It’s been two weeks since I started Spanish classes. The initial jubilation—I can make a sentence! my pronunciation isn’t that bad!—has given way to a more realistic assessment of my abilities and how very far I have to go.
Our class has covered so much material: present tense; simple past; gerunds; imperfect; plus-que-parfait (I only know what it’s called in French); simple future; replacing direct and indirect objects with articles and pronouns; a variety of prepositions; and of course, a long list of vocabulary. I feel my head about to go under water, and I think my classmates Alex and Ramon are in the same place.
On Tuesday I went on the outing organized by the school to I could get in some practice speaking. A young teacher named Matías, just back from a year of travel in northern Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, took Ramon and me to Lago Gutierrez in the afternoon to enjoy the scenery and drink mate. Pete was in his private lesson so I brought Lou, too. Matías was patient with my fractured, error-filled Spanish, and I surprised myself with what I was able to say.
There’s something about the classroom dynamic—maybe because I suspect the teacher is constantly evaluating—that can make it harder for me to perform well there. Language learning as an adult is such a head game!