Mi Clase de Espanol

Posting has been light, likely due to the fact that I am trying to memorize vocabulary, verbs, and grammar, as well as trying to learn the pronunciation of words that often look just like English, but sound so very different. Given that I start in Spanish with no previous classtime, I am somewhat surprised by how much I have picked up in just two weeks of class. Whoever said that learning a language was best done by immersion was right, mostly. Every day, for one hour and 45 minutes, in class, and lots of study daily. It helps that our professor, who normally teaches much higher level Spanish courses, converses with each of us every day. He is building our ability to hear more complex Spanish, understand it, and respond accordingly. 25% of our grade will come from an oral evaluation at the end of the term. Even with that, quizzes and tests that include an oral portion which requires us to answer questions based on his words are still very tough for me.

Let me just note for you Spanish speakers that I am finding el peritite confusing, and I have developed a strong dislike for irregular verbs. Not until today did I figure out that a verb could be irregular if only one conjugation, in one tense, was different from the standard declension or spelling! Now that I have that clear, learning the patterns of spelling that produce irregular conjugations will be much easier.

Also, unlike the years of elementary school and high school French that I took, today’s curriculum introduces us to cases and grammar in a much different way. Now, it’s all about learning the rules for specific cases, not memorizing tables and applying them to lists of verbs. I’m not saying it’s more effective, but it does seem to work.

But, bottom line, I’m thankful to be in classes this summer that rely on memorization, hard work, and perserverance. During this mathematical sabbatical, I am rebuilding the confidence that I had begun to lose in the Spring. Abstraction distraction (if I may) was doing me in. This work, at some level, gives me the confidence to believe that I can handle Biology. If I can memorize, and work hard, I will do it.

Don’t think we can make the same claim about that third calculus class, though.

Hasta luego!

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