Saturday, March 8, 2008

First week of Spanish classes

We've completed our first week of Spanish classes. It's been amazing. We're learning so much, but we (or I should say I) are reaching a saturation point. Thank goodness it's the weekend so I can let it all sink in and review the past week's worth of work before we start again on Monday. 
In one week, we've covered the present progressive, past, past continuous, present perfect, pronouns, and tons of vocabulary and expressions. Z is in different classes from mine, but he's been doing pretty much the same only more one-on-one since his classes are a bit smaller (only 2 students). Yesterday we went to an hour long class on Mexican canciones (song). The teacher sang and played the guitar while we sang along with her. She taught us some of the traditional Mexican songs that you always hear but don't know the words to. Apparently we'll do this every Friday for one hour. Maybe I'll be the next Mexicano Idol!

I thought we signed up for five hours of instruction a day, but it's actually six and then we have the option of staying after for more classes from 2-4. We've been taking advantage of that and going to conversation groups and grammar workshops. All in all I'm very impressed with the program and have had wonderful teachers. Our schedules change every week, so we'll see what happens next week. It will be basically the same though, but we may get different teachers, classmates, or time schedules. Even though I'm sitting in class 6 hours a day (we do have breaks), I'm not bored. The time just flies by. 

There are lots of interesting people studying at the university: college kids, business people, doctors, retirees, lots of Europeans...Then there's a group of young college girls I met who are studying for the semester. One of their classes is next door to mine, so during break I asked them where they are from and they said, "Well it's a small college, maybe you've never heard of it...St. Mary's College." I said, "Oh there's a St. Mary's where I live. It's in Moraga." Lo and behold...they're from St. Mary's in Moraga! Small world!

I'm actually starting to understand basic conversations and can pretty much follow everything my teachers say during class. My reading and writing are getting a lot better, but speaking is difficult. There are soooo many verb forms and endings. It's crazy! The grammar is easy to understand, but at this point, applying the rules on the spot is almost impossible. So if I want to speak correctly, I just stick to the present tense! Who needs to talk about the past or future anyway, right? All that matters is the present! 

Practice, practice, practice...

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