I am a multi-lingual young man. I have been speaking English all my life and I have also become fluent in Pig Latin and Ubbie Dubbie.
Yet I have always struggled in Spanish class. I took my first class in Spanish when I was in 7th grade. My teacher was a Venezuelan immigrant who’s only qualifications for being the Spanish teacher was his ability to speak Spanish. (They did not consider his ability to speak English). After that year it had become apparent to everyone that he was a man who spoke Spanish. …That did not make him a teacher.
In 8th grade I had a wonderful young lady who was teaching for the first time. She actually challenged us to learn something, and we did learn the most basic of things, but since we were being taught in the 8th grade, she didn’t think to go back and teach us the 7th grade year that we should have been taught. Thus, nothing made sense.
Then freshman year in high school rolled around and I decided to take Spanish 200 because every student needed a 300-level Spanish to graduate. I figured if I could fudge my way through 200 and 300 then I wouldn’t have to take 3 years of Spanish in high school. My freshman teacher was a wonderful lady who actually taught us some Spanish, but I think she may have been ill-prepared for our lack of preparation for her course. I was able to slip through with an average grade in the class.
Finally I had my sophomore Spanish class. The teacher that year was a certified communist who spent a vast majority of our class period decrying America’s horrendous treatment of the Latin American countries. So while I should have learned the conjugations of present-tense verbs, I was learning about the American-funded removal and killing of the democratically elected leader of Chile.
For what it’s worth, I learned a lot about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. … Unfortunately, I learned no Spanish.
Three-and-a-half years later I found myself in a Spanish class again. This time in college. At CNU we are all required to pass a 200-level language class. I was in Spanish 101 and I was planning on kicking some ass at the subject.
So my friend Lynsie and I decided it would be in our interest to flash-card the crap out of our Spanish 101 class. We succeeded so much more than either of us had expected so when Spanish 102 rolled around we rolled over to Harris Teeter and rolled out with 1000 flash cards ready to become vocabulario.
That’s just from a semester of 102. Now we are in 200. We are ready to create a pile that will rival the Trible tower. Only one thing is certain: We can, and will defeat the Spanish.