Goodbye Alfredo. Hello Maria Jose. That’s my new Spanish teacher. She’s from Spain and a fellow teacher at my school. When she speaks she sounds like a 45 record on 78 speed. That’s fast. After she’s done pelting me with Spanish questions she stands back and assesses me with her head cocked, an amused look on her face. I carry a stunned expression on mine. I require a v. long response time. First, I latch onto whatever words I can untangle from the stream that just poured out of her smiling mouth. Next, I decide on the meaning of the question. Then, I begin the round- up. That’s where I search the dusty files of my brain for known words that will fit into the blanks of the answer I’m trying to piece together. Finally, I tell Maria Jose about 10 times not to interrupt me no matter what I say. I tell her that I may appear to be finished, but pauses aren’t periods. They just mean I’m dusting more words off and plugging them into my growing sentence. She zips her lips closed and throws away the key. I DO NOT look at her under any circumstances. That will cause explosive laughter to erupt from both of us. Then I begin. After 45 minutes of this I had to mop the sweat off my brow. Practicing Spanish is exhausting. And hot. Midway through today’s lesson 2 more Spanish-speaking teachers sat down at our lunch table. They all started firing questions at me. One of them told a dirty joke. Raucous laughter broke out. Everyone looked at me eagerly, expectantly. Did I, would I, get the punchline? No, alas I would not. Someone shrugged. Someone else clucked their tongue. Maria Jose sipped her coffee and looked at me out of the corner of her eye. Sizing me up. Thinking about what she’d gotten herself into. I may not understand Spanish jokes yet, but I know exactly what she was thinking as she thought ahead to Monday’s lunch lesson. Somos jodidos.
I was thinking the exact same thing.
This appropriate mailart (up top) from SHE of the Mighty Moon Pies was tucked neatly in my mailbox when I got home. A perfect gift for my first day back at work. Thanks Nik!
Down below, at the bottom, is some of my mailart that finally made it safely, albeit slowly, to its new home. And of course a couple of visual journal pages thrown in for good measure.