Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wednesday, August 30

It has been a good day.

Today was the last day of the Level II Class at Warren Hardy Language School. It is with relief that I finished it. It took three days a week for class plus even more time to study and do the homework. I wish I would have had more time to work with the CD's but I still have them and can listen to them. I now understand the Preterite Tense, the irregular verbs in the preterite, and direct object and indirect object pronouns. Note I said that "I understand" but being able to use all of this on the fly is another hill to climb.

One of the biggest problems for me is to hear all the pieces of Spanish when it is spoken to me. Then I have to translate to English and then struggle with how to put the pronouns in the right places and use the correct form of the verb in Spanish. Di, dije,, those are hard for my ear to distinguish. And that is just one group of verb forms that are difficult to hear. While I'm listening for the gender of the pronoun, I've missed the verb. But I'm not throwing in the towel. I've signed up for a tutor to go over the workbook for Level III which covers seven tenses, imperfect, present, future, conditional, present progressive, and present perfect. I'm suppose to learn the conjugation for 100 verbs in these tenses. I'm hoping that with what I learned in this last level and then with Level III, I will be able to read the newspaper with a dictionary in my hand. A friend who speaks Spanish fluently told me that I wouldn't be able to totally understand the newspaper. Hey, I'm not expecting to understand the nuances of literature just the nitty-gritty of the crime and society pages.

I walked to the class and then home again. Made a little comida, some work on the computer and a little siesta. Yes, I do operate on Mexican Time. A siesta is a necessity.

This afternoon I walked across town and up the hill to Jose Marin's Hair Salon. I was on time. I'm always on time for Jose. He will throw people out of his shop who don't show up on time. Yes, he is temperamental but he does a great job with color and a hair cut. And I like him. While he worked on my hair we talked about the national election, Oaxaca, drugs in Mexico, tourism in San Miguel. I love getting his take on these issues. He did a great job. I now have shorter hair and golden sun streaks.

When I left Jose's I walked down to the Rameriz Mercado. Flowers come in on Wednesday afternoon and sure enough the fresh gladiolas were in. I bought a dozen in yellow and shrimp to put in front of the Virgen de Guadalupe in our nicho. Then I bought some of the yellow mangos that are beginning to go out of season, two avocados, and cilantro. I walked down to Insurrentes and Reloj to the roasted chicken man and bought a chicken. Then back toward the house with a stop at Espinos for toastados. Then home.

The gladiolas went in the vase and vegetables in the sink to disinfect.

Ned is the guacamole - pico de gallo maker and he made that up for us. He went after fresh made tortillas and we had a wonderful cena with tacos made with all the things that we had just purchased and prepared.

During the day I was also on the internet, worked on some photos in Photoshop.

So for those who are always asking what do you do with your time in San Miguel.................
What do you do with your time in Houston, or St. Louis, or Atlanta or Kansas City?


Claudine said...

In Atlanta, I lived stressfully each day doing EVERYTHING on my own. Here in Mexico I work in teams. I have an assistant in the classroom with me where I teach. Mom is here with me and helps me with the kids. I cook fresh food each day and also walk to the market about 3 or 4 times a week. I have 2 fulltime jobs. It doesn't always feel like it. I have a life due to the teamwork mentality of where I teach in Pachuca.

Congrats on the Spanish! Oh man do I know how you feel. But things do come a little clearer now at least. At least I can distinguish words better, but sometimes I still flub up. I have been conversing in Spanish for 7 years and now that I am in Mexico, it is time for me to advance my skills. What was once a headache for me (all that inner head translating) is now easier, though I often use incorrect grammar (and am still understood) thus working on speaking correctly with proper grammar. It isn't easy...por and para still trip me up.

Eddie said...

Hi Billie,

In Kansas City, I've gone from retirement and dreams of a casa in SMA to full-time employment as executive director of a social services not-for-profit. My days are full and my sense of accomplishment well established as we do our best to make a difference in people's lives. Gloria is busier than ever with assignments and projects and preparations for her upcoming trip to Uganda. Our youngest, now a senior, is taking 4 AP classes and trying to re-establish his band that lost two players to graduation last year. Our daughter and son-in-law continue to live and teach in New Orleans doing their share to rebuild. On Saturdays we walk to the farmer's market in our neighborhood for flowers, breads, and vegetables then coffee and conversation with friends. Not the Rameriz Mercado, for sure, but it will suffice. Mexican time doesn't exist for us now but there is always the hope of tomorrow. Congratulations, Billie, on completing your Spanish class. Our best to you and Ned.

Anonymous said...

Hola Senora Billie,

I spent most of the working day trying to find a cure for cancer. When the microscope became blurry after many hours and a great sense of accomplishment I scattered rose pedals on and around our bed - waiting for just the right moment to seize an afternoon rendezvous with mi esposa. We languished away much of the afternoon into the early evening whereupon we attending a neighborhood social event that including discussion about my not-for-profit work on the Ranch web site

Later in the evening we talked with our son Julian, a precocious 16 year old, about buying a 15,000 CD to stash some of the money he is making in Los Angeles where he is currently writing an Internet contest for NBC.

Tomorrow I think I will find a cure for acid rain. We are looking forward to a rest from all this when at the end of the month we head to Mexico where I may run for president if those other two dudes can't figure out which one will soon run the country.

Other than that it has been pretty quiet around here – Congrats on the Spanish lessons!

Saludos - Juan Calypso

jose said...

aqui en queretaro trabajo en mis novelas y juego con mis ninos.... ja ja ja !

Billie said...

Thanks to all of you. I'm glad to hear what you are doing. But Juan, you have to stop taking time out in the afternoon for la Senora. We need the answers for cancer and acid rain.