On October 4th, Sr. Angel Castaneda, who works for the grounds department at Tower Hill School, visited Sr. Pardo’s 7th period Advanced Conversation–Café Español class.
Having been invited to the class by two of the students the previous day, it was discovered that October 4th was Sr. Angel’s birthday. Mary Shorey baked him a cake and Sr. Angel attempted to teach the class to sing “Las Mañanitas,” a traditional Mexican birthday song.
The purpose of the visit was to provide us with the experience of speaking to a native-Spanish speaker, as well as to learn about the Mexican culture. Additionally, we wanted to introduce Sr. Angel to the community and to make him feel welcome and at ease. The class also benefited by being in a situation in which being forward and taking the risk of making a mistake was necessary.
During the 40 minute period, the class asked Sr. Angel about his immigration to the United States, the process by which he became a US citizen, and what it has been like living here. We learned specific Mexican expressions related to the process by which illegal immigrants traverse the border as well. For example, the border police are known as “la migra,” and the person who is hired to help the immigrants cross is known as a “pollero” or a “coyote.”
The students in Café Español greatly appreciated Sr. Angel’s visit and are looking forward to speaking with another member of the Tower Hill grounds department, Sr. Jose Ayllon-Ortiz, during his visit on October 11th.