Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day #564 A Spanish Course in Miniature

The first Stella d’Oro hemerocallis (day lily) bloomed a couple of days ago. These teeny little daylilies are the brightest gold. Only two blooms so far, but soon that corner of the yard will be filled with golden stars (which is what the name means in Spanish).
Speaking of Spanish, I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this yet, but I’m taking the Pimsleur Spanish Language Course. It’s all on CDs, and I practice each morning for half an hour (1 track per day). This afternoon I ended up sitting in a medical office off and on for an hour and a half, having a repeat mammogram and then waiting for the results. One of the other women in the waiting room spoke Spanish, and I asked her a tentative question, figuring the worst she could do was ignore me. Instead, after a moment’s surprise as she tried to figure out what I was saying, she smiled and answered my question very clearly, as if talking to a three-year-old.
I thanked her and said, in Spanish, “I don’t speak Spanish very well.” No hablo Espanol muy bien.
“But you understand,” she said. Pero intiende. 
No mucho,” I replied, “no intiendo mucho. Pero …” and there I stopped. I didn’t know the word for I try, so I said it in English with a questioning lift to my voice.
Trato,” she said.
Si! Trato. Yo trato.” Yes, I try. I try.
Now, keep in mind, I’m not learning how to SPELL Spanish -- the Pimsleur course is strictly conversational, so if I offend your superior Spanish language knowledge, feel free to teach me (gently, please) as to the correct spelling.
The important thing is that I reached out despite my reluctance to sound ignorant, and learned a new word out of it. I also received a lovely smile of delight from the woman with whom I tried to connect and whose language I tried to honor.
That felt good.
And the mammogram? It was absolutely negative. All is well on that end of things.
BEEattitude for Day #564:
       Blessed are those who help others to learn, for they shall bask in the glow of knowledge shared.
The teeny details:
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AggiePete said...

Thank you, Lord, for good results! And good for you and your Spanish. When I lived in South Africa, I hadn't been here a week or two and was asked to fill in at the switchboard for a lunch hour at the company where I was employed .. talk about quick learning! But I loved it. Again, congrats on the mammo!

Fran Stewart said...

Total immersion is a great way to learn a language, but I imagine working on a switchboard must have strained the limits of just what is great.