Spanish 121 is keeping me on my toes. After 13 years of being completely self-employed, it’s novel to have to show up at a certain place, at a certain time, four days a week. Novel in the best sense of the word. Lily (my inner fourteen-year-old) and I get up at the same time we always have (5 AM, on the average); now, we also are cleaned up and ready to face the world well in advance of our 11 AM class.
It’s true what they say about writers. Some of them really do work in their pajamas most of the day.
This habit evolved organically, Lily. At first, I’d shower and dress after my morning workout, but when I got so involved with gardening at the new house. . .in spring and summer it just doesn’t make sense to get cleaned up until I’ve watered and weeded and planted and mowed myself into a sweat before the day gets too hot. I switch from PJs to my chore clothes and- –
But it’s winter now.
Ahem. Yes, it is. And I’ve realized something else by having to turn up in class four days a week: I tend to wear the same thing several days in a row. Seriously, do I have so little imagination fashion-wise that I don’t even notice I’ve worn the same maroon Henley all week? We’re learning colors right now. The most difficult color for English speakers is orange, the mysterious word anaranjado (or anaranjada in the feminine). To add more fun to Tuesday, I wore my bufanda anaranjada (orange scarf) to class.
And you were disappointed when the professor didn’t ask the class what color our scarf was.
True. Profe Adams had put us through that exercise on Monday, but on Tuesday he moved on to other topics. In my mind (a dangerous place) I’ve begun to equate the color orange with fun. For example, the cover of Huevos Verde con Jamon (the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham” for our English-speaking friends). My HP 8600 printer didn’t do justice to the color, veering more toward red. Visit your local library to see it in orange.
Always a good idea.
Thank you, Lily. What inspired me to immerse myself in this classic tale for children? Simple: I, too, am learning to read (in Spanish). The idea came from a homework assignment, a TED talk by polyglot Lydia Machova on how to succeed in learning a new language. In short, make it fun! You can view the full presentation here:
Another homework assignment makes me laugh every time I think of it. Presenting The First Semester Spanish, Spanish Love Song:
(Warning: a musician friend, who thought the above video was hilarious, observed that the guitar’s B string is flat. . .)
Bonus website: a friend who travels a lot (particularly to Italy) shared the Coffee Break Languages website:
Lily and I have barely dipped our neophyte Spanish toes into this resource but we plan to try out several of the twelve-minute lessons this weekend.
Because learning something new is fun!
You said it, Lily. I hope my classmates are having fun, too, and that if they become lifelong learners and sign up to study a new language when they are sixty (a thirty-three year distance for the most ancient of them) they, too, will feel like their world is still in active bloom and filled with possibilities.
Subscribe To Susan's Newsletter
Join the official mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Susan D. Matley. It's free and you can opt out anytime!