OK, so, we’ve been here in Taxco, Mexico for a little over a month now. As you may remember, 5 of us cruisers are sharing a house and have enrolled in Spanish language school at the local university. Last week was our midterm exam (a week late, so it was really a “you’re past the halfway mark so you really better know this shit” exam.) We’ve learned a lot about a lot, and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve learned even more about myself.
So. How is it to be a full-fledged, prime-time, card-carrying grown-up, and taking college courses to learn a new language? It’s hard as hell, that’s how it is. There is homework. Every night. And when homework is done, I still feel like I have more studying to do. So I give myself a guilt-trip for not doing MORE, especially if the others have their noses stuck in the books. So I go to bed every night and dream about Spanish. Not in Spanish, but about Spanish. Words and phrases. Unfortunately, what I’m dreaming about takes flight with first light, so I’m not afforded the benefit of reaping that knowledge.
But it’s not just learning words and phrases, it’s conjugating verbs, for crying out loud!!! See, I envisioned conversing with the locals using my new-found fluency, my words, not trying to figure out if we or they or she is doing the action, and in what tense it was done!!! Holy S#it!!
Nada. Is this a cruel joke? Has someone given me the wrong test? This is Espanol Basico 2, not Advanced Mandarin, for christ’s sake! As the blood drains from my head I’m sure I’ll pass out. Or cry. Maybe both. OhpleasejustpassoutJules…don’tcrydon’tcrydon’t…
I do neither, and the second question looks vaguely familiar. Maybe this is the right test, after all.
Ok, so the written part is over, now time for the listening comprehension portion. This, by far, is the worst for me. For one thing, I have been so focused on learning new words, and conjugating those pesky verbs, that I haven’t balanced that out with actually carrying on a meaningful conversation with a Spanish-speaker. Secondly, Adulthood played a cruel joke on me and robbed me of my hearing. Yep. Your’s truly has had hearing aides since I turned 52. And even with them in, I still can’t for the life of me decipher what the people on the test DVD are talking about. It’s all just jumbled and mumbled together. I Got Nothin’.
The oral part is last. Should be cake. Never have I had a problem talking. However, my little spiel I concocted is given entirely in present tense, since that’s all we’ve learned so far…
I like to travel on trains because trains are fast, but not too fast, and I can eat and drink on a train. And I can sleep on a train.
And if I drag it out in my Spanish-Southern drawl, maybe my 5 minutes will be up.. No? Not yet?
There are beautiful landscapes (I don’t know that word, so I say it in English with a Spanish accent) from a train and trains are fast but…..
Did I tell you that I got Zika? Yeah, I got sick and went to the Dr. the day before my exam. He looked at my blood-sucked, scabbed-up, bite-ridden legs and put 2 and 2 together with the physical feeling that I had been hit by afore-mentioned train.
But there was no way I was putting the exam off, I didn’t want it haunting me all weekend, I needed it over and done with.
And so it is.
And I passed. No, not with flying colors. But I passed. And it’s been a week today since I got diagnosed with Zika and I’m on the mend. And now everybody in the house is sick with something different, except for Jeff, and I hope he doesn’t get sick because I’m a terrible nurse.