Diversity within colleges is at an all-time high, with students from foreign countries traveling to America to further their education. In order to help students understand the need to appreciate diversity, the Department of Foreign Languages has sponsored at Foreign Language Week.
The first event of Foreign Language Week was “Palabres/Palabras: French-Spanish Poetry Jam” in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. This event was an hour-long poetry session where foreign language students shared poetry not in their own language, but in either French or Spanish.
Micah McCrary-Dennis, 23, a senior industrial and manufacturing engineering student from Atlanta, Ga., was able to convey his poem in French thanks to a feel and passion he claims to have developed for the language.
“Well after taking a course in French poems and psalms, I just adapted to the way [my teacher] taught me. I just learned how to fell the language while speaking. I try to bring the language to life myself,” said McCrary-Dennis.
The poetry jam began with readings from Spanish language students, including original compositions from 3 of the students. Jasmine Alexander, 19, a freshman biomedical engineering student from Dallas, Texas., was able to impress the audience with her original poem “Vas a Ser Mi Amigo?”
“My poem was about a friend and it described the characteristics I see in my friends daily,” said Alexander.”
When asked if it was difficult to write a full poem in Spanish, Alexander replied “[It was] muy facil. I plan on taking Spanish as a minor.”
After the first round of Spanish poetry, the French student took the stage, reciting pieces from influential poets of either Haitian or African descent including Leopold Senghor and Bernard Dadie.
The final group of was comprised of students majoring in Spanish language. Each one chose and recited a specific Spanish language poem.
Both the audience and the professors were impressed while watching students successfully convey feelings and emotions in a language other than English. French Professor Yvonne McIntosh claimed to be “very proud” of her students who were involved with the poetry session.
“It’s not easy to get up in front of a group of people you don’t know. They came by [my] office several times in order to practice. They did very well.”
The poetry jam was only the first part of three days of events for foreign language week.
“This is a start,” said McIntosh. “We do programs in coordination with the Study Abroad program and we encourage our students to do trips through that program.”
The Department of Foreign Languages is still looking for ways to raise awareness about the programs here on Florida A&M University’s campus. Foreign Language Week ends today with an event in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication on studying abroad at 1:25pm, room 2073.