creative energy these senior university administrators brought to revolutionizing education on their campuses. Their messages emphasized the need for innovative, smart, technological solutions for a new generation of students and universities in these turbulent times.

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As eager as I was to get back to Rosetta Stone Labs and work on these solutions, I wasn’t done enjoying Oregon. Sunday morning, I put on my other Rosetta Stone uniform—not the button-down and chinos of conference casual, but the shorts and singlet for running up and down a mountain—and headed out to Mount Hood.

The race started at a ski lodge and went up, up, up, until it traversed ski slopes (still full of snowboarders in July) and then turned down the mountain back to the lodge. The ascent was painfully slow, with oxygen in short supply at 7,500 feet, and the descent was thrillingly fast as we hurtled down snow, tundra, and forest floor back to where we started. The Rosetta Stone written across my chest inspired the occasional shout of “Allez” as I ran by, and some hearty, multilingual toasts when, over beers at the lodge, I received the award for first-place masters runner.

Back in Harrisonburg, Virginia, I continue to run up and down more modest mountains in my Rosetta Stone singlet, but, more importantly, the research and development team I’m part of works to create revolutionary, technology solutions for language education so that university administrators have campuses full of students excited about studying a foreign language and clamoring for opportunities to learn even more languages.

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