Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for...

Q is for que tal?
By the time I was thirteen, I had seen every Disney Zorro television program, appreciating Guy Williams and his handsome dark eyes.  Then I saw the actual movie starring Tyrone Power, who could fence an evil villain to a fare-thee-well.  And, I watched a movie with Ricardo Montalban, swimming across a river with Esther Williams.  By the time I arrived at high school, I was primed and ready to learn the exotic language, Spanish.
Guy Williams

Ricardo Montalban
Our teacher was a first-year teacher who moved to our rural area only days before school began.  Before ‘Map Quest’, this young lady had gotten lost trying to locate the rural highways that would guide her to our high school.  Miss B. turned out to be an excellent teacher.

The first thing she did with our freshman class was to have us make a circle, and then read from our text books.  The first thing we learned:  que tal, which roughly means how’re ya doin’?  We made the circle, each of us inquiring after each others’ well-being.  Then, the rest followed.
Hola.  Que tal?
Estoy bien.  Y tu’?
No estoy bien.  You tengo catarro. 
Que lastima!  Lo siento.

After we had all confirmed that we were all sick with a cold, our next lessons were much more exciting.  It turned out that these Spanish people led pretty exciting and enriching lives.  They went to the cinema (al cine’) to see movies (las peliculas).  They went to dances (los bailes) and concerts (concertos).  They even went to the beach (la playa).  Our Spanish alter-egos lived amazing lives, full of song, dance, and splashing in the ocean.

Tyrone Power
What about our English-speaking real-time egos?  The male half of the class were mainly sons of farmers.  They returned to the farm (la chacra) where they milked cows (vacas), drove tractors (tractor)), and got very dirty (succio) with either pig or cow (excremento’).  The female half of the class were in the kitchen (la cocina)  with the moms, peeling apples and potatoes  (manzanas and papas),  washing clothes (lavanda las ropas), and learning that it would be more fun if they were Spanish, living la vida loca.

Yes, sirree.  Learning Spanish was probably the best class I ever had in high school.  My motivation level was high, really high.  As I went to university, traveled to Spain, and ultimately ended up teaching English to many non-English speaking students, I discovered that learning a second language is one of the richest experiences one can have. 
And, now I have discovered Antonio Banderas ---delicioso y muy guapo.

Okay--he's a vampire, here, but HEY!
What more can I say?
My apologies to any Spanish speakers reading this.  I don’t have a clue how to use Word to accent or make correct punctuation.  I truly admire the Spanish language, and its contribution to the world.  Many thanks (Muchas Gracias) to the A-Z team!  Check out the link below to find other blogs:


  1. I think I could learn to like vampires if they all looked like that. In any language.

  2. Brilliant post , I well remember Tyrone Power takes me back to my childhood, I used to live in Spain but only picked up the basic Spanish words,


  3. Great post! It's amazing what a great teacher can inspire in you. I wish I was more disciplined when it came to learning a language. 6 years of French and I have nothing to show for it. Now I'm learning spanish from my work with Dora the Explorer and Rosetta Stone. I think it's going to be a long road :-)

  4. I've taught my self rudimentary Italian and French, but I never studied language in school. As an actor, I learn dialects and much fun.

  5. Once again, you've made me laugh :) This was so enjoyable. I had some Spanish in junior high, but took French in high school. I remember more Spanish than I do French and I took it in college too! Wonder if that means Spanish is easier to learn, more memorable or if I was at just the right age to learn in junior high.
    Anyway, it was cool to learn that you traveled to Spain and taught Spanish! I admire those that speak other languages!

  6. Congratulations on teaching English to non-English speakers. I enjoyed your post. We lived in Brazil for almost 30 years and speak Portuguese fluently and consequently can also read and understand about 75% of Spanish. I thought your post was very creative.


  7. Ah, I took 5 years of Italian in school and was privileged enough to spend a summer there, but I've sadly forgotten most of it now. Italian is such a beautiful language.

  8. I LOVE the new Zorro with Antonio. So fun!

    Spanish was my favorite too. I wasn't very good at it though. One year my teacher gave me an award for the kid that tried the hardest--at least she knew I was trying. *giggles*

  9. Antonio Banderas is mucho calliente.
    You forgot to include Zoro the Gay Blade. :)


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