About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Who's heard of the movie "Spanglish?" This 2004 film was a portrayal of family problems and self-identity and, to a lesser extent, communication across cultural boundaries.

Studying Spanish all summer reminded me of this film. At first, I was like a deer caught in the headlights, my brain black with fright that I was going to terribly embarrass myself. How dare I think I could speak Spanish well enough to tutor students? Would the vocabulary come back to me? Would I be able to conjugate verbs? Would I remember which adjectives precede and which follow the nouns? Would I remember the gender of the nouns?

Today was my last session with a wonderful woman who has guided me through the Spanish language over the summer. (In return, I helped her to refresh her French.) This morning, we met for breakfast and over omelettes, orange juice, and coffee we chatted back and forth (as usual) about our lives, what had gone on since our previous session, etc. I hadn't looked at my books for a week and I'd forgotten (already!) the past participles of some of the irregular verbs. However, we managed by my sometimes speaking a sort of "Spanglish" and she sometimes speaking a sort of "Franglish."

And we laughed!

We're going to keep in touch over the school year and maybe next summer we can do the same thing. Hopefully next year I'll do much better - especially if I get some students with whom I can continue to work with the language.


nancygrayce said...

Oh, I really need to learn Spanish since my grandchildren speak it at home. My granddaughter says I'll never learn because I can't roll whatever letter needs to roll!

I loved that movie. I watch it every now and then.

Maggie May said...

It is a brilliant idea to do what you are doing and to be able to speak a few languages is bound to be of great value.
I should be learning Japanese, though I am not so well motivated as everyone in the family speaks English (except for the other grand parents in Japan!) They seem a bit remote somehow!

Mickle in NZ said...

Sounds like you have both had a fun time catching up on Spanish and French, challenging each other and becoming firm friends too. Looking forward to your updates.

That movie played on tv here recently - I watched it, sceptical at first, happy to report I loved it.

How are you getting on with those rampant tomato plants?

Trubes said...

That's interesting Leslie.
I could speak a little Spanish but have forgotten most of it.
What's the expression,
'Use it or lose it'!

DT and are are flying over to Spain in October for a 10 day holiday, so I'm furtively digging out my Spanish books to try and refresh my memory.

P.S. flushed with delight at the response I've received from my blogger chums I have just posted a sequal to my Beatles story.x

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, I loved that film. I think you've done well and what a good idea to exchange your skills like that.

Powell River Books said...

When I was a principal in the Los Angeles area, 95% of the students were Hispanic and many of their parents spoke only Spanish. My high school Spanish was really rusty, but I learned quickly enough to communicate one-to-one and even in front of the audience at PTA meetings, at least if I wrote my speech and practiced it ahead of time. Now I have lost most of it through lack of use. Not much opportunity here in Powell River. - Margy

Leslie: said...

Thanks for all your comments, everyone. I've realized that Spanish is quickly becoming the 2nd language here in BC, too, since we have a lot of migrant workers from Mexico and South America coming to work in the fields or the nurseries. Lots of people go to Mexico or SA for holidays, too, so would rather their kids learn Spanish instead of French.