After learning about the tradition of quinceañeras, junior Cady Freeman was offered the opportunity to try on a traditional dress. She expressed how thrilled she felt. “I felt like a princess,” Freeman said.
photo by Marianne McClure
Without deadlines or assessments, the doors of room 104 open as the aroma of fresh Hispanic cuisine wafts through the air. Students enter to find opportunities to taste new cuisine, learn about other cultures and serve others. Born from her love of teaching and newfound free time, former Spanish teacher Sra. Dairys Hernadez launched TKA’s first Spanish club on Sep. 8.
Sra. Hernandez recalls the time-consuming, yet rewarding, experience of teaching, but she suddenly had to change jobs.
“This is a way I found that I could continue interacting with the students,” Sra. Hernandez said. “I have a heart for teaching, and right now, I have the flexibility to focus on the club.”
Free from a traditional classroom setting, Spanish club offers students the chance to practice Spanish without the fear of making mistakes. An expanding knowledge about various cultures is a valuable life asset which the Spanish club helps students develop.
“I joined because I long to know about the different cultures of Spanish-speaking countries,” freshman Faira Fenton said. “For me, knowing Spanish, on top of English, has brought forth unity that I would not have experienced otherwise.”
During each meeting, Sra. Hernandez brings various foods from different Spanishspeaking countries. So far, the club members have tried arepas, empanadas and tequeños from Venezuela and pupusas from El Salvador. However, this is only the beginning as Sra. Hernandez prepares Cuban cuisine for the upcoming meeting.
“My idea was to showcase different countries, not only Mexico,” said Sra. Hernandez. “Not everyone comes from Mexico or eats only tacos. The group I have impresses me. They are there because this interests them.”
Aside from taste testing various cuisines, members of the Spanish club utilize their time together to serve their community.
“In the last meeting, they [the students] helped me fill bags of candy for the church I attend,” said Sra. Hernandez. “In December, I am planning for us to buy presents to give to families who are new to the United States. As they just came to the country, they won’t have a chance to buy gifts, so my idea was to bless families with Christmas presents.”
Students are highly encouraged to join the upcoming meetings on Dec. 1 and Dec. 15 from 11:30-1 p.m. Providing students with the opportunity to serve others and dive deeper into their knowledge of other cultures, the Spanish club proves to be a promising addition to TKA’s vast array of clubs.
“I am most excited to teach about other cultures because the more you know about other cultures, the more it helps you grow,” Sra. Hernandez said. “It helps you gain a larger perception of the world and understand that apart from your own country or traditions, people around you have different ways of life, and that is okay.”