Right before I came home and started working on my verbs yesterday, I had a breakthrough.

At our school, we have an auto shop. My car was in it. The teacher had gone home, but had told me how to extricate the car from behind the automatic doors. I decided to fill up my windshield fluid before leaving. That was successful. But then…I didn’t know how to close the hood!

I found one of our Spanish-speaking custodians, told him I had a problem. He asked whether it was a big or a little problem. I said it wasn’t a big problem in life but it was a big problem for me. I explained how I’d opened (my door) and couldn’t shut it. Having just told Bryce’s joke about the car door, that was fresh and available vocabulary. I told him my husband would laugh at me and that I was sorry for being such a traditional (didn’t know “old-fashioned”) woman and for not knowing cars, and he smiled and said that not everyone has to know everything. Then he pushed gently on the hood and closed it.

Thanks to Jennifer, I knew the correct preposition in “Thank you for your help,” and I could tell him he was the star of my day, thanks to someone else. He asked whether I knew how to open the garage doors, and I could assure him that I did, and that I didn’t need help with that.

COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EARS! I spoke Spanish to solve a problem, and continued in Spanish for at least five minutes (we talked about other things as we went).

Suddenly I recall all the times kids and adults have come up to tell me of the thrill of being able to use their new Russian skills for a real purpose. I’d forgotten what that felt like. Superpower!


2 responses to “Success!

  1. klasekastellano

    This is so great! The power of reading, input, interest and receptivity all lumped into 1. I am trying to speak another language myself, French. I had it in grammar school then a few semesters in high school. A few months ago we had a prayer room at my church. I just so happened to be in the room with a French-Speaking guy from Africa. I had to communicate in French to tell him that I was leaving, my name of course and some other odd details. I left feeling very empowered. I immediately emailed my department chair, who speaks French fluently to tell her about my success. ¡Felicitaciones!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My ability to spit out Spanish seems to be in direct correlation to the critical need in the situation. That means that if there are others who have Spanish or if the person’s English is better than mine, it doesn’t flow. But yesterday I was talking with the mom of one of the other teachers, and she knew absolutely no English. It was easy to communicate with her.


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