06 August 2009

America's Next Top Composition

I'm watching America's Next Top Model, a show I have absolutely no interest in when it's not in my view, but which I find addictive when I turn it on.  I expect it's the clothes.

Anyway, two days ago in Spanish class we had to write a composition, our second.  I was quite nervous about this, since it was going to be about music and movies, both of which the class had studied while I was away.  I've studied them on my own since, but I've felt slightly out of the loop in class ever since I returned, so I just wasn't confident.  Since the composition was on Monday, I took the weekend and went through all my flashcards.  There must be about five hundred by now, and I sorted out the ones I certainly know from the ones I was shaky or terrible on.  The second set I just ran and ran, until I felt mildly more confident.

It turned out that the conceit of the composition was that I was the movie critic for a Nicaraguan newspaper (a Nicaraguan newspaper?), and I had to describe the film I'd seen the night before, a musical.  I had to say whether I recommended it, what the plot was, and what the music was like.  "Be creative!" the directions said.  Ka-ching!  Making up a plot?  This is my area of expertise!  Being creative?  Not quite as strong a skill as making up a plot, but still:  an area of experience.  Almost immediately, however, there was a problem:  you know how sometimes you know something, but you're not sure you know it?  I knew the way to say "musical" was "una pelĂ­cula musical," but I just couldn't believe I knew it; for some reason "a movie musical" sounded bizarre to me.  So I had to work out a way to say it was a musical without using that expression.  Then there was the problem that after I was a sentence into the plot I realised that I didn't know half the words I needed.  So the plot took a sudden turn into a totally different area.

Still, I very much enjoyed writing this composition.  It was deeply silly, and it was full of private jokes.  And apparently my teacher loved it, too, because she gave me 100%! Even though it was filled with small mistakes! (and when I finished it I thought it was filled with big mistakes, so getting that grade was even more pleasant).  In fact, I'm so tickled by its silliness, and so amazed by the fact that I didn't make any huge mistakes, that I'm reproducing it here, as tonight's photograph.

I'm not going to explain any of the private jokes - they'll be clear to those who know them - but I do need to explain two things.  First of all, just in case, I should explain that, although I do have a friend named Alejandro, I named the dog "Alejandro" not out of spite, but rather because that friend is the person who explained the difference between "perro" and "pero" to me.  Second of all, although my teacher corrected  my "ahora...ahora..." construction, I didn't mean "sometimes...sometimes...." I meant, "now...now...," in the sense of  "now it's like this, and now it's like this."

1 comment:

Incubus said...

Congratulations! I sympathise with you, sometimes it is really difficult speaking and writing in a language it is not the one you grow up with. First time I went to the USA I felt as I was a 5 yo child. You did much better in your exam, for sure.