Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spanish Woes

This morning I resolved that I am going to kick ass in Spanish. I have been doing fine in the class, but I have the feeling my teacher doesn't like me. I give her simple answers in class that make everyone laugh, but make me look like an idiot. I need to increase my Spanish vocabulary so I can appear to be more intelligent in Spanish.

"It's like I have two brains," I explained to a random person after lunch, "An intelligent English-speaking one and a blatantly stupid Spanish speaking one that agrees with everything."

Si. Si. Si.

I went to Spanish class, which went relatively well. We talked about our childhood, which was fine until she asked me about mine. I do not have the vocabulary to tell her the truth, so I just made up lies about my upbringing using words I already know. Apparently my parents are rich and they used to drive me around the city in a Porsche. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Afterwards I had one-on-one conference with my Spanish teacher, which was disheartening. The whole conversation was in Spanish. I am trying to do my Spanish conference project on the theme of exile in Cuban art. I explained this to my teacher and she asked me if I planned to develop the project more.


She asked me what artists I was looking at, about the history of Cuba, and what I hoped to find in my research.

"Ah... yo no se." I don't know.

She said that my project needs more development. And I would love to develop my project more, but I cannot do it using the 200 words I know in Spanish. She looked disappointed when she asked me about what I was doing as far as research. She told me to read some articles and to get a grip on Cuban history. And to develop my project more so that I have a thesis.

I felt defeated. I am going to try and talk to my don tomorrow to see how I can develop my project more. I will talk to her in English.

But I still want to increase my Spanish vocabulary. So I bought some index cards at the campus bookstore, and I am writing down words that my Spanish tutor says I should know.

"Trago" Shot (of alcohol).
"Resaca" Hangover.
"Borrachar" To get drunk. 

My next Spanish class will be great.

So tomorrow I am supposed to occupy Wall Street and write about it for Buffalo Alternative Press. Here is some of the advice I received.

Buffalo: "Bring a cloth handkerchief and some water just in case they use tear gas. And if the cops talk to you, it's 'yes sir' ad 'no sir'. Be agreeable unless you want to get hit on the head with a club."

Ohio: "Do you have a number of a law firm? Here, take this one. Write it on your arm when you go, because they'll take your stuff if they arrest you. You only get one phone call. So call the number on your arm."

Buffalo: "Do you need to know how to make a Molotov cocktail? Use your Snapple bottle, those shatter nicely."

I am excited to be the stereotypical protesting college-student. I just wish I knew what I was protesting.

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