Professor of Spanish Olga Muñiz is giving her Intensive Intermediate Spanish class the chance to not just read Spanish literature, but do their best to write some.
The class read “El Delantal Blanco,” translated “The White Apron,” a Spanish one-act play by Sergio Vodanović. The ironic, witty play finishes on an open-ended note, leaving the reader curious and desiring more. In an effort to give closure, Muñiz assigned the class the task of writing their own sequel act.
Each member of the class scripted in Spanish his own ending to the piece they read, and the overwhelming creativity inspired Muñiz. Impressed with her students, she suggested the class do something not typically done in a Spanish class: perform one of the compositions. Though the class did not expect it, they responded with enthusiasm.
With previous classes, Muñiz has proposed the idea of acting out a piece from the class, but never has she received such a positive response.
“[Normally] people are afraid of doing it. This class is very excited about the whole thing,” Muñiz said. “It was just an idea. Like I tell my students, it was one seed that began to grow…They showed interest, so I decided to elaborate it.”
Muñiz chose the second act written by freshman Madeleine Jepsen for the class to perform. Jepsen, who has been taking Spanish courses since fourth grade, hopes to pursue a career that involves writing, but has minimal experience in writing plays.
“I wrote it as if it would be performed,” she said, “but not actually thinking we would be performing it.”
The performance is non-mandatory, but every member of the class will be involved in one way or another. Some students volunteered for roles in Jepsen’s sequel, “El Delantal Blanco: Despues de las Vacaciones Playeras (The white apron: after the vacation at the beach),” and have begun rehearsing for the show; others will be reciting poetry or playing music pertaining to the setting of the play.
Freshmen Brant Cohen, playing the role of “el señor,” did not expect to be performing for an audience as part of a Spanish class, but thinks this performance “offers a good opportunity to see a different culture, an insight into a different form of art and literature.”
Complete with simple costumes and set, Muñiz’s students are turning her little idea into a highly-anticipated performance.
Native to Puerto Rico, Muñiz has been teaching Spanish for 32 years, 24 of which have been at Hillsdale. She teaches advanced Spanish grammar, oral Spanish, and literature, and gives her classes the opportunity to be creative. In the past, Muñiz has worked with her students to create magazines or recite poetry in Spanish.
“[This is a chance] to see all the talent these students have, the creativity, and to see what we can do with the Spanish language, not just take exams and quizzes,” Muñiz said.
All are encouraged to support classmates and attend the performance in Conrad Recital Hall on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.