A key ingredient of my teaching philosophy is to provide students with opportunities to link what we learn inside the classroom with the "real world" that exists beyond the university's walls. This is the reason why in my telenovela class and seminars I've always included phone conferences with people who work in the telenovela industry. (In previous years, I've had as guests Julie Restifo, Daniela Bascopé, Carlos Cruz, Edgar Ramírez, Marisa Román and Leonardo Padrón).
Thanks to these conversations, my students were able to hear Leonardo Padrón explain the details of his creative process, describe the everyday life of a telenovela writer, list his major concerns and satisfactions as he tackles the difficult, absorbing and exhausting process of writing a telenovela, which is a product of industrial dimensions.
It was a truly special class in which all involved learned a great deal thanks to a couple of conversations that were enjoyable, sincere and gratifying.