“FLAN” excites in its exploration of foreign languages and cultures

This year’s Foreign Language Awards Night, held May 20, was quite a success, featuring numerous cultural performances and recognition for Walpole High’s talented language students. Mandarin, German, Latin, French, and Spanish students were rewarded for both their performance in the classroom and on the national language exams.

Julio Valdez opened the evening by serenading the audience with his original compositions on the piano. The Germans then performed a lively skit about our destruction of the environment that was translated into English for those members of the audience who were not fluent in German. Senior Julia Richardson was not only awarded for her success on the National German Exam with her fellow German students, but also received state-wide recognition for her significant dedication to and achievement in the German language. The Mandarin students, who will be visiting China this summer, impressed everyone with their fluency in a skit which was conveniently translated for the audience as well. And senior Emily Russo danced in a very elaborate Irish dance costume to feature yet another cultures.

The French and Spanish performances, however, were the most entertaining. Mrs. Frattasio’s French IV students sang and danced with great skill to Celine Dion’s “Pour que tu m’aimes encore”; the three soloists, juniors Astrid Quinones, Jill Welch, and Katie Holle were well received by the audience. The French V Honors and A.P. seniors, under the direction of Mrs. Osborne, danced in silhouette to the French rap song “Bouge de la”; their performance was cute, especially the parts performed by the boys who cart wheeled and danced on each other’s shoulders. But the climax of the ceremony was “Es que tu no eres para mi” by the Spanish V A.P. students; Senior Carolyn Cawley, sporting a blonde wig, impersonated the lead singer Fanny Lu and was flanked by numerous back up dancers as she used a voodoo doll (Bert from Sesame Street) to hurt the boys in the class. All of the performances this year enlivened the ceremony in their embrace of other cultures.

Of course the most important part of the ceremony was the induction into the Junior Latin Classical League (orchestrated by Magister Bakale) of those students who received 90 or above every term this year for Latin, and the stage was packed with these Latin scholars. The remainder of the evening consisted of the presentation of awards to Spanish, French, and Mandarin students, as well as select awards for those especially talented students in more than one language. Junior Katie Landry won the Middlebury Book Award for excellence in language and an interest in Environmental Sciences.

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