Reflect on your academic research in a non-academic way.
If you want students to...:
- Explore identity and purpose through narrative
Students bring objects that in some way represent their research. They talk in small groups or in the full group about how the object connects to their research, and then they write about it.
Personal objects (students identify personal objects ahead of time); writing materials
Student Work Examples:
“Frío”: A Song With Duende
By Angela Acosta ’17
Prompt: Pick an object or song from your childhood and explain how it relates to your research.
The song “Frío” (“Cold”) by Winsin y Yandel featuring Ricky Martin comes to mind when I think about the beginning of my interest in the Spanish language and Spanish literature. Long before I could speak even the simplest of Spanish words, I listened to Spanish music for children as a way to immerse myself in my culture at a young age. While the ability to speak Spanish should not define what it means to be Latin@, I decided to learn Spanish as a way to learn about my own heritage.
I started listening to “Frío” during second year Spanish class in high school. At the time, I was learning more complicated Spanish verb tenses and discovering new idiomatic expressions. I really liked listening to songs from Ricky Martin’s album “MAS”, but I didn’t understand the lyrics completely right away. The sound of the Spanish words and the emotion conveyed in Ricky Martin’s voice stood out to me long before I was able to understand the entire song. Certain Spanish songs have duende, meaning that they evoke heightened emotions, and I listened to them over and over again.
Even though my current research project is rooted in poetry, it reminds me of the process of becoming fluent in Spanish. I started taking formal classes in eighth grade and the first songs that I listened to stood out to me not for the words or meaning, but the emotions that a listener can hear even without understanding the song. Making a poem accessible, as I have been doing while translating Vicente Aleixandre’s poetry, evokes a similar process of discovery and appreciation before the poem’s meaning becomes clear enough for me to translate it.
My observations and enjoyment as a reader inspires me to write literary analysis about Aleixandre’s poems. I write about things that interest me in Aleixandre’s poetry and must make the transition between being a reader and being a researcher who does close reading of the text. “Frío” reminds me of the various stages of being a reader as well as the fluency level one must attain for a text to become accessible for the reader. Everyone is at different points in the language learning process and art, such as songs or poetry, has a different meaning for an intermediate speaker than it would for a fluent speaker.
Listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJEUWP6_374