Last night I set my alarm at one am to be able to participate in an oral practice with my Spanish professor on Elluminate, a fabulous live exchange in real time technology used at ESC. Real time in New York: 7 pm.
You can 'raise' your hand, 'applaud' (which I did, when one of the students said he was running a theatre in Brooklyn and studying for a degree in Arts Mangament. How cool is that!) and give a 'sad face' or 'thumbs down' gesture if you are lost or, just simply disapproving, using the icons on the panel controls.
There is a white board where el profesor scribbles and draws, outlining the construction of Spanish sentences and a message system to type in questions or comments as you go.
Considering the hour, I was a little slaphappy but managed a few cool phrases like,
el gusto es mìo and estupenda.
Please note that the accent on mìo is going in the wrong direction, but I am using my Italian keyboard for I am too lazy to get out the little chart that gives ALT commands to spelling in Spanish as well as those crazy, upside down question marks and exclamation points.
Of all the things I have studied so far, my brain wants to resist language. That is why I never really learned to read music proficiently or speak Italian, for that matter. Or do well in mathematics. These are all languages and I resist patterns which are different or foreign or organised strangely or where I have to learn completely new alphabets.
Oh, hey, that is not entirely true. I learned the cyrillic alphabet with gusto (not gusto) and ease back in the days of studying Russian. Hmmm, maybe I need to rethink this thing about not being good at language...
Off to break some patterns.