PHOTO: Davis High alumnus James Curley taught English in Japan for three years.
By Eduardo Pulino,
French and Spanish teacher James Curley is a traveler who visits lots of different cultures and countries constantly.
After graduating from Davis High, Curley went on his first big international trip as an exchange student for about one year in Tournai, Belgium. There, he got to practice speaking French for the first time out of school. The DHS teacher had already taken five years of the language, but mentions that he “still had some difficulties with language and cultural differences.”
However, after quickly getting the hang of the language, Curley said that the exchange was great, and he still maintains contact with the first family who hosted him until this day. “It’s an obligation, you know, to visit my Belgium family,” Curley said.
In fact, contacting his host family is not a rare event on the teacher’s life, as he calls his Belgium grandmother almost every month, trying to keep in contact and helping her with her Alzheimer’s disease.
After coming back to the U.S. from his Belgium life, the DHS graduate went to college, studying the languages that he learned. While studying to be a teacher for English and French, Curley took Spanish classes, learning to teach the language as well. When finished with his learning, Curley went international once again, spending three years in Japan teaching English to high school students.
He came back to Davis, grabbing an opportunity to teach a language here, as the French teacher was just retiring from DHS when he came back. He has been teaching for more than 11 years, and says that returning to Davis is a good way of “getting back to the community.”
His return to the city hasn’t stopped his liking for different places, explaining why he still has plans on visiting Canada, Brazil and Japan in the near future, in the hopes of visiting old friends or showing the places around to his own family.
Curley also said that the experience of coming back to his hometown is not only a nice way to get back to the community, but teaching here has also been a good way to see the growth and differences to the school. “DHS is not so different. There are different technologies, different places, but people are the same as before.”