Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lessons in How to Destroy Your Self Esteem

In case you ever find yourself in a place where perhaps your self esteem is a bit too stable, or you feel that your sense of self worth is finally secure, or that you may actually be semi-intelligent, I have discovered the cure-all for all forms of self assured-ness: simply attempt to learn a language. Seriously, you'll be remedied without delayed. As in, pronto, unhesitatingly, and tout de suite. That's pretty darn fast.

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Guatemala, I am making a very valiant effort to reacquaint myself with the Spanish language. This will be my first experience in a foreign land with foreign people who speak a foreign language. That's alot of foreign-ness. I have long wanted to speak another language and discovered that this trip was the motivation that I've needed to actually do something about it.

So, to I went to order Level 1, Latin America Spanish CDs from Instant Immersion. Which is guaranteed to prepare you for everday conversations on Spanish-speaking countries in just 8 easy lessons. Mind you, I have hardly uttered a syllable of Spanish in 6 years....

After a week of anxiously awaiting the arrival of said CDs, they finally show up on my doorstop. Oh, joy!! I eagerly popped in lesson one... And, what do you know, those 2 semester of Spanish in college were actually worth something. I flew through it. I even almost remembered how to pronounce all the letters of the alphabet. I recalled words like "house" and "but" and "hello." Oh, joy!! I was well on my way to being a full-fledged speaker of foreign-ness!

Then came lesson 2. And all the fun of lesson 2 that came in the form of verb conjugations. I mean, really, that's just unnecessary. Ugh. Right away, I opened the window of my apartment and tossed out my self esteem. It was gone. No longer did I feel smart from my 32 weeks of Spanish in college. No longer was I bouncing around the kitchen, cooking dinner, and repeating after the very nice sounding lady on the CD to my cat, who just looked at me as if I am insane. Which is nothing new. She looks at me that way often.

I have to say though, the nice sounding lady on the CDs is very encouraging. After she must so clearly hear my flawless (ahem) repetition of her lovely Spanish through the speakers of my laptop, she says that I have done "muy bien" or "excellente." Its quite kind of her to be so supportive. Its like having my own personal language cheerleader, minus the pom-poms and short skirts.

Midway through lesson 3 (which had loads of vocabulary and more verb conjugating than I'd like to even discuss. I had to not only learn -ar verbs, but -er and -ir verbs too. That's just asking way too much), I decided that it was time to break out the big guns. I bought flashcards. Oh yeah. Watch out Guatemala, here I come! The flashcards have brought me knowledge of the Spanish equivalent to "oyster and "cow," which, clearly, I need to know before traveling anywhere outside the country. I now feel prepared to communicate effectively. I'll just answer every question with "la ostra." If nothing else, I may get some food out of it.

So, with the all-powerful flashcards in hand, I am ready to conquer lesson 4. In which I will learn how to count to 100, discover even more verbs that will need conjugating and, hopefully, some more nouns involving food. I like food. Food is my friend.


Happy Mama said...

Too funny!:-)
Yeah, nouns involving food are the most important ones. food is my friend too.

When I came here I kept saying sourcrap instead of sauerkraut. Gary thought this was because I didn't like it.

Um, and when are you going to Guatemala or however it is spelled?

Ceidra said...

Yup, you were not kidding. Funny. I like the part where you threw your self-esteem out the window. I know there are about 6-7 windows in your apartment, but I only pictured you tossing it out the bedroom window, onto the head of some unsuspecting passerby below? Did I guess the right one?

Cody S. said...

^^^^I was thinking Bella's window that she perches by personally...

annnndddd...if it makes you feel any better whatsoever. I don't even reemmber what I learned LAST week in college. so be proud you remembered "house" - and no - I dont mean the doctor haha.