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When the End is in Sight

Mar 10th 2010: Travel

(continuation of Spanglish Matters)

The concept of “sink or swim” is fundamentally flawed. Suitable only for the kindergarten pool session it forces a harsh decision on the delicate shades of gray which make life so much more interesting. Would you like your steak plain raw or thoroughly through? 120-hour work week or unemployed? Binges or abstinence? Black or yellow? In the end we tend to grab for that big straw that allows us to breath and float underneath the surface without being dragged to the bottom.

By spending several hours a day on top of the regular Spanish classes on homework and brute force flash card memorization of the vocabulary of a three year old, I managed to significantly move up in the world. No longer am I the sad owner of the title of the worst student in class by far! but I am now proud to call myself one of the worst students in class. A hard earned honor. Blessed with the rather useless gift of being able to often finish grammar exercises faster than anyone else, faster even than the 15 year old, trilingual wiz kid, I am still left stammering when trying to explain how I spent the previous afternoon – a painful ritual at the beginning of every class. It is especially tragic since, unlike my peers who have spent their afternoons doing exciting touristy things (and are able to convey them), I spend my time the same way every day: first a two hour private class, then an hour commute home in an overly crowded, and I am talking nasty sweaty skin-on-skin crowded, hot and moist subway car. I then relax a little, go out for a longer dinner, the most exciting part of my day, after which I spend the rest of the cozy evening with my new friends, the indirect objects and the reflexive verbs. We really have a grand time together.
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