Culture Cluster

Language clubs appeal to both the intellect and the appetite


photo by Cassidy Kufner

Cassidy Kufner, Reporter

With over 70 extra-curricular organizations here at NASH, it can be difficult to decide which ones are worth cramming into an already tightly packed schedule.  But for students looking to expand their cultural horizons, language clubs are the place to be. With offerings in Spanish, German, French, Latin, and even Italian, language clubs provide students a unique way to enrich not only their listening, speaking, and writing skills, but also to satisfy their appetite.

At Spanish Club, students cook, hang out with friends, and revel in the delectable taste of foods such as churros, quesadillas, and flan. Sometimes they may sit and relax by listening to Spanish music, but often they are encouraged to join in on the food preparation themselves.

While you sit and enjoy your creation, one can partake in an educational and informative activity, such as a video on a Spanish speaking country like Venezuela. Not only does Spanish Club offer a chance to relax, eat, and socialize, it is truly an opportunity to learn a little extra whether you are currently enrolled in a Spanish course or not.

I am overjoyed to sponsor this club each year; the ever growing number of participants is clear evidence of how much they enjoy celebrating the very rich culture.”

— Sr. DiBacco

While super worthwhile, Spanish isn’t the only language worthy of recognition. Sponsored by Madame Stroud, French Club holds a monthly meeting for students to come and watch a French film, while simultaneously partaking in popcorn and drinks.

Traditionally, French students can participate in a competition where they bake a French Christmas cake — Buche de Noel. The cakes are then judged on creativity and taste, and a winner is declared.

The competition has proven so fun that North Allegheny alumni return just to join in. Senior Nicole Ru describes it as her favorite experience, and tells a little bit about it looking back, “We voted on the best taste and presentation, and it was awesome seeing everyone’s unique creations.”

Madame Stroud is even looking into partnering with French high schools so as to connect French and American students, allowing for cultural exchange to prosper.

JCL, Junior Classical League, is the hub for Latin students to unite after school. Most meetings have a service project, something like writing letters for retirement homes, or pairing with NAI for a canned food drive, along with a yearly PA JCL convention.

JCL members provide service to the community, but they also have a little fun of their own. Members of the club fondly look back on cookie decorating contests, and board game nights. “It’s just a lot of fun to hang out with friends and other students who enjoy this nerdy stuff,” senior Roman Hladio said.

While German Club, sponsored by Frau Brudnok, does not participate in festivities similar to that of the other language clubs, they spend the year preparing for a competition. Held at Washington & Jefferson college, members partake in different events held for German students.

The competition includes art such as paintings, sculptures, and drawings, while additionally encompassing other activities such as drama, technology, and music. All are welcome to join German Club, although a basic understanding of the language is essential.

And don’t overlook Italian Club.  Though NA offers no Italian curriculum, fans of Italian culture nevertheless come together regularly to celebrate Italian food and culture.  “The best part of Italian Club is the people who are involved,” club president Anna Capria said.

Deciding to learn another language can be daunting, and at times it can feel like you’ll never reach a comfortable level of understanding. With that said, choosing to participate in clubs like these allows one to see all of the best of the culture, and is truly rewarding in the age of globalization.