Friday, September 9, 2011

Potpourri #2

I've settled into a routine recently where I study in the Institute's library between classes.  Often this means I'm there for 2-3 hours a day, but it's relatively productive time for me, and it's easier to work there than at home.  However, it's recently meant that I've been subjected to this boisterous English fellow.  He sits in the echo-friendly hallway just outside the library and, using his best Texas English, talks at whatever new English teachers come by.  I had a conversation with him a couple weeks back, and he basically just talks about how backwards the whole country is, in his experience.  It also turns out that he's been down here for 8 years now, but his Spanish is far worse than mine.

Anyway, the point of the story is that I've been in the library 5 of the past 6 work afternoons, and on every day I've heard him chat up a new teacher, and then at some point in the conversation he tells them "I'm rarely ever at the Moneda office".  I see him there literally every day.  I want to ask him what constitues "rare" for him, because I'm not sure he should be teaching students with this command of the English language. 

Sort of along the same lines, I've meet a lot of English people down here who literally don't try at all to adopt the Spanish tongue. They don't roll their "r"s, they pronounce the Spanish vowels exactly like the English ones (in Spanish, it's always A as in 'far',  E as in "eh?", I as in "keep", O as in "go", and U as in "ooo".  Always.).  I just find it fascinating that some people wouldn't even try to adopt the tongue as well.  It makes them stand out so much more.

I met a fellow teacher at the institute who teaches both English and Spanish.  He's an older guy, but his handle of both languages is pretty impressive, and he's taught all over the world, including at UPenn.  I'm also getting an insanely cheap rate, so I figured it'd be worth it.  What can I say, I like imposed structure, and it's nice to actually have somebody teaching me.  Right now I'd say my Spanish is like a dilapidated building.  The majority of the structure is still in place, and the words are hidden in most of the dusty, dirty closets somewhere around the 16th floor.  However, it's far from pretty, and nobody wants to visit this building, especially when the Empire State Building is next door (my English, and yes I'm bragging a little bit).  So it makes sense, sometimes you gotta pay for a little renovation.

There are currently 6 TV stations in Chile.  They're really not doing a good job of disproving my 1980 theory.  If I see ads for the old TRON movie around town, I'll let you know.

My SD card doesn't want to import pictures right now, so I'm gonna try and figure that out now.

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