October 20th, 2007

El Gran Mentira

The language classes moved to the next level. I'm starting to use subjunctive more. I was really amazed watching my teacher prepare for this. She had a huge ritual of things to build up before she talked about subjunctive with me. That is the opposite of how I like to work with languages; I believe it is better to start by using it and then learn some grammar afterwards. However, my teacher had a really big surprise for me. Apparently all of my Spanish teachers have had a similar attitude and they all used bad grammar in order to avoid using subjunctive in front of me. Now I have a year and a half of bad grammar to erase and replace with something totally new that sounds funny to me. I said something impolite about all of my previous teachers when I learned this.

Sometimes the problem isn't the language. During class I got the example, “The government never fulfills the law.” I got pretty confused, because I didn't understand how fulfill could be applied to the law. The law says that you can't cross the street away from an intersection, that you can't lie to business investors, and in Montana, that you can't have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperon. What does that have to do with the fulfilling. I asked her to explain what she meant and she gave me the example, “The law says all education will be free, but doesn't follow through.” Maybe I'm more conservative than I had thought.