Tanisha Drummer Parrish

Class #1: The Spanish Beatdown

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke

Today was the first day of Spanish class and I feel like someone just slapped me in the face. I haven’t felt like a complete idiot in a long time.  It’s never fun feeling dumb and it’s even more frustrating when you feel like you’re not going to be able to learn the information you need.

First, all of the teachers only speak Spanish and force you to as well. I know this is probably the best way to learn, but it’s frustrating as hell when you can speak 0% and can only understand about 25%. I mean EVERYTHING is in Spanish. Even my workbook in todo espanol! There are no English translations for anything and the instructors teach all lessons in Spanish. I guess I used to the way foreign language is taught in the US, with a combination of English and Spanish. Perhaps this is why most people who have taken language classes for years still can’t speak it.

After class I felt a little better when everyone I talked to said their class was hard. My friend said she only understood 20% of what her teacher was saying and her Spanish is pretty advanced. She was lucky enough to be able to drop down to a lower class. Unfortunately, I am at the lowest level, translation = remedial and cannot go down any lower. WTF?

After class there was a welcome dinner for all the new students where we were all supposed to practice our Spanish. I was so worn out by that point, that I had no interest in speaking Spanish to anyone. Most people ended up speaking English, which everyone knew regardless of where they were from., but there were a few who were so happy to practice Spanish they didn’t know what to do.  This overly excited French woman started talking to me for about five minutes in Spanish with no pause. When she finally stopped, I looked at her with an exasperated version of “the look” and responded with a slow, “No entiendo”.  The people are all very diverse and from all over the world. They range from college students to Baby Boomers. The dinner was good idea in theory, but I was not in the mood. So I went home, did my homework and went to sleep. I’m still jet lagged so I couldn’t wait to get bed. Recap: I woke up  7:00 am, took a Spanish test, walked about 7 miles throughout the city in the morning only to catch a beat down in four hours of  class, sat through an extra hour of a woman speaking (in Spanish) about women in Spain, 2 hours of dinner, then homework and to bed about 1:00 am. Espanol-1, Tanisha-0.

Mood: Exasperated and tired.

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