Students as Producers: “¿Dónde está él?” (“Where is he?”)
The CFT’s “Students as Producers” theme year culminated in our end-of-year event, the Celebration of Learning. As a part of the celebration, an exhibition of 25 student projects from all four undergraduate schools showcased a wide variety of student work. This series of blog posts highlights some of the student projects from the exhibition.
Student: Christopher Cindrich
Project: ¿Dónde está él?
Course: SPAN 203
Faculty Sponsor: Karin Davidovich
The chance to compose a short story in Spanish for Spanish 203: Introduction to Spanish and Spanish American Literature with Professor Karin Davidovich turned into a personal and immensely rewarding experience for rising junior Christopher Cindrich. On April 21st, 2014, Cindrich read an excerpt and a translation from his story “¿Dónde está él?” (“Where is he?”). In order for students to demonstrate their understanding of literary movements, Davidovich asked her students to write stories that contained characteristic elements of the styles studied in the course. Cindrich chose Surrealism and Moralist (moralejas) literature for his retelling of an event that shaped his childhood.
“At the age of 27, my mother became a widowed single mother,” Cindrich said during his introduction to his reading. Writing about what that experience might have been like for his mother was a unique opportunity to bring his reflections on grief and growth into his coursework. After his presentation, Cindrich mentioned in our conversation that this story also embodies a significant step in his development as a Spanish speaker. “This story was very special to me, not just because of the content, but because of the process. This was the first story I’ve ever written where it actually came to me, line by line, word by word, in Spanish, instead of in English.” He describes his own sense of accomplishment by describing the story as “that moment… that spark of ‘Wow! This was written in Spanish, first priority.’”
He is very grateful to his teacher for giving them the chance to write in Spanish and in their own voice, and to his mother who inspired his story.
Christopher Cindrich talks more about the value of this assignment in this video.
See more student projects and explore all of our “Students as Producers” activities by viewing our full list of resources on the topic.