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Modern Languages Mardi Gras means King Cake, costumes, contests

An abundance of masked strangers could be seen in the SUB Tuesday night.  Closer inspection revealed that behind the colorful costumes and elaborate masks were the familiar faces of students, faculty and even staff members, celebrating Mardi Gras in traditional New Orleans fashion. 

Organized by Dr. Shelton Bellew and the Modern Languages section of the Humanities Department, the event drew participants of many different academic persuasions.

Jondell Taylor WC´2015 emerged as the official "Modern Languages Carnival Queen".  Jondell is a freshman-residential-undecided major.  She is currently enrolled in Bellew`s Spanish 101 class.  Another competition was for best costume.  Competition was fierce, and garments as well as masks were highly artistic throughout.  Marguerite Bellangue WC´2015 won the Best Mask category hands-down.  Even though she is a fashion design major, her freshman status makes the award especially meaningful.

Both of these students respectively won various lagniappes:  An Italian pocket dictionary, Martinique T-shirt, a coffee mug in Spanish and a retro 1960`s spy camera-like pencil sharpener.

"This was a fun way to end Carnival season by allowing the students to represent their language of study.  We had Italian, French and Spanish language students who showed off their knowledge of the winter holiday."  The person making this comment was heavily disguised but sounded like her last name should rhyme with "Webster."  

Another Masked One, almost reaching the ceiling with his tall head gear, said "Mardi gras is the last day of Carnival before Lent starts in most romance language countries.  We wanted to share this cultural experience while having fun.  As they say in New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, Laissez les bons temps rouler! " .  A student participant summed it all up from behind her disguise. She endorsed the event saying  "I am a big believer in having fun while learning."


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The students who gave presentations during the event were:

- Devony Hemingway, Italian student, Freshman, residential, major PNSG, wrote and read a poem about Carnival/mardi gras.
- Kim Phillips, sophmore, Spanish student, day student, major PNSG, Synthia Dodd, Freshman, Spanish student, Day stustent, major, PNSG; Megan Barnette, Sophmore, Spanish student, Day student, major PNSG ; Rachel Henderson, Freshman, Spanish student, Day student, major PSY; Lauren Moore, Sophmore, Spanish student, Day student, major POT; and Teia Parsons, Freshman, spanish Student, day student, major PNSG. All of the above students gave a presentation in costume about how Carnival is celebrated in certain parts of the Spanish-speaking world.

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