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The week before midterms in Intermediate Spanish class

November 8, 2012

Barbara Sawhill


A tray of legos


The week before our midterm break is such a hard time. Vacation is just days away and suddenly your body chooses to conspire against you and break down and take in the latest cough or cold, making all of your plans for being highly productive disappear. There is not enough tea and sleep and time to get through what you need to get done. Work seems insurmountable. Deadlines creep closer. Anxiety abounds.

It is not a great week, in a language class, to begin something new. As exciting as the pluperfect subjunctive might seem to me, I know it will need to be re-introduced once we come back from break. So I use the time in class to slow down, regroup, review what we have done and reflect upon what is left to be done.

Enter the storage container of Lego® that I keep under my desk for moments such as these.

Here was the assignment:

Using the Lego® blocks in front of you, construct something that represents what the last two weeks of the semester have been like for you. Be ready to explain your creation.

Here are some of the things that were created.

A lego structure with a lego person

This is Christal. And Mudd Library. They got to know each other really well this semester.

A lego person with many heads stacked

Jake felt like he had 7 heads, he said, because of all the knowledge he was absorbing from his classes.

A lego bed

Grace found out she had mono 2 weeks before the midterm break. She spent a lot of time in her bed, and not by her own choice.

A lego structure with a window

Lee is the figure to the left, inside and looking out the window...watching everyone else party and play.

After class I asked the students to blog about their creations in Spanish. You can see all of their posts here.

The Lego® box is now back in my office, ready to be pulled out the next time we need a change, a jumpstart, a new way to use the language and to share ideas with one another.

Never fear... it will be back.

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