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.