Most of you know that I'm a semi-retired teacher who specializes in teaching French as a second language and that I currently tutor students who are having difficulty learning the language. Two of my students (both boys in Grade 8) decided that French was too hard so they have both signed up to study Spanish starting in September. Both of them said they'd heard that Spanish is so much easier. However, I tried to warn them that Spanish is only easier once you already know another Romance language and that they're going to have to do the same sorts of things in Spanish as they've been doing in French. But they told me they'd already signed up and it was a done deal.
Then I had a brainwave! I don't know of anyone in the area who tutors Spanish - so, I've decided to refresh my Spanish and be available as a Spanish tutor, too.
I made a deal with a Spanish teacher in the city because she wants to improve her French. So for two hours every Friday morning this summer we're going to get together for one hour of Spanish and one hour of French.
I was nervous today. But so was she.
We stumbled along, both of us laughing at our mistakes, helping each other out with vocabulary, verb conjugations, and pronunciation. We traded some materials that we can study from over the coming weeks and when we get together, we'll *try* to communicate in both languages.
Today, I told her (in Spanish and with her help) how I have come to be engaged to a man I met 40 years ago and she was agog, amazed, and delighted for us. She told me (in French with my help) about going to Mexico for a few months and meeting a wonderful man who makes films and just premiered his first short documentary.
It's nerve-wracking to be on the other side of the desk, so to speak, even though we sat together at a large square table. There were times when she was speaking that I realized my mind had gone blank and I had to ask her to repeat. But when the tables were turned and I was in charge, she was just as stressed as I had been.
When I left, I headed to "Collins Educational Supplies Store," an educational resource store where I've picked up lots of materials for teaching in the past. I managed to find several books and a Spanish/English dictionary that I'm sure I'll find extremely useful in the weeks and months to come.
Life just keeps on getting better and better, I think. Since retiring from full time teaching, I've travelled quite a bit and fallen in love and am engaged to marry a wonderful man. My little tutoring business is only going to expand now due to two young boys who thought French was too hard.
Next trip, Spain? or Mexico?