On Wednesday, Nov. 6 the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of languages, literature and cultures held a poetry jam. The event served to appreciate all the various language courses taken across campus and allow students to share their hard work.
The event consisted of three separate components that allowed students to showcase their work. A poster presentation option, workshops in which students and faculty worked on language-specific activities related to poetry and an open mic session for students who love to recite poetry.
As students made their way into the Cone ballroom, they were able to sign their names on the colorful print paper and grab free coffee and muffins for breakfast.
Shortly after, the room began to fill as classes arrived, which caused tables and seats to dwindle. Many students had to sit on the floor or stand against the walls.
Despite the large crowd, everyone was attentive when the speaker, Tatia Beal, came to the mic and announced the commencement of the event, inviting students to line up at the stage to recite their poetry.
The first poems were presented by students taking Spanish courses on campus. Although there was no set organizational pattern for the students, the first few poems were original and related to the student’s personal lives with a focus on being bilingual and stuck between two cultures.
Students were able to use poetry as an outlet to expand and express their feelings about cultural differences and marginalization. Many of the students discussed the things they liked about their cultures as well as the alienation caused by being a part of two different cultures.
Many of the students that presented were native speakers, however, Professor Ximena Gonzalez, a visiting assistant professor of Spanish, had a class of nonnative speaking students recited poems from famous Spanish poets and translated their original work.
Following the poetry, musical performances by students featuring both covers and original songs.
Student, Kelsy McAnelly performed “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” by Selena, allowing the full participation of the audience. Students, teachers and other visitors joined in and helped sing along to the song, while dancing, clapping and moving around the room with the McAnelly.
According to Campus Weekly, “The mission of the LLC initiative is to highlight LLC’s diversity, common love and respect for all languages and cultures, as well as the desire to instill in our students an appreciation for cultural diversity through language and other forms of cultural expression.”
LLC hosted an entertaining event and hopes for even more student engagement and opportunities soon.