Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Que Pasa?

Well, today was a new day for me. As you may recall, we had a small fruit-basket-toss-up earlier in the year, which landed me my job of teaching 7th grade English Literature. I. Have. Loved. It. At that time, we also needed our Spanish classes to be taken by someone. Campbell Clansman hired a Spanish-speaking school parent to be the permanent sub. That worked well, until she decided recently to go back to the US to get married. (How dare she fall in love when there are still 9th graders needing to learn Spanish?) So, Campbell Clansman came to me and asked if I'd take the Spanish I class.

Long ago, I knew Spanish. I was Sarita. I took 3 years from a fabulous teacher (shout out to you Sra. B!), then took a college level test which gave me credit for the class without taking it. ( I told you, she was good.) So, technically I have not had a Spanish class since 1989. But those words are still in there somewhere. Occasionally they pop out. At weird times. Like when Campbell Clansman does not leave the double l silent in the word tortilla. Also, I taught Spanish to my elementary students way back when I was just getting married, before we headed overseas.

But then last summer, my mom asked me to speak Spanish to someone. There was something she could not communicate, and she just knew I would solve it with my linguistic ability. Turkish came out. Over and over again. Nope, only Turkish now. There is evidently only room for one foreign language at a time in my brain.

Nevertheless, I am going to study my Spanish. And I am going to teach those kids to the best of my ability. Yesterday, Campbell Clansman went to them to announce the change, to encourage them to say goodbye to their permanent Spanish-speaking sub. And he then said, "And be nice to her replacement. It's my wife." As he entered the room, he said, "Hola. Que Pasa?" That is his favorite (only) Spanish phrase (other than taco and burrito). The class sat still. Not a word. Not a response. Blink, blink went their eyes. Then one lone boy raised his hand and said, "Um, hi." Campbell Clansman (their principal) reported it to me with a sigh and said, "You've got your work cut out for you."

Know what their homework was tonight? Go to the Principal's office, give him a big smile, and say, "Que Pasa?!" like you mean it! I have a feeling this is going to be fun.


Kelley said...

Oh how fun! Even if you are only half as good as Senora B, you'll be awesome! Wasn't that fun? I wish you the best, but I'm sure you can do it!

Melanie Keffer said...

That was funny!

Sara, your little 3rd grader from long ago still remembers the Spanish you taught them. Does that count?

You would be proud of that little one who is now a C2 in proficiency in the French language (C3 is as high as you go.) and in the same vein as you, still wonders whether she should list French as a second language???

I asked her today (and this will work for you too) . . . "Do you know every word in the English language?"

I rest my case to you both. :)


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