Un momento de plena atención 
Miriam Sellers, Spanish Teaching Fellow

Sometimes it is necessary to take time out of our busy day to reflect on our experiences and to be in the moment. We often incorporate this mindfulness practice into Spanish class by beginning class with un momento de plena atención, a moment of mindfulness. This may include listening to the birds sing, practicing gratitude for the natural beauty that surrounds us, or observing nature with our five senses. Recently, Spanish students reflected on their solo camping experience, which involved 1-2 nights camping solo in Lowenwood. Students first reflected individually on their experience and then shared their experience with each other. All in Spanish of course! Here are excerpts from their reflections translated to English: 


What did you do during your solo experience? ¿Qué hiciste durante los solos?
I took fotos (photos) and wrote cartas (letters). I painted, practiced yoga, relaxed in my hamaca (hammock) and cooked quesadillas. At night I looked for spring peepers.


What was the easiest part and the most difficult part of the experience? 
¿Qué fue la parte más fácil y la parte más difícil?
The easiest part was cooking and relaxing. The hardest part was building a fogata (campfire) with the viento (wind). 


What did you learn about yourself? ¿Qué aprendiste sobre ti mismo?
I learned that I can be independiente (independent). I learned that I enjoy spending time solo in the woods. I learned that I am stronger and more inteligente (intelligent) than I thought. 


What did you learn about nature? ¿Qué aprendiste sobre la naturaleza?
Nature is noisy! There are so many ruidos (sounds) to listen to, including the call of the cisne de trompeta (Trumpeter Swan) and its alas (wings) in flight.


What surprised you? ¿Te sorprendió algo?
It surprised me how quickly los días (the days passed). I could have stayed out longer. 


How do you feel about the experience? ¿Cómo te sientes con respeto a la experiencia?
I liked the oportunidad to live more simply. I am grateful for this unique oportunidad (opportunity). 


Would you consider repeating this solo experience? ¿Piensas repetir la experiencia?
¡Si, si, si! Yes, yes, yes! I enjoyed being sola in nature. It was a relaxing, peaceful time to reflect. 


What would you do differently next time? ¿Qué harías diferente la próxima vez?
I would take a warmer sleeping bag. 
I would camp for más días.
¡I would bring más chocolate!

Students sitting outside around a fire pit reflecting in Spanish.
Students writing reflections on clipboards.
Student sitting alone contemplating their camping solo.

Photos contributed by Miriam Sellers, Spanish Teaching Fellow.