Was it a coincidence ? I am not sure. It just happened.
Francisco (Suarez Ordóñez) had already passed the Proficiency exam and was not very keen on sharing the same materials with his classmates who would be sitting the exam in December 2009. He was not quite sure what else to do in the afternoon but, as he enjoyed reading, he did spend most of his time with books he brought to the class.
One day, our Vice Principal, professor José Palandri, saw him with a book in his hand and asked him what he was reading. It was J.D.Salinger´s “The Catcher in the Rye”. Knowing that he is one of my favourite writers, Mr. Palandri asked me if I would be interested in working with Francisco on a project about Salinger´s stories. I said yes, of course, and was delighted to hear that Francisco was also interested in sharing my own research on this writer and the teachings of Zen Buddhism. We were soon engaged in the selection of different issues related to this project.
Francisco added to “The Catcher in the Rye” other stories by Salinger
– including his novel “Franny and Zooey” – and we invited his classmates in the Proficiency group to make contributions to the project by doing some research on “Religions in the World”.
Towards the end of our academic year, Francisco became the lecturer on “J.D. Salinger. His teenage rebel and Zen Buddhism” illustrating his talk with images and references to other thinkers. His classmates provided insights into other forms of belief all over the world.
Ever since I conducted research and the workshops for the Literary Club of St. Bartholomew´s School about ten years ago, it was a new experience sharing my own work in Literary Criticism with students at this level.
This time it was individual work with group support. Challenging. Rewarding. Amazing.
I am very proud of Francisco and I am very, very happy with the response from our Proficiency group.
Susana A. Tersaghi
– Miss Susan –