So I started my summer Spanish class yesterday. My other class, on language assessment (related to ESL), began on Monday and I am really enjoying it.
My Spanish class? Not so much. How bad is it that I can sit there in class and explain how I know she is a bad teacher? I mean, she is friendly and well-meaning, and helpful in providing vocabulary and structure when students want to give individualized answers to questions in the text.
But then she deals with grammar.
Maybe it is the linguistics major inside me. Maybe I just can't stand it when a teacher gives an inaccurate description of why a certain grammar structure works the way it does. Like when she was explaining the Arabic influence on a certain Spanish construction:
"Me gusta el gato" is the equivalent of "I like the cat." It really translates to, "the cat pleases me." Word by word:
"me pleases the cat."
She was trying to explain why it is backwards, and she said it is because Arabic is written right to left.
I was so frustrated! It is a different grammar system - nothing to do with which direction they write!
Plus, other people are having such issues following the grammar stuff. I am not, because of many factors:
a) early experience with two very different grammar systems - English and Hebrew - leaves me more open to learning new grammars
b) I did learn some French - even if I have forgotten most of it
c) my linguistics background
d) I am just good at learning grammars
But other people don't have that, and they are struggling.
Anyway, it is frustrating.
That having been said, there is one convenient thing about the class:
We miss two instructional days to visit a museum and a restaurant on our own.
Next Tuesday, I will be going to a museum. (Lemme know if you want to come. I am thinking Museo del Barrio.)
The Tuesday after that, I will not be going to a restaurant.
Instead, I will be at home, relieved that I only have half a day of classes on a fast day. :)
So that is a very good thing.
As for the restaurant, well, I am going to try to find a kosher one that sells cuisine from a Spanish-speaking country (I am open to suggestions) and, barring that, I will just write up something about Jewish Sephardi foods instead. (which she said is okay. As I said, she is nice.)
As for the sunset part, well, twice a year, the sunset aligns with the east-west blocks in the city. Which, as we know, are not actually east and west. Anyway, it happens on May 28th and July 12th. (I am not crazy. I looked it up today on a website.) And today was sunny and gorgeous. And digital cameras are convenient because I could look at the viewscreen instead of the sun, and thus not hurt my eyes.
Anyway, I got some pictures.