Friday, November 2, 2012

Adult Education

I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but in order to effectively do the job that I accepted in South America next summer, I will need to speak fluent Spanish.  My Spanish is currently, uh, a little rusty.   It is fair to say that my Spanish use has been purely recreational in the past.  When I signed on for this job, I was excited by the prospect that I would get some Spanish tutoring to help me get up to speed (and learn a more professional vocabulary that I used in say, the clubs in Barcelona).

It is completely fun to be studying and learning again.  It's been YEARS since I was a student.  On the other hand, the methodology my tutor is using is bothering me, so much so that I just tried to buy my high school Spanish book online, because the structure made so much more sense to me.  I'm not sure what I imagined it would be like to work on my Spanish, but I didn't think I'd spend an hour spelling words out loud like we were at a deranged Spanish spelling bee.  (Gabriel, He-Ah-bey-ere-ee-eh-elle, Gabriel).  Boooo-ring!  I need to give it a bit of time to see if it gets better, but I might need to switch instructors and go with a different process.

Day two of preschool seemed to go well.  I don't know that this is the ideal preschool for us.  This morning, when I asked the teacher how Miss M did yesterday (there was only one other student in the classroom at the time), she sort of craned her head to look at her and then clearly couldn't remember anything about her.  There are only like eight kids in the class, so it really should not have been hard.  When I specifically asked her whether she'd napped and if she'd eaten lunch, she couldn't remember.  "I think she was okay?" she said, but it was clear that was a guess.  I suppose that means that there were no major issues, because she probably would have remembered those.  I think it's likely that it's more of a daycare and less of a preschool, but I'm trying not to be all Tiger Mom about it.  It's preschool, and she's not even three, and I'm sending her more for the social aspects than anything else.  We're only here for seven months, and she still has two years of preschool after this, because her birthday falls in January.  I keep reminding myself that this place does not have to be the be-all, end-all, and the point is for her to have fun and enjoy herself.

We got there about an hour earlier today than yesterday, as I had an early meeting this morning, and it was clearly the hot drop-off time.  The classroom was full of kids having full-blown meltdowns about being left at daycare.  And my child?  Yes, she would be the one who could barely pay attention to me long enough for me to say goodbye.  The teacher tried to distract one of the distraught children by telling her she could paint, and that was all Miss M needed to hear.  She wanted to paint--who cared that mommy was leaving?!  She did not look back at me even once as I told her I was leaving!  I'm glad she has that confidence.  She was really excited to see me at the end of the day again, and was utterly exhausted by the time I picked her up.  I think she might benefit from shorter days, or perhaps longer naps.  She's a regular two-hour napper, but I suspect that she either isn't sleeping, or wakes too quickly due to the noise of the other children.  She also is getting up an hour earlier than normal.  I put her to bed an hour earlier tonight, too, hoping that she'll get a good night's sleep and wake well-rested in the morning.

I like to write in the morning, before anyone else is awake.  It's so nice to be in a silent house with a hot cup of coffee and some quiet time for myself.  This morning, however, I fell back asleep for an hour after my alarm went off, and had to race to get us to school and work on time, so there was no time for writing.  I, too, was exhausted upon arriving home, but I made myself hit my writing target for the day. I can see that more than anything, NaNoWriMo is going to be an exercise in discipline.  I don't find the idea generation or the writing to be particularly hard or time consuming--it's just making myself sit down and do it.  Well, you know what they say--90% of success is just showing up.   It's reaffirming for me that anything is possible, if only you take it one step at a time.


Michele said...

Muy bien!!! I liked HS Spanish way more than college Spanish; I found the approach completely different. But I'm very much a visual learner, so I did way better with reading it than other ways.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I would love to learn Spanish. I took French in school, and my translation degree is in Hebrew, but what would actually be helpful to know is Spanish. Something would have to give to start taking lessons (maybe the guitar lessons?), so I'll just live vicariously through you right now. I'd love to hear more about the lessons as they unfold.

Jess @ said...

I haven't had spanish in a very long time. I'm sure mine is even worse, despite 6 years of it.

Good luck with the writing :-)