It’s been a sombre week. The usually cheerful group of American students was listless after the election results which I assume wasn’t what they hoped for, like the 63 million other Americans who voted for Clinton.
With the onslaught of jokes, insults and accusations before the election and the hindsight comments after the election, these young people seem to feel that the future is bleak. I can sense they are embarrassed by the persona of the new president and truly nervous about what Trump will do or fail to do to keep the American dream going.
We had a chat in Spanish class on the day the election results were announced. Of course, I had a lot to say about this topic especially because we were given permission to speak in English. Was enjoying a good discussion and a captive audience with my wisely views of the world, you know being so old and full of life experience and opinions.
All of a sudden my professor interrupted me in mid-sentence saying “We should really take Spanish seriously.” Oh! I must have talked too much. “Lo siento. Tengo que hablar español en clase.”
“No, no” he said. “I mean with BREXIT and Trump threatening to build walls, the English speaking world seems to be isolating itself. So people should take Spanish seriously. It’s the second most spoken language after Chinese and besides Spain, you have most of South America to communicate with.”
That shut me up proper and made me think. How true! Now I’m more driven to get those wicked constipated conjugated irregulars. To give you an idea how they drive me crazy, let’s use the word “go”.
In English – I go ; You go ; He/She goes ; We go ; You(plural) go; They go
In Spanish, the word “go” is “ir” – the equivalent – (I) voy ; (You) vas ; (He/She) va ; (We) vamos ; (You) vais ; (They) van
Do you understand my problem now? How do the local kids learn all these and more? So my optimistic egotistic thinking that I can speak Spanish in a couple of months is unrealistic to say the least. No wonder my Spanish friends told me I was being overly hopeful.
Anyway I’m not going to get too hung up over this and continue to speak in the present for the time being. Reckon if I take one year to master the present tense of all verbs, it will take me six years to reach the future. That’s probably more realistic, just managing expectations here.
In the meantime, Spain has more to offer than grammar – the wine, cuisines of the provinces, culture, arts, history, nature, countryside, sports, people …
And another week of Spanish lessons.