Tag Archives: Spanish

I’m Baaack

My husband called me from work and asked when I was going to post my next blog.  Well, I’ve been a wee tad busy the past couple of weeks.  Our Swedish friends left the farm two Thursday’s ago because my girlfriend had her conference to get to in Orlando.  Oh yeah, that, the whole point of the trip – work.  They decided to stay the last couple of nights in Orlando since she had to work (ugh!).  We talked on the phone after they arrived, and they said they had settled in at the hotel, she had been to one of her conferences, and the kids had immediately found the pool.  They also announced that she didn’t have any conferences the next day, only Saturday, so they asked if we’d like to join them Friday to go to a theme park.  We met a family at Universal Studios who were sprinkled with orange and blue (oh my!). 

So we got a second good-bye.  It was a very nice week.  Saturday, we got back on the road for the 12-hour drive back home for me to prepare for surgery.  I went into the hospital last Monday morning and hung out for a couple of days.  They treated me really well.  I got a morphine drip hooked to a little button that I could press whenever I needed it.  Because they gave me that, I forgave them when they came to take my vitals every 2 hours.  When they told me that I was ready to go home after two days, I decided I could live without the morphine (they sent me home with some good replacement drugs) and the every other hour vitals checks. 

Last night, my husband took me for my first outing in a week.  I went to my clase de español.  I warned the few who sat around me that if I started speaking something other than English or Spanish, that it was the drugs talking.  One guy who sits across from me said he’d never heard me speak so much before.  From what I remember it was all okaaay…

Maybe I should stop with that for today.  I need to go take a pill, or did I just have one at lunch time?



Filed under ♦♦Family Experiences♦♦, ♦♦Me Experiences♦♦

Back to the Books

Now that my kids have been back to school for 3 weeks, it’s my turn.  Last night I started the second half of a Spanish class I started in the spring.  Then, the class was held during the day and mainly consisted of senior citizens, most wanting to have a better understanding of the language when they go on missions trips with their churches.  They had some neat stories about their travels to different Spanish-speaking countries.  This time the class is at night and is full of people more around my age.  I’m sure I’ll gradually find out their reasons for taking the class.

I took Spanish in high school, and since the French I learned 3 years ago has stuck fairly well with me, I thought I’d give Spanish a whirl again.  I don’t think I can beat the training we had with the military program, but I figure I’ve got nothing to lose in trying (except the $65 I paid for the class).  I need to be a bit more disciplined than I was in the spring though.  I’ve bought lots of Spanish workbooks and even language tapes and cds.  I’ve downloaded podcasts to my ipod.  I’ve listened to a few here and there when I’ve had the chance.  But I think actually going to the classes will help the most.  In the spring I studied a little between the once-a-week classes but not nearly as much as I did with the French.  Maybe the fact that there were tests and grades with the French class motivated me a bit more and that the class was held every weekday probably helped as well. 

When I first started researching blog spots a month ago, I came across some foreign language blogs on livejournal.com.  There were quite a few posts by people who are trying to improve in a second language.  I found one girl who speaks English but grew up with a Spanish speaker at home as well.  She is now trying to improve on her French which she took in college.  We are in the process of meeting on line and trying to set up a way we can help one another.  I hope it works and that this might be another way to improve on my Spanish. 

As I continue to look at other blogs, it is amazing all the info out there in cyberspace.  One website I found is a little different than others, experienceproject.com.  I think it’s a neat concept.  I found it while searching for military families who are getting ready to separate/retire from the military.  I found a posting there by a woman who is having a hard time adjusting to civilian life; as a result I met a slew of others with similar interests to mine.  I met a brand new Navy wife last week who is getting ready to move to Guam; it will be their first duty station.  She seemed so excited yet nervous, but I think I helped alleviate some of her worries. 

The internet is a great place to learn new things, meet new people, share experiences…  I could spend hours on the computer sometimes.  But I don’t think it can beat face-to-face interaction.  So, I’m off for now to go learn and share with my family.

Hasta luego!


Filed under ♦♦Family Experiences♦♦, ♦♦Military Experiences♦♦, ♦♦School Experiences♦♦

Yo hablo. Sie sprechen. Nous parlons.

There are almost 7,000 languages in the world today.  Wow.  After Chinese, English is the most widely spoken language.  That makes it easy for us English-speakers; we think we really don’t need to learn another language.  We are required to take a language in high school.  I took Spanish, and I don’t think I could hold a conversation with anyone hispanic at all.  I could point and grunt one- to two-word sentences, I think.  Buenos días!  Cómo estás?  Gato.  Blanco.  Hasta la vista.

When it was time to attend war college a couple of years ago, my husband got to choose which one he preferred.  Most go to Rhode Island (Navy) or Alabama (Air Force)… He, however, is a big language nut.  He can say, “It’s a beautiful day!” in more than 20 languages.  He has been all over the world, thanks to the US Navy, and has always tried to converse with the locals.  So, he chose L’Ecole Militaire (the French War College) in Paris.  But before we went, we got sent to beautiful Monterey, CA for 6 months so that he could learn French first.  When we got there, his class consisted of only 5 military personnel, so they asked if any spouses would like to attend as well.  So I got to go to “work” with him from 8 – 4 every weekday and learn French too.  It was one of the most stressful 6 months of my life.  We have 3 school-aged children who are used to having a stay-at-home, volunteer-at-school, help-with-homework mom.  I was a I-have-to-study-too mom for those 6 months also.  When we arrived in France, however, I was a most thankful mom to have learned the language.  Granted when I spoke, they knew I wasn’t a local, but they understood me, and I could have a decent conversation.  And I think I still can.

We decided to put our children in a bilingual school in Paris, as opposed to the American or International schools that a lot of others did.  We wanted our children to learn the language as well.  Half of their courses were taught in English, the other half in French, so they learned French fairly quickly.  French K-12 schools are tougher than most American ones.  (When you get to university level, it’s the opposite.)  From what I can tell, most European children begin to learn a second language at the elementary level.  And it’s not half an hour a week.  It is a regular, everyday course. 

Right now, we are having a small tug-of-war with our kids’ high school.  We are trying to convince them to move our freshman daughter up to French IV from French II, as we didn’t know until her older brother took French II there last year after first arriving back to the States, that the level they took in France was much higher than we thought was parallel with US language class levels.  After he suffered (from boredom) the first semester, we asked his teacher to move him up to level IV for the second semester.  She wouldn’t budge, so he suffered (from boredom again) in French III.  Last year, they offered only French I year-round in the middle school, so we encouraged our daughter to take it just to keep her French alive.  She was bored beyond belief, but it was her easy A course, I kept trying to convince her.   This semester she has a different teacher than her brother did last year, and the teacher is noticing that our daughter’s ability is beyond the French II level.  So it may be a little more promising this time around.  On verra…

With the hispanic population increasing in the States, I am finding Spanish might become a little more helpful.  So I have decided to brush up on my “second” language and am taking a course at the local adult learning center.  I often find myself saying a French word instead of a Spanish one, but it’s not as hard for me as it is for some of the others as there are a lot of similarities between the two languages (and the back of my brain is gradually opening some locked filing cabinets from 20 years ago).  I may never use it, but I am having fun. 

Es un día bonito!

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Filed under ♦♦School Experiences♦♦