duck-shaped pain


23 September 2002
La prueba.

Some things about Spanish class:

1. Today we had a quiz, which I somehow managed to completely forget about. I thought it was Wednesday; I was in the minority opinion. I know how this mistake happened: we've had about three different syllabi passed out in this class, all giving different dates for various things, and everyone seems to have their own version of what is supposed to happen when.

So I get to class today, and there are various people there , all freaking out about today's quiz, and I tell them, "Hey, what are you worrying about? The quiz is Wednesday." Since these folks are all looking desperately for reasons not to freak out, and since I look so placid and confident in my belief that the quiz is Wednesday, they all decide to believe me.

I will never be believed again. There were just so many glares directed at me once the quiz was passed out.

I think I managed to do well, though. I probably got a B, which is not terrific, but it is certainly something I can overcome with later grades. This quiz was over reflexive verbs, so there were a lot of questions about grooming and going to bed at proper times. Many Spanish reflexive verbs are similar to French ones, which is the only reason I did well on this thing, I swear.

2. I got a letter from an occasional correspondent of mine the other day, in which he shared some of the details of his current trip to Spain. Weird synchronicity is involved here, since this has been the week in my Spanish class in which we think about Spain. To be specific, we're not learning anything about the country, but rather, we're learning all about The Pronoun They Only Use In Spain, and why we will never need to learn how to use it.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the intricacies of Spanish [like me, for instance], the pronoun in question is vosotros, which is only used for groups of people you can treat informally, such as children or people you are close enough with to lick in odd places.)

The assumptions are these:

a. The chances that any of us will ever meet someone from Spain are minimal.

b. The chance that any of us would meet more than one person from Spain at once is even smaller.

c. Were this to actually happen, there is absolutely no chance that these Spanish people would get close enough to us to allow us to use the vosotros form without punching us in the teeth.

Or, as my professor puts it, "Latin American Spanish is hard enough for you people."

3. I have no idea why this occurred, but two of the people in my class, before the quiz, were having a discussion about the benefits of having a glass eye. I don't know if either of them was speaking from experience, but these are what they came up with:

  • If you have a glass eye, you can call in sick to work and tell people your eye broke.

  • Fun awaits you when you hide your eye in people's food (especially popcorn or soup).

  • You can always look as if you are paying attention.

  • Eye sockets provide handy storage for small, soft things such as cotton balls.

  • It makes it easier to freak people out (in an unspecified sense).

  • Kick off your shoes, put away your jacket, take out your eye -- relax!

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