Learning Spanish has been a slow and steady endeavor. In some ways, I feel like I'm on the right track. In other ways, I feel like I'm way behind, especially given the amount of spare time I now have (especially since I'm not training for a marathon, or even a half-marathon -- or running in general). I've been trying to trick my brain into thinking I need to learn Spanish more than I actually do. The GPS in my car is set to Spanish, I've been listening to more Spanish-language music (which, by the way, the more I listen to Shakira's Spanish-language music, the less I can stand the English-language variations. It's almost like she can figure out beat and flow better in her native tongue, or something).
And now, I'm adding CNN Español to the mix.
I thought about getting Spanish-language books (especially Pablo Neruda books of poetry), but I decided on the news instead. Why? Because the news is written so that anyone with a fourth grade reading level can understand what's going on. No worries about large or obscure words -- or any slang or colloquialisms -- just simplistic retelling of the news so that any moron (or anyone who doesn't actually speak the language) can understand it.
So that's my new addition to my Spanish learning endeavor. Now, on top of trying to do at least one Rosetta Stone lesson a day, I'm attempting to read at least one article from CNN Español to the mix (why CNN? Because MSNBC and FoxNews are both horrifically biased in their own ways and Reuters has a habit of actually writing intelligently, making it harder for us morons/non-native speakers to comprehend what's going on).
Some stuff is starting to sink in. My GPS will tell me, "hágase a la izquierda," and, instead of trying to remember what "izquierda" means, I'm instinctively making a gripping motion with my right hand to remember which side is which (which is depressing that I'm 27 and still need reminders on left versus right -- although I rest easy knowing I'm not exactly the only person who holds a pretend pen to remember which side is which). And that's when you know the language is actually starting to make a home in your mind: you've stopped desperately trying to translate and you just think in the words you know -- even if that number of words is pathetically small.
It will be interesting to see what happens when teacher training is done and I finish this third manuscript. Granted, I plan on diving right back into the agency/publishing hunt for my first manuscript once this puppy is finally done (all the while relishing in the advice that you do nothing with your manuscript for at least three months after it's completed). And, granted, I'm hoping to replace those hours in training with hours with an actual job at a studio or gym (or dojo, or after school in the gymnasium). But, maybe I'll be able to devote a little more time to learning the language my husband grew up with (and that I've been oddly attracted to since, ironically enough, I quit Spanish in high school to learn Latin).
At the very least, this has been a great excuse to listen to Shakira's "La La La (Adentro)" a million times and shake my hips like I'm the queen of belly dancing herself.