Some days, not often enough, I have great clarity of self; I walk by mirrors, or through them, and I see the real me. I feel my true being. I feel this real person that frosted filters placed by a lack of confidence or a misplacement of my soul prevent me from feeling.
….. . . . … .
The Spanish assignment is going well.
My dialect is a mix of who knows what, since I have learned and am still learning from people from all over. My teachers have been my students (funny) from Mexico and South America and actual Spanish teachers at the high school from Latin America and Spain. I’ve taken almost every opportunity I’ve had to learn from them, though some days I can hold a decent conversation while other days I can’t put two words together. (To be fair, some days I can’t put two words together in English.)
For an hour and a half every morning for the last week, my classroom has become its own small country in which virtually no English is spoken, and in this small country of mine I’m not practicing casual conversation but teaching kids math concepts and, ironically, how to interpret language usage. It’s an exchange of describing the meanings of words and sentence fragments and whole essays, me describing what I understand things to mean and a little boy describing what he understands things to mean, and a lesson in how to read math word problems in English by learning how to pick out the important stuff and focus only on the bare minimum information necessary—a skill I teach anyway but lately in an entirely new way. The experience is incredible. I don’t realize how immersed I am, how completely separated my mind is from English, until I step out of the room to talk to someone and catch myself speaking Spanish unintentionally.
Someone from the country beyond the border of my classroom door came in today to watch me so that she could make fun of the gringo language-butcher she expected to find. I didn’t notice her off in the corner, but later she told me she was there and that she left because she was both surprised and disappointed that I didn’t meet her expectations. She wanted something to poke fun at, but I didn’t give her the satisfaction.
I feel at home, and I feel like I’m actually doing something.
And I came here not so much to tell of my adventures with Spanish but to say that I feel like a normal human. I came here to say it was a good day.