Friday, November 14, 2008

Clase de español

From mid-September to mid-October, I studied Spanish with an eclectic mix of classmates and a super-energetic instructor, Antonio Caraballo, in a non-credit course offered by the cultural outreach program of Texas A&M University's business college.

It was great fun, and I'm looking forward to the follow-on course. Our instructor, a native of Puerto Rico, was the epitome of an engaged instructor. Dodging an oversize podium while running back and forth to the whiteboard, acknowledging comments or questions with, "How interesting," then turning each into a mini-lesson.

No question, it seemed, was off-limits. When we were learning pronouns and noun genders, one unabashed undergraduate asked, "Is there a way to say 'girly-man'?"

Without missing a beat, our maestro darted around the hulking podium, whiteboard marker at the ready, "Yes, it is 'el ella,' the he-she," in the same enthusiastic, yet rational, instructional style as when someone asked about the syntax of direct objects.

The nonhomogenous mix of classmates enhanced the entire experience: two Turks, one Indian MBA student, several American undergraduates, a former college athlete, several writers and editors.

Our final exam—this was, after all, a non-credit fun course—was ordering dinner in Spanish at a Mexican restaurant, Los Cazadores. It was fun, dinner was excellent, the company entertaining. Los Cazadores is now my favorite Mexican restaurant ever.

1 comment:

Her Artichoke Heart said...

"El-ella," ha! Makes sense. Wow, your blog is so educational! :)