From Where I Sit – Lo Siento

?Buenos días, Señora Rivera,? I said one morning last week when my co-worker came in to work. This isn’t quite as bizarre as it may seem at first blush. Mrs. Rivera is Mexican, my colleague, and my Spanish instructor. Hey, at that point I already had two hours of instruction under my belt.

I have total admiration for anyone who is fluent in more than one language. Heck, some days I admire people who are fluent in just one language. Since we have been to Mexico three times, Spanish seemed like the perfect choice to add to my repertoire of English plus (rusty) Ukrainian.

Having an expert one office over and the possibility of noon-hour classes was too much to resist. Plus we could spice up our coffee talk with words and phrases. And because she is trying to understand the quirks of the English language it is win-win for us.

Here’s my thought process. Three hundred fifty million people in the Americas speak Spanish. It would enrich any travel experience we’re likely to have in the near future. It looked like it would be easy to learn because there aren’t any really strange looking characters in the 30-letter alphabet. It would help keep those old synapses firing in an aging brain. It could even be fun if I could let go of the pressure to do well, please the teacher, avoid being the ?dummy? in class.

Like so often happens in my life, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Like so often happens, I commit to something worthwhile. Then a couple more worthwhile somethings. Inevitably, the demands of these commitments will converge at the most inconvenient time. Throw in a dash of real life. Sprinkle with an emergency and you’ve got a recipe for aarrgh!

In addition to two lunch-hour Spanish classes per week I’m a literacy tutor every Wednesday at noon. Oh, yeah, I also work full-time and have a daily commute of 80 minutes.

So, Señora Rivera, this is my pathetic attempt at saying my dog ate my homework. Okay, so I don’t actually have a dog. And there really wasn’t homework as such assigned. We were just supposed to review the vocabulary for numbers, months, days, and colours.

Truth be told, I didn’t open my binder until this morning and tomorrow is the next class. It won’t be easy to bluff my way through in a class of three students, especially since I already confessed at work today.

From now on, I promise not be flojo (lazy). Instead I will stay in my casa (house) and become an estudiante (student) of español (Spanish). I will take my libro (book) and a lápiz (pencil) and study until I turn azul (blue) in the face.

I will study from Domingo (Sunday) to Sábado (Saturday) in Marzo (March) and Abril (April). If I do my tarea (homework) there may be a glass of vino (wine) as a reward. In the meantime, lo siento (I’m sorry), from where I sit.

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