Fiesta Friday

I had primed the pump this past Tuesday when some of our middle school parents walked into the classroom where their sons and daughters have been educating me on the Spanish language. On Friday, our Spanish classes would be having “Fiesta Friday”, a time of tortilla chips, salsa, and guacamole. I urged them to have the kids bring bags of chips and whatever else they would like to contribute. Several of them followed through, loading their young adolescents down with bulky bags that, thankfully, were not crammed into their already-jam-packed backpacks.

In mentioning the fiesta to the students, several of them wanted to jump from chips and salsa to a buffet table of an interesting combination of food choices: shredded cheese (OK!), Mexican desserts (OK!), horchata (OK!), chicken nuggets (NO!), gummy bears (NO!), Cheese Whiz (NO!), pizza (NO!), mozzarella sticks (NO!), edamame (WHY???).

Friday arrived and the bags filtered in. And you know something? Middle school kids eat a lot of tortilla chips, and even more salsa (unless it’s mango salsa), and are not afraid of suspicious-looking guacamole. I filled, and filled, and filled the extra large bowl that was meant to feed a battalion. They attacked the salsa as if it was some weird Halloween candy offering. Rationing was not rationale. One girl brought a gallon of Hawaiian Punch, which suddenly had become a Mexican drink, and was drained by the 24 students who had just walked through the dry desert of their first two classes of the day.

One amazing young lady had made sopapillas at home with her dad. I need to give her some extra-credit points. They were awesome!

Several students regarded me as the restocking person, and would look at me and say, “There’s no more guac!” To which I would reply, “Did you put your guacamole out yet?” “I-I-I didn’t bring any.”

One boy had tortilla chips trying to escape his mouth. They glittered his lips and creeped up his cheeks. Another treated the chips like they were crackers to dot the salsa with. His bowl resembled salsa soup. Somewhere he found a spoon.

They enjoyed the day. The day before they had taken a test. On Friday, they tested me. I even had to run to the local grocery store during my lunchtime to buy a few more bags and a couple of additional salsa jars. I discovered…it is never enough!

And then we played Spanish Bingo, where they filled spaces on their card with words from our Spanish vocabulary list from the first three weeks. I said the word in English and they had to figure out whether or not the Spanish word was on their card. Most of the contestants were on point, resembling avid Friday night Bingo enthusiasts. A few, however, I would hear say things like, “I don’t know what the word for that is!” and “We never had ‘house’ on our list yet!” “Yes, we did!” “Well, what is it?” “I’m not telling you!”

It was a day!

My last week approaches and then the new teacher, who I met on Tuesday and is experienced, personable, and awesome, arrives. Some of the kids are pleading with me to not leave, to which I respond, “I am not Spanish teacher! I’m like that plug in your sink, just trying not to let too much water escape. They stare at me with confusion, not understanding that it’s an analogy, a comparison. It’s the “deer-in-headlights” look, or “ciervo en faros”, as they say in Spanish.

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2 Comments on “Fiesta Friday”

  1. mbmankin Says:

    Bill, I love this! You are awesomely creative and relational for your students!! ¬°Felicidades!

  2. wordsfromww Says:

    Thanks, MB! My regards to Bill!

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