Friday, June 09, 2006

A Step Forward

Finally, after much talking about how I really--no, REALLY--need to learn Spanish, I've signed up for three weeks of intensive Spanish classes at a language school not far from our apartment. I start in a week and a half, and the classes last for four hours per day. I hope I learn something. I hope I learn enough to at least get by at a bakery or in a restaurant, perhaps even in a shop. I hope, but I do not assume. I've long believed I lack the ability to speak or understand a foreign language. It never clicks; it never opens up to me. In college, I took enough French classes to be one class short of a minor in French--yet I struggled, struggled. I got A's on my written work, but speaking was another story. After class one day, my French professor called me aside, visibly frustrated. "You slaughter the language," she said.

Looking back, I see that perhaps this rather counterproductive observation was unwarranted. Regardless, I'm determined this time to actually learn words, capture speech, work hard, pay attention. To be unashamed to try my new language skills in the real world. To--this time--slaughter incomprehension and not dissolve into silence and linguistic humiliation.

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