This year we welcome Ana Cristina Archilla Cases to the English faculty. As of this, El Ignaciano sat down with Ms. Archilla and asked her questions to know her better.
Ana was born and raised in San Juan and attended Colegio la Piedad in Isla Verde. She later went to pursue a double major in English Literature-Creative Writing and French, as well as a minor in Political Science at Agnes Scott College in Georgia. After graduating, she went to study law at the Inter American University School of Law in Puerto Rico.
When asked about her favorite place in the island, Ana responded that it is Old San Juan. “I don’t know if it’s because I also teach at Albizu University, but I just love walking in Old San Juan. It’s beautiful.” Ana also said that Old San Juan reminds us of our history. “Good food, the ambience. You have it all: mystery, politics, culture. Everything.”
Paris, France is Ana’s favorite place off the island. “I just love the European ambience.” She also said that Bueno Aires and New York also had that same type of feeling. “I just love being in a city but also having nature as well.”
When asked about what made her want to teach, she said that it has been something that she has wanted to do since she was young. “I think I’ve naturally been a teacher since I was little. I always liked playing games where I was a teacher, making exams and making up homework.” She then touched upon that she believes in inspiring students and making them think deeply. She likes to go by the Agnes Scott College motto, which is to “think deeply, live honorably, and engage the intellectual and social challenges of the times.”
We asked about what she looks for in her students and she replied, “I truly enjoy students who like to take up a challenge and who want to get out of their comfort zone. Because I think that is very important for one to get a global education. You need to get out of your comfort zone because everyone lives different lives.” Ana likes students that are not afraid to fail and who can rebuild themselves, despite whatever life throws at them. “It’s not who gets the best grades, it’s who has the best grit.”
Some of Ana’s favorite authors are Eduardo Galeano, Pablo Neruda, Isabel Allende, and Jane Austen. Some of her favorite books include Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, Paper Towns by John Green, Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell, and Harry Potter by J.K Rowling.
Recalling her own time as a student, Ana said that her favorite teacher was a professor in college who she had the opportunity to travel with to Chile on an academic trip. “One thing that I admire about him is that since day one, he has always been a mentor.” Ana remains in contact with her professor, and he still gives her life advice to this day. “A good teacher is not only one that’s going to help you with that academic subject that the teacher is teaching, but also life. A good teacher will guide you in life, so you make good decisions and you’ll become a good human being.”
Finally, we asked Ana about tips for student’s success. She said that a student shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, start their day early, as well as end it early. She also recommended to make time for yourself, visualize your goals and success and to enjoy the learning process.
We thank Ana for her time, the community of Colegio San Ignacio whishes her all the best in her first year.