If you couldn’t get people to read, then try video. For one class (the Class of ’87), I gave an assignment: in groups, prepare a video in English to present to the entire class. Simon Brand had just received a SONY video camera from his grandma, and as you can imagine, he already had it in his blood. Together with his cousins Danny Farucho Camhi and Eddy Tawil, and the help of Cadosch, I believe, they planned the perfect arrest. In the days of Miami Vice, these mavericks filmed “Chico Vice”: the car comes down 92nd Street and enters the garage at the Brand building. The agents run up the stairs with their pistols at the ready. They break open the door and capture the Mafioso shaving in the bathroom! True drama and the beginning of Simon Brand’s career.
Apparently both Simon and Becky Haya had a bet to see who would be the first to become a millionaire. I don’t know which one was first, but they have both found excellent success, in two very different fields. Becky in investment banking.
Years later, Simon gave me a call and asked if I would be willing to give English classes to his girlfriend. “Who is your girlfriend?” I asked. “Claudia Bahamon,” he responded. I had no clue. I have never been much on keeping up with “farandula”. In any case, I gave Claudia several classes, though she was quite a busy lady. Until one day she announced that she and Simon were getting married! Wow. Marvelous! So, since Claudia is from a Catholic background, and Simon Jewish, I decided to write something up about Biblical marriage, including both cultures. (After all, I had gotten my own Jewish education while teaching at the Colombo Hebreo). Simon and Claudia both liked it and asked me to read it at their wedding with a Justice of the Peace, and quite a lively bunch of party-goers, at the walls of Cartagena, in both English and Spanish. It was a beautiful wedding and I considered it a very great privilege to be invited to participate!
Years after that, Simon was invited as the guest speaker at the Graduation of the Hebreo. I don't remember the year. A wonderful talk of encouragement for the students, with Claudia present!