Spanish students explore New York

By Natalie Adams

On Thursday, November 30th, eight Arundel AP and Spanish 3 students, along with some other students from Old Mill, Southern, and Annapolis High School, went on a field trip to New York City to see a Spanish play, eat authentic Spanish food, and practice their Spanish skills. 

Kristi Funk, a Spanish teacher at Arundel, explained that they “left really early, around six A.M. and arrived in New York around ten.” They were going to see a play called La Casa de Bernarda Alba, which started around eleven o’clock. After the play, which was completely in Spanish, they ate lunch at a restaunt called México Lindo. Then, the group split up and took tours around the city.

Funk explained that it was a pricier field trip since it lasted an entire day, they traveled on a nice bus, ate lunch, and saw a play. While the trip was primarily for AP students, she said that this year they “offered it to a few other students who may not have had an opportunity to go based on what grade they’re in.” It is an annual trip that is offered towards the end of November or beginning of December, and is organized every year by Kim Spence, a Spanish teacher and department head at Old Mill High School.

According to Funk, everyone really enjoyed touring the city, adding that “some of [the students] had never been to New York before, so it was a really cool experience.” She wanted the students to “get to know a new place . . . to use their language with new students . . . and just have a really good experience with the language and the culture.” Funk believes that it was an important trip because it is “really important for everybody to grow as a person,” and the trip was “ a great way for kids to have opportunities to expand their world view.”

One of the students on the trip, Lauren Hoorens, a senior who takes AP Spanish online, decided to go because she loves New York City and wanted to see it again. Hoorens has been taking Spanish for four years. While she does not consider herself to be fluent in Spanish, she is fluent in Italian, “which is very similar to Spanish,” she explained.

While Hoorens did not understand the entire play, she noted that the addition of English subtitles in the background were a great assistance in comprehension. For lunch, Hoorens had veggie fajitas and explained that “the whole family that ran [the restaurant] is from Mexico.”

She believes that it was an important trip because it offered a chance outside of the classroom to apply what they’ve learned. “We’ve been studying Spanish for so long and we were finally able to experience an actual Spanish play and speak Spanish with others in person, not just our teacher that we see everyday.”

Another student on the trip, Jorge Martinez, a freshman in Spanish 3, decided to go because he wanted to see a new place. Martinez said that he liked the trip and did not mind the long bus ride because he got to sleep the entire time.

He enjoyed the play, and since he is fluent in Spanish—Martinez is from El Salvador and speaks both English and Spanish at home—he understood everything. The only thing he did not particularly enjoy was the restaurant. He tried the tacos, but did not think they were very good.

Martinez believes the trip was important because they were able to learn and practice Spanish with other students. While other students are practicing their Spanish, he is also practicing his English as much as he can.