Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

I have had a few memorable Spanish students since I began teaching, but some are more unforgetable than others. Some I vaguely remember. For example, one female student, I don’t even remember her name. Or anything else about her. I only remember that she was petite, had black hair, caramel-colored skin, and she always sat in the front row, right in front of me. Well, I actually remember two things about her that were quite memorable. Once after class, she told me the Spanish word for muslim, “musulmán,” was the same as in her language. However, I don’t even remember what language she told me she spoke. But I remember our conversation quite vividly.

The other incident that I remember occurred on Halloween. I usually bring chocolate for my students on Valentine’s Day and candy on Halloween. I started passing out candy when I noticed that UIC students sometimes wore costumes for Halloween. I enjoy giving them candy. I’m not sure why, but I do. Anyway, on Halloween, I passed out candy at the beginning of class and put the rest on my desk in case the students wanted more. Everyone was on time, except for the student I’ve been describing. She came about ten minutes late and was about to sit down at her desk right in front of me. Suddenly, she noticed the candy on my desk and stopped to take some–without even asking! She didn’t even greet me and she was taking my candy! “Buenos días,” I told her. But she still didn’t greet me. Her back was to the class so I noticed that she was wearing the red and yellow uniform shirt with a big “R” for Robin, Batman’s crime-fighting partner. Finally, I said, “It’s okay for you to take some candy since you came in costume.” She gave a puzzled look.  “It’s Halloween and you’re wearing a costume,” I said. “This isn’t a costume. I just like wearing this shirt,” she said. Well, the class and I laughed at this. She just stared at me blankly and sat down. And sure enough, she wore her Robin shirt several more times during the rest of the semester.