~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Hablo Espaniol!

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.

It is confession time around here.

I took 3 years of Spanish. I hated EVERY year of it. Every day of it, if you really want to know. During my first year of Spanish, my teacher refused to speak a lick of English all year (and it only went downhill from there). We even had to pick Spanish names. Mine was Elaina. I simply hated that she refused to speak my language or call me by my real name. I mean, I WASN'T Elaina and I didn't know ANY Spanish. When she called out my "name" it took me a while to figure out that I was the Elaina who was holding up the lesson.

It was a dark time in my life when I realized that I was expected to take 3! years! of Spanish. Why, I would wonder? I would NEVER use Spanish. Why waste my time and my credit hours? I searched for loop holes. I researched other languages to see if they were any easier. The truth became obvious. I would do the bare minimum to survive.

I was a good student in school. I took honors classes and challenged myself in most subjects. I was self motivated and wasn't afraid of hard work. That is until I entered the world of Espaniol.

My Spanish teachers often described a very different student to my parents. "She is quiet, lazy, unprepared, and does not participate in class," they would complain. They seldom shared that I usually earned As or Bs on my assignments. I could study enough to pass the written work, but the class participation was always a struggle for me. When my teachers would ask me why I was a completely different student in the hallways, I would always say, "I don't speak Spanish."

So, I left high school fearful that Spanish would be my demise. I mean, what if I had to take MORE foreign language in college?

I was thrilled to discover that Elementary Education Majors did not have any foreign language requirements. El Ed and I were meant to be! (And, no, that is not why I became a teacher, but it was an added bonus!) I was no longer afraid to admit that the only phrase I took away from 3 years of Spanish was, "No hablo Espaniol!"

That's right, I'll own it. No, I can't ask where the restrooms are, or how anyone is doing, and I don't even know any bad words. I remember nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So, fast forward to my life today. I often find myself surround by Espaniol. I mean, ordering a hamburger from McDonald's often has me crying out, in the middle of the drive thru, "No, hablo Espaniol!" Drat! Those 3 years of Spanish sure could have been handy today. But, it doesn't end there.

We bought the kids a cheap TV for their wii playing. We put it in the playroom and it is only for movies and game playing, with permission. The problem is that the darn TV is mocking me and my poor Spanish skills. One of the kids set the TV on the Spanish mode. (They say it was an accident. Yeah, right!) Every time I go to use the remote, I am greeted with Spanish on the TV screen. You can flash all the Spanish words you want at me, but if it isn't "No hablo Espaniol," then I have NO idea what is being communicated. I can't even make my TV "behave," since it is officially smarter than I am.

So, to all of my Spanish teachers, I am sorry. No, I will not say that in Espaniol. And, my name is not Elaina. But, I should have worked harder.

Maybe then I could order 3 happy meals for my kids without drowning myself in tears of frustration...


Boy Mom said...

I missed having to take a foreign language by a year or so, I'm old. I had a high school friend who was Spanish speaking teach me a few bad words. I can call the person messing with my happy meal order a "poop stain." Really useful!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Mr. Here,
I LIVED in Germany and took two years of German. I was the same student. Language does not come easily to me. I hated every minute of German class. My teacher was nice though, and I got to keep my birth name. I remember going on a field trip to Prague with my German class. So our German class, in Germany, went to a city outside of Germany, for a field trip. Not sure what that was about! My biggest take away is that i before e is not the same rule in German. I still to this day have no idea what to do with my i's and e's.

Auf Weieder Sehn.

Theresa said...

I'm your polar opposite! I LOVED taking Spanish. (I took 4 years!) And am currently doing a refresher course with my husband (who had a LOUSY Spanish teacher in High School!) that is taught by one of Mrs. Lemon's good friends.

It's wonderful to be able to help the Spanish speaking bank customers!

Sir Nottaguy-Imadad said...

One night while my MIL still lived here, I put a western dvd in the player and switched it to spanish. We watched the first 10 minutes without incident. I think she didn't say anything about not understanding it because she was afraid I would ask where her hearing aids were (she only wore them for special occasions). I switchd it back and we watched the whole movie in english ( I still don't know if she could understand it).
I still remember "Donde esta el bano?" from high school. I was told that it's a phrase we all need to know.

Jewel said...

I would love to know how to speak spanish! *sigh* Because there are so many spanish-speaking people in our area now. Why did you have to take THREE years of spanish, for heaven's sake?

Ruby Red Slippers said...

I had three years in High school, and didnt have to do it in College...every minute was torture, for me too!

Imperfect Mom said...

I took French. You know, due to the large numbers of French people migrating to America.

Okay, I took it because I thought it sounded pretty.

Ironically, the only words I retained (for the most part) are cuss words. I took two years in high school and one in college and I still wouldn't know how to ask for a bathroom unless I could use one of the cuss words I know.

On Stage said...

This is soo funny that I am laughing out loud! You didn't have to take Spanish in college as an education major? I did!!! Two semesters! I hated it!!!! I must have learned something because one of my instructors told me I was the best student he ever had. Then he asked me out on a date! He wasn't even good looking. I said "no" to his date request and continued to surf through the rest of the semester. I always thought that I couldn't speak Spanish , but I was actually much better than most of the other students. Words would come out of my mouth without me having to think about them. Weird!

Fast forward 20 years.... I don't remember a lick of what I learned!

Suz said...

"Yo habla un poco espanol" I mean I can ask you where it hurts,and for how many days. I also can say a few body parts. I've given up on saying that phrase because once I say it to one of my patients I recieve back jibberish, I can't understand what they answer back. 2yrs high school spanish.

I thought you were going to say that the only instructions packaged with new TV for setting up the TV and the game system where in Spanish. LOL

Mother Mayhem said...

I'm an American. I speak American. Fluently. I'm told it is the hardest language in the world to learn. I feel accomplished. :o)

I had French and Spanish my freshman year of high school. My schedule was messed up. It's a wonder my head didn't explode. I remember NOTHING.

mommy4life said...

Lo Siento....

Donde esta al bano?

Puedo ir al bano?

Que hora es?

Bedises those few phrases, I can only catch a word here and there and count! After 3 years of high school Spanish and 1 year of college....

so hopefully I can apologize, ask if I may go to the bathroom, ask where the bathroom is and what time it is next time I am at McDonald's and still manage to get the happy meals...

Mummy McTavish said...

I learnt Indonesian in primary school and Japanese for year 7 &8 (yes, my school couldnt get their primary and highshool students learning the same language)

I remember little of the Indonesian but I can ask you your phone number and where you live in Japanese, I can count and do a few other not so useful things too. Thankfully though I don't need it much if at all.