Guten Tag, y’all!
As you guys know, my conversational German is pretty doggone decent these days. However, in order to truly master this beast one day, I’ve gotta know all of the technical stuff (a.k.a. the grammar rules). So, on Monday I started an intensive 4-hour a day, 4 days a week German course. Here’s a glimpse at how my first day went.
“Will you go inside with me?”
It’s Monday, the first day of German class, and I have totally reverted to Elementary School Tat. It’s raining, I’m cranky, and am feeling slightly
scared nervous about coming face to face with an unknown German woman at 8:30 in the morning. Especially since I haven’t purchased the book yet. So, shamelessly, I ask The Man to walk me to the class.
We get to the third floor classroom and find one other woman already there. She smiles at me, a very welcome gesture in this land of people who don’t greet strangers. She doesn’t have a book either, and this makes me feel a whoooole lot better. Another lady comes in, and another. They’re both friendly, and I release the man from his
parental spousal duty.
More people file in, settling in chairs around long tables. Shortly thereafter, our teacher breezes in with a warm “Guten Morgen!” She’s friendly, energetic, and three minutes late (a late German? Unheard of!). She reminds me of Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus; I like her instantly.
When faced with the unknown, people find comfort in the familiar. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that my classmates and I have self segregated. If this were, say, a cooking class in the United States, we’d probably have separated by race, or maybe class. Here in A2 Deutsch? Language is our common denominator.
If we were political parties, the 6-person Spanish Bloc (consisting of a Spaniard, a Peruvian and four Mexicans) would wield the most power. Next is the Portuguese Bloc, a cohort of two laughing ladies from Angola and Brazil. Lastly is my crew, the English Bloc, though technically, I’m the only one whose mother tongue is English; my fellow English Bloc-er is actually from Russia and has studied French, so this is, like, her fourth language (are you as impressed as I am? You should be!). (Note: We got a new student on Wednesday, a Zimbabwean, so the English Bloc is up to three folks. Whoop, whoop!)
Lest we get too comfortable, though, our Lehrerin regularly moves us around into different groups. No bloc parties for us.
I’m very much a nerd, so I’m not surprised at how happy I am to be seeing the inside of a classroom on a daily basis. What does surprise, me, though, is how many other things I’m learning besides German. Like Spanish New Year’s traditions (eating twelve grapes at midnight) or how to say “teeth” in Russian (hmm…I have no idea how to spell that.) I’m also pouring some proverbial motor oil on my super rusty Spanish.
In short, I’m having a lot of fun.
Anybody else back in school? Isn’t it fun (and exhausting!)?