Second Language Surprises

My head is spinning with convoluted conjugations. My brain is struggling, fighting to remember the difference between preterite, and imperfect and future and . . . and . . .  my mind goes blank.  It’s my first day in Spanish 203; my first Spanish class since high school over four years ago. What was I thinking?

In the back of my mind, my teacher from all those years ago is whispering in my ear that I’m a failure. She somehow had the power to make me feel like I had the intelligence equal to a fly on the wall. Entering another language class was beginning to feel like an exercise in self-torture.

“You only have to get a C,” I kept reminding myself, without much optimism. To my surprise however, by the end of the day I found myself motivated to go home and review the words ahead of time. And guess what? I liked it!

Somehow a four-year absence and a chance to heal my wounded pride and was able to surpass years of being taught that I was incapable of learning. My realization that day was that I was not bad at learning another language. In fact, I’ve found that each day is a new surprise that I look forward to, so much so that might even continue past the required class for my degree and try to attain the goal I’ve kept suppressed for years: become fluent in another language.

2 thoughts on “Second Language Surprises

  1. Aaron says:

    Good for you and way to go! I am sorry to hear about your horror story with verb conjugations and what sounds like a lack of belief or investment in students’ ability to learn–sounds terrible and not very communicative.

    Después de (o durante de) aprender el español con fluidez, ¿que vengas a aprender el alemán con nosotros? 🙂 De todas maneras, ¡que tengas mucho éxito en tus estudias continuadas!

  2. Whitney Jacobson says:

    ¡Aaron, gracias a ti por su comentario! Quizás aprenderé alemán después de terminar mis clases de español. Siempre, he querido aprender muchas lenguas del mundo y ahora hay muchos oportunidades en Portland para practicar y conversar con otros.

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