jueves, abril 14, 2005


no sirve de nada

i'm pretty proud of my bilingualism. i've helped out foreigners at the airport, guided lost souls at schools and stores, traveled méxico, and know all kinds of chisme that i wasn't intended to hear. and i do that teaching thing de vez en cuando, too. but for all my spanish learning and the handful of other languages that i've been exposed to (read: learned and pretty much forgotten), there are still situations in which my bilingualism no sirve de nada.

i was hanging out with a friend when the cable guy came to her new place to get things set up. he was deaf, but luckily my friend knows the ASL alphabet and a few basic signs. i was really impressed. i would have had to resort to exaggerated gesticulations since i don't know a single sign. one time in during a school assembly, the team leader wanted me to discipline one of her students sitting on my side of the cafeteria. i was brand spanking new at the time and didn't know the kid's name, so from across the room the teacher started signing letters. i was flabbergasted. it was like her trying to communicate with me in russian. why assume that i would know sign language? i don't assume she knows spanish. i didn't get it.

but here's the funny part. so my friend couldn't help but respond orally to him (he had some grasp of speech)... the silly thing was, she kept responding in SPANISH.. "sí, sí..." HYSTERICAL. apparently her natural response to situations where there are communication difficulties is to use spanish because that's the norm in her daily life, and while i understand and appreciate that, it still made me laugh from my cozy spot on the couch.

in school-related news, i discussed my "challenging student" (a.k.a. the pisser and the big motherfucking pain in my ass) with my vice principal today and his sorry ass will not be attending our next field trip thanks to his recent hijinx. thank the LORD because if anything else happens in public i'm literally going to lose my fucking mind. i have to say though, you wouldn't be able to tell from the way i interact with him... yes, at times i'm a little short and firm with him, but i never yell and usually try to talk things out with him quietly in private. funny how much he responds to me and respects me, cause he's a little maniac in special areas. i think his problem his finding boundaries outside the walls of our classroom. gotta figure out how to get through this for the next month and a half.

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