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PIC OF THE WEEK
Snowy Front Drive
Photograph by Polly Knowles P'11, '12, '13
To view a detailed calendar of upcoming events for the week of February 22nd, please click here.
EL DÍA DEL IDIOMA- by Sofía Peña Sidmore
As my students gathered expectantly awaiting the arrival of the exchange students from Spain in January, I remembered another day in my life when I had waited for a special celebration to begin.
In 1986, it was just like any other hot sunny day in Girardot, Colombia. The decorations had been hung, the music chosen and the hand-made costumes completed. The young students from kindergarten to third grade could barely sit still as they lined the parade route, many waiting for their older siblings to march past. Every grade level had picked its theme; some children wore the traditional “polleras,” big skirts with ruffles; others, like those in my class, decided to wear costumes representing characters from famous Spanish and Latin American authors. Our school was fully engaged in the celebration of el Día del Idioma (Spanish Language Day), a national holiday held April 23 to commemorate the death of one of the most important and influential Spanish writers, novelist, playwright and poet Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The day also celebrates the wealth of the Spanish language.
This year, I was reminded of the wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate the accomplishments of our Pingree Spanish students as they welcomed the exchange students from Barcelona, Spain. Our students and guests came together to share, celebrate, and explore each other’s cultures. The experience was facilitated by the deep understanding of the Spanish language our students attain in their language classes at Pingree. After several years of fundamental building blocks focused on thematic vocabulary and sequential grammar, our students reach a high level of proficiency in Spanish where they are able to apply the skills they have learned in situations such as these.
In my Spanish Literature and Civilization class, students continue to develop the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening through the study of Spain and Latin America. At this level, reading literature in the original language profoundly improves linguistic skills. I’m proud of my students because they challenge themselves to advance farther and farther. It’s wonderful to watch them reach the point when they stop trying to translate and immediately grasp the ideas and deeper meaning from context. Being able to read Spanish and Latin American literature in its original language gives students a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, it becomes fun and more interesting when students read great short stories in which one can discover history and culture. The knowledge of other cultures heightens their awareness of social concerns and fosters a global understanding of beliefs and traditions from different points of view. How poignant it was during the visit from our Spanish guests for our students to read short stories about a far away time and place and then discuss them with the people of that land!
Once the exchange students arrived, it was fantastic to see my class interview them in Spanish and present orally what they had learned. One of my students asked our guests if they could describe in a few words what it meant to be a Spaniard. At first there was silence, but then someone tried to explain what a challenging task that was because of the cultural and historical differences between the different autonomous communities. Since their Civil War, the Catalan people have fought strongly to preserve their own Catalan language and cultural identity. This feeling of pride was most evident as one could see the passion with which the exchange students discussed their different opinions. I smiled to myself because, after four years of language instruction, and historical and cultural exploration, this firsthand account tied it all together.
At a young age, I enjoyed the festivities surrounding a holiday I really knew little about. Later, learned that the name “Dia del Idioma” meant “Spanish Language Day,” and that people across many cultures were united through their common language in celebration. In an age where holidays too often mean little more to kids than a day off from school, it was fulfilling for my students and me to share a day with those who cling tightly to the roots that made them who they are today. When we share a common language, we are able to cross cultural divides, share commonalities, and reveal our unique qualities.
4 DAYS LEFT TO BID ONLINE NOW!
Pingree Parents Association Winter Carnival Auction is on-line NOW! Bids are now being accepted on fabulous items! You can also preview the live auction items. Click here to place your bid.
Introducing the Ice Raffle - Buy 1 of 100 raffle tickets for $50 for the chance to win a pair of 1kt diamond stud earrings the night of the auction. Every raffle ticket buyer is given a pair of cubic zirconias for participating! Click here
to buy your raffle tickets. You do not need to be at the event to win!
Over 150 guests are coming so far. The faculty band is gearing up for a spirited evening of music and song - don't miss out! Get your RSVP in today! Do it online by clicking here!
Bidding closes Monday, February 22 at 8:00 pm.
JUNIORS AND THEIR FAMILIES!!!
Please join us for a family pizza party on the Opening Night of Pingree’s Winter Musical, LUCKY STIFF.
On Friday, March 5th we’ll gather in the library at 6:15p for pizza, salad and dessert, then move to the theater for a hilarious performance by our very talented student actors and singers. Bring the whole family! Contact Therese Melden at email@example.com or 978-526-2446 by Tuesday, March 2nd to respond to this invitation. The price for the party is $5 per person to cover the cost of food. For play tickets, contact the theater department.
Pingree students interested in a cultural/language exchange with students either from our partner schools in Paris or Barcelona have the chance to host and travel abroad this summer or during March vacation. For more information on this fabulous opportunity, contact Kathleen Dolan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-564-0618.
GUEST WIRELESS ACCESS IS NOW AVAILABLE!
Students as well as visitors to campus now have the ability to access the internet wirelessly in the Commons. Members of Pingree's Linux Club will provide front line technical support for guest wireless users. With this increased access, we have had to amend the Acceptable Use Policy in anticipation of many more student-owned devices (laptops, iPods, and other wireless-enabled gadgets) now coming on campus. Please click here to view the amended policy.
JUNIOR & SENIOR SEMI-FORMAL DANCE
The Junior & Senior Semi-formal Dance will take place on Saturday, February 20th from 7:30-10:00 p.m. in the library.
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