Friday, May 08, 2009

Why we choose to continue our continuing education

Why do adults voluntarily continue their education after they've graduated and entered the workforce? To quench their thirst for knowledge and find something stimulating to engage in after work? To prolong the recurring nightmares about not being able to find your classroom or showing up to school naked? After all, they are free to spend their leisure time indulging in purely amusing behaviors like sitting in front of televisions or trying to pick up strangers in bars.

I don't think I have sweat since my high school Spanish class. Spanish teachers can really make you sweat. I don't know how a perky five-foot woman who may or may not actually know English can make me so nervous, but every time she looks at me I feel like she's asking me to translate something into hieroglyphics on the blackboard. I signed up for an Adult Education Spanish language course in preparation for a move to Spain I had recently decided to make to teach English (which I rescinded the following morning when I decided I liked my furniture too much to move to another continent). I'd forgotten how good I had become at avoiding eye contact and looking convincingly like I was conjugating the most difficult verb in the history of the Spanish language in my head. My Spanish isn't progressing very quickly but sometimes Profesora Somethingiforget says the craziest things, like (translated): "Today we are going to exchange Pop-tarts and visit our grandparents in Revere." It's strangely unfulfilling when these turn out to be empty promises. I bet you didn't think I knew the Spanish word for "Pop-tarts."

Also, is it me or has class been getting a little too personal? Last week we spent an entire chapter learning words to describe relationships including, but not limited to: love, husband, wife, boyfriend, friends-with-benefits, prenuptial agreement, and "make-up sex." One of the questions in this week's homework asked us to detail the circumstances of the first time we fell in love. Either that or my Spanish is just terribly bad. What are we going to discuss next? Our credit scores and disturbing childhood experiences?

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