Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day of the Dead

Catrinas, figures in Day of the
Dead celebrations in Mexico.
My volunteer job as a classroom assistant at the Literacy Project in Northampton is turning into a two-way experience.

Yesterday, I learned about the Day of the Dead from two students I was tutoring.

It's rewarding to be both a teacher and a learner. Here's how it happened: Four students and I were doing a section on storytelling.

I went over the definitions for words that would appear in a little piece about storytelling that they would read to themselves. After that they did exercises such as fill-in-the-blanks and a crossword puzzle. Lastly, the instructions called for them to write a story.

Two men from Mexico wrote similar stories about the Day of the Dead, which I learned is a primarily Mexican holiday in which families build an altar and leave food, drinks and other offerings to their deceased family members. If they don't do it, the dead will cause trouble.

I asked one of the men for the Spanish words – Dia de Muertos – and then asked him to repeat it for me until I said it right. I liked the fact that he was teaching me and I was teaching him.

This is a great volunteer opportunity because the students really want to be there. Plus afterwards, I went to the Don't Eat Lunch Alone networking event at Packards and talked to some interesting people.

1 comment:

PJ said...

I know all about Day of the Dead from living in Costa Rica. Sugar skulls were a big treat.

How 'bout those hairy Sox?