My first official Spanish class took place last week. Now, to be fair, I had a couple of more informal lessons from a lovely lady who now counts as a friend, however, now being (informally and illegally) employed as an English teacher, I get a perk of free Spanish classes.
Now, I was very clear on becoming "employed" by the School I work at, about my extremely limited Spanish ability – and that I needed beginners classes. I assumed in the all the various dialects and accents of English, that beginners mean exactly what it says, beginner. Clearly, I was wrong.
I attend a class with a French man and a Russian lady, both of whom can speak Spanish it seems, since they know all the 100000000 verb forms and the tenses, and they understand the whole masculine and feminine thing (every single noun is either male or female, and, it seems, verbs change depending which it is). So there I sit in my class, and the only feeling I can relate it to, was a couple of Law exams many moons ago, where I swore I studied a text book, but that the lecturer drew the examination paper from another text book that I never saw before. You know the feeling. Panic....and then...blank.
Then, to top it off, the teacher insists we speak only Spanish in the class. I in principle agree with this proposal, however, to speak Spanish when I have no idea what someone is saying to me, just defeats the purpose. Then to ask me a question in Spanish, and expect an answer in Spanish, is just torture. Of course I am then struck dumb and have no idea how to even say that I don’t understand. I can see why the Spaniards were such scary warriors...their teachers are pretty damn frightening.
As such, I am convinced I am the worst student in the world, that the teacher knows I have no bloody idea what she is saying (the blank look must be an indication), but if I have learnt anything in my studies and life, it is that you can prove yourself and other people wrong. So my motto for this learning Spanish thing is to give it horns and just do it. What else am I supposed to do?