Sobremesa group begins

Connections form through sharing meals, speaking Spanish together


Kristie Scriba and Theo Calfeteanu ’23 converse during the Sobremesa group meeting on Dec. 1 at NC after school (Garrity/LION).

Katie Garrity, Reporter

Organic, loose, fun. All words teacher Kristie Scriba used to describe LT’s new Spanish conversation group, “Sobremesa.” Even before the pandemic, Scriba had the idea of forming a conversation group at LT, the idea stemming from her own experiences in college in a group called “Tertulia”, she said.

“I thought, there’s no time like the present,” she said. “I reached out to some of my students from last year to help get this off the ground, and we had a planning session for how we wanted to run things. We planned the meeting, and it went great.”

The student leaders include Ella Lanspeary ‘23, Karolina Polik ‘23, and Eric White ‘23. The group had their first meeting last month, on Nov. 3. The students shared a meal and had a casual discussion about Day of the Dead and school, Lanspeary said. 

The word “sobremesa,” meaning “over the table,” comes from Spanish culture, referring to the time spent after meals when one relaxes and talks. 

“It’s a way to engage in casual Spanish conversation, get practice, and get to know other people in a no-judgment zone,” Lanspeary said.

The club is casual and informal, and allows conversation to flow between students, which they typically don’t have time for in class, White said.

“A lot of time in class, when you’re forced to speak, you end up doing a lot of prep beforehand,” White said. “With [Sobremesa], students can have more natural conversations and get used to the language.”

Sobremesa is open to all students interested in speaking in Spanish with their peers outside of class, whether they take Spanish or not. 

“I think that some kids might feel a little hesitant to perform in their language,” Scriba said. “All you need is someone to walk in the door with, so you can bring your own friends, and you can make the experience what you want it to be everytime you go. Mostly I want it to be a place where kids can connect, and grow their language skills.”

Sobremesa is not a club at LT just yet, but is in its early phases of becoming one, she said. The next scheduled meeting is Dec. 15 in NC room 318 after school.

“We’re hoping to send it down the path, where we pilot it, and it becomes an official club at LT,” Scriba said. “It’s been very organic, born of conversations at LT.”