During the week of January 31 through February 4, Solebury School hosted our annual Global Education Week! The week is designed to share various cultures and perspectives with students and faculty, with the goal of developing a deeper understanding and awareness of the world around us.
To kick off the week, the community enjoyed a Netflix watch party for Calcio Storico. One of the most brutal sports in the world, Calcio Storico is a Florentine tradition that began in the 1600s and is still played today by the Florence districts. Because of how violent the sport is, it can only be played three times a year, with games lasting 50 minutes at most. View the trailer here.
Travis Evans-Sago is a Ph.D. student in the Hispanic Linguistics program at Indiana University. Travis specializes in sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, pragmatics, and discourse analysis. He is currently examining the speech perception of socially indexed cues, such as those pertaining to sexual orientation, by first and second language speakers of Spanish. Travis discussed why it’s important to study linguistics and how language can give insight into various cultures. To end the presentation, he had students participate in an exercise where he described three Chinese learners of Spanish with different educational levels and various settings in which they learned the language. Students then listened to three sound clips and tried to figure out who the voices belonged to based on the background information provided to them.
On Tuesday and Thursday, World Language Tables were set up in the dining hall for students to stop by and learn common words/phrases from other students, faculty, and staff who are fluent in Spanish or French.
Students started off the day learning about our exchange programs in Barcelona and Switzerland from past participants Isaiah Ginsberg-Henry ’20, Henry Eastburn ’22, and Adam Mohn ’22. They discussed what to expect during the program, the similarities and differences of the cultures, and some of their favorite sites and experiences. We were thrilled to catch up with Isaiah, who is now studying political science with a concentration in international relations at Saint Louis University Madrid Campus!
The Spanish Club held a Hispanic candy tasting contest. Students were able to sample Skinkles (Mexican), Turrón (Spanish), Barrilete (Colombian), and Supercoco (Colombian) and then vote for their favorite.
Vanessa Luna spoke to the Spanish III class about community-based fire management in the Peruvian Andes. Vanessa is a Ph.D. student at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on an in-depth immersion into Quechua communities to investigate the why of uncontrolled fires, the impacts, community resilience, and the role of other stakeholders. She discussed how fire is necessary for some ecosystems, how prescribed burns work, and how to live with fire and learn to use it for our benefit.
Assembly featured a conversation with Fatima Daryabi ’23, moderated by Adam Mohn ’22, Amelia Watson ’23, and Annalise Houghton ’24. Fatima described growing up in U.S. occupied Afghanistan, and how suddenly her and her family’s lives changed after the U.S. withdrawal and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban. Despite the current situation, she remains optimistic about Afghanistan's future.
On Wednesday night, Carlo Pinilla '25 led a cooking class and taught us how to make delicious chilaquiles.
Scott Eirinberg founded The Reluctant Trading Experiment in 2012. He never had any interest in the spice business, but after receiving a package of pepper from a friend in India, he discovered that not all pepper is the same. Scott shared many images from a trip he took to see how the pepper was being harvested and talked to students about how his reluctance changed after tasting the spice. He explained that many people have never experienced fresh spices since they can normally sit in warehouses for years. In thinking about the farm-to-table industry Scott decided to reach out to restaurants as a farm-to-table spice provider and the business took off from there!
Our financial math class was joined by Kyle Powers, CEO of LibertyPay, to learn about bitcoin and crypto-remittance payments. He shared a blockchain demo and gave an overview of what bitcoin, hashing, and bitcoin mining are. Kyle also discussed how he launched the first cash-to-bitcoin kiosk in 2014. Students peppered him with questions, and each student who asked a question received some bitcoin of their own!
Charlotte Gheorgean is a magistrate in the German court and joined our Spanish and French classes to talk about how studying abroad can shape their future. Charlotte discussed similarities and differences she discovered between school in the United States and Germany from her time studying in the U.S. for ten months when she was 16. She also discussed her time spent abroad in Australia and France, sharing that these experiences helped her experience different cultures on a deeper level than in the classroom and put her on her career path. When asked what advice she had for students taking part in an exchange program she recommended talking to people who have done the program before, reading travel books on the area, and not being afraid to speak the language of your host county.
During Arts 2, Ali Eckstein ’22 led a wonderful discussion of “Girl,” a short story by Antiguan-American author Jamaica Kincaid.