Monday, August 21, 2006

Spanish classes

I haven't talked much about my Spanish classes, mostly because although they are helpful, and have increased my vocabulary and knowledge, really I hated them. Serious disdain. I would always be in a shitty mood and be quite possibly the worlds worst student - which isn't exactly the right attitude to have while learning.

I think I just have a hard time learning the traditional way - from a book - all that grammar and crap. UGH. I felt like I never retained anything. Even though many of my teachers were really good - I still would be angry and mean and cry and upset and generally not very fun to teach. Its no wonder why I went through three teachers in two levels.

So, I finally convinced the school to try a different method of teaching - more conversational, more informal - and maybe I would respond better.
Enter my new teacher - quite possibly the biggest Mexican I have ever met (not chubby - just TALL and football player built....I guess you could say Thick). He has a passion for American Sports (especially football and baseball)......And his name is Steve. Funny eh? Not like my Chinese professors - whose names were so hard to say that they give themselves an American name....But really its just Steve. Well, actually, its Omar Steve, but most everyone calls him Steve. Apparently, his parents loved Steve McQueen or something.

Anyway, the first two classes have been awesome. We just have a lot to talk about - a lot of shared interests which makes it MUCH easier to learn, and makes me a much better student! Today, we read through the sports section of the Reforma Newspaper. It took us two hours, but we got through it. I never realized how much slang is used....But I understand much more of it now.
Apparently he saw me at the game on Sunday (he was there with his girlfriend and brother) - he tried yelling but it was so flipping loud its not surprising that I didn't hear him. Anyway, as we worked through the sports section (which really should be called the soccer section - with two tiny pages of other sports) he explained how the divisions were set up, how the point system works and other intricacies of the league. It was pretty cool.

There was one interesting thing on the stats page - goals scored by Mexicans and goals scored by foreigners - it seemed kind of silly to me - I mean, is it really that important to know how many Mexicans scored goals? But, he explained, that while not necessarily important for the league, it is important every four years that Mexico have players that are talented enough to compete in the world cup. He gave the example of Real Madrid - one of the most famous soccer teams in the world - who has great soccer players - great BRAZILIAN soccer players. When is the last time Spain has done anything in the world cup?

Anyway, it was a cool lesson - and I thought I'd share. I told Keith to come downstairs and learn, but he was too involved online to be bothered. Its kind of exciting to know that I know more about a sport than he does :o)

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