Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Semana Santa

It's "Semana Santa" this week, or what we call "Easter holdiays," so the streets and sidewalks are virtually deserted since the locals have taken off to various vacation destinations. It's really rather nice to be able to walk to school without having to compete with hundreds of other school kids and parents shuffling their way through the neighborhood, and we can even cross the streets without fear of being run over. All the Mexican students at the university are on break for two weeks, so it's just us gringos on campus. That means shorter lines at the bathrooms and lots of available computers in the lab. Last Sunday there was a procession down our street of all the Catholics heading over to the church to start their religious celebrations; they were all carrying crosses made of palm leaves.  We'll see what sort of colorful, religious spectacles take place downtown this weekend.

We are in our third week of Spanish classes. Z is really progressing and picking up a lot. I'm getting stuck on all the different verb tense endings. Being a grammarian myself, I'm not having any trouble understanding the grammar and, in fact, enjoy studying it. It's just that there are so many different verb endings in each of the tenses, so it's hard for me to pull the right ones out of my head as I'm trying to form sentences. If I'm writing or reading, I have a much easier time, but speaking is a different story all together. Now I'm really seeing what my students go through in my classes while they're trying to learn English. Even just doing my homework, like writing a paragraph, takes forever! This has been a very enlightening experience, and I'm sure I'll return to Chabot with an entirely different perspective.

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