Hello! My name is Peirce and I am a 12th grader at Westtown. For my independent project I am studying soccer and the role it has in history and in culture in both Spain and some countries in South America.
I decided to study this after discussing the possibility of an independent study with my former French teacher, Dan DiMeo. I took Spanish 5/6 last year with Profe Monica and really enjoyed a lot of the readings and movies we used to learn about both history of Latin American countries as well as topics that are current in today’s culture. I have been taking Spanish classes since I was in pre-school and hope to continue to master my proficiency in the Spanish language with this course. I also love the sport of soccer, as a fan and as a player. This combination of my love for soccer, the Spanish language, and the importance of soccer in a lot of history and current affairs in both Spain and South America, led me and T.Dan to creating this independent study.
I have started my study with Spain, first learning a broader history of the country by reading 2 chapters in , A Concise History of Spain by William D. Phillips and Carla Rahn Phillips. This is the only English text I have used, but it was helpful to have a better background understanding of the country. Next T.Dan and I both read two articles, “Alma, Corazón, Vida: La ‘furia española’: así utilizó Franco el fútbol y así le respondieron los nacionalistas” by Héctor G. Barnés, and,”El nacionalismo vasco en la historia del Athletic Club Bilbao” by Alejandro Quiroga. These articles discuss both the Basque region of Spain and how Athletic Bilbao represents that whole region, and General Francisco Franco and his use of the Spanish national team as propaganda for his political dictatorship of Spain. After reading these, Dan and I met and discussed these articles, speaking in Spanish about how the two topics connect and why they matter.
As we get into the course, I will start to take over the research of articles and materials to read and discuss. T.Dan has been very helpful getting things rolling with his already extensive knowledge of the subjects. He has showed me what types of articles are good for getting what we need to get out of them to understand our research and draw conclusions about why it matters.
Looking toward next week we are delving into Franco and his connection with the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid.