It is no secret that Wellesley College offers endless opportunities to help students succeed and improve. One of the most notable ways in which the language departments achieve this goal is through their language tables, held once a week in varying locations across campus. The Spanish department has many tutors and hosts that attend these get togethers multiple times a week to speak with other Spanish-speaking students and practice their skills. The director of Spanish Tables, Aislinn Díaz, is one such student and a driving force behind the proficient Spanish heard among Wellesley students.
Born and raised in Dallas to a large Texan family, Díaz has always been fascinated with the Spanish language and working with people.
“I love meeting new people I otherwise wouldn’t get to know and talk in Spanish…in a low-key environment,” she said, adding that it has been a really important part of her Wellesley experience. She feels that the premise of Spanish tables, “talking to people, getting to know their stories, and just being social,” makes them the perfect opportunity for her varying interests and personality type.
While Díaz didn’t always know she wanted to be involved in an event like the Spanish Tables, she always felt a calling to the Boston area and all of the outreach that was possible there. Her older sister went to Babson College and recommended she visit Wellesley, which she was so glad she did as “it felt right.” Now a senior, she has had ample time to take advantage of all that Wellesley has to offer. Taking various courses to complete her psychology and health & society studies as well as working as a research assistant and TA in the psychology department, Díaz doesn’t have much free time, but she makes the most of what she has.
Díaz not only enjoys her time at Spanish Table, but also her entire experience at Wellesley College. The community at Wellesley is a significant reason as to why Díaz has demonstrated such a commitment to the Spanish tables. She appreciates the ability of the diverse and changing community to “create different experiences” for so many people as it allows for an environment that is reflective of more people. Díaz loves that so many people can find their own space and group to grow and flourish within all while on the same campus.
While Spanish Table is typically advertised to students in the Spanish department as a way to practice their literacy skills with peers of varying levels, all Wellesley students are encouraged to attend. People can come to the tables with a bilingual background in Spanish or no prior knowledge of the language whatsoever, and they will be welcomed in with open arms. Díaz feels that Spanish tables are “a great excuse to meet new people,” that they are “so rewarding!”
Another benefit of Spanish Tables that Díaz notes is the minimal time commitment. Spanish Table occurs once a week for about an hour around lunch time in dining halls, common spaces, and social areas so they are extremely accessible for all schedules. The tutors are always available to speak conversationally, focus on specific topics, or help with difficult assignments in a conversational setting and they are extremely helpful for those that utilize them. If nothing else, stop by the next Spanish Table to meet some new friends and enjoy a vibrant meal!