Today was the first day we didn’t have a morning excursion or activity so we took the chance to sleep in a bit and hobbled up the University Latina for a 10 o’clock review session with Dr. Bell. Mary and I studied all six forms of ser and six forms of estar for a couple hours last night and we’re not quick about t, but we have the table of twelve in our brains for use on the test. As expected, Dr. Bell clarified a couple of things, but mostly just confirmed we were on the right track. We felt really pumped about the test knowing the chart by memory. This was easily the most I’ve studied for a non music course and in fact is beginning to rival music courses.
We went in to class and reviewed our homework – 100% correct. So here comes the test…
It’s four pages long. The first page contains instructions in Spanish. Great! We don’t know enough Spanish to read the instructions so this is very frustrating. Also frustrating is the fact that there are about 30 pictures which we need to use in 8 sentences each. Because they are pictures, the chart we memorized is useless with the exception of one row (Or so I think). Since their all third person.
Anyway, it takes most of us about 90minutes or more to finish. I’m feeling pretty good and I turn in my test.
Mary’s still working so I take a seat outside the classroom. About ten minutes later, my professor comes out and points out that the second page pictures are all plural and therefore about 30% of my test is wrong.
Well, my spirit sank. I thought I had this wrapped up, but unfortunately I just practiced the wrong answers about 30 times.
Then Mary comes out and feels pretty good about the test until a similar thing happens to her. Apparently she didn’t realize there were supposed to be eight responses to each picture and instead only did 5.
This completely crushed her spirit. Up until this moment she was high on the whole experience. She felt very positive about learning Spanish, and was even considering continuing her studies in that direction. I was so proud and excited for her discovery of the language. She’s clearly more gifted in it than I am and I’m happy for her, but this test really wounded her confidence and halted the incredible momentum she had.
It took most of the night to put her back together again. I tried to reassure her that the test was not a very accurate measure of our accomplishments and that perhaps the professor would take into account both of our errors with regard to the test.
Time will tell, but unfortunately this is yet another reason I lose confidence in traditional educational efforts. I just do not feel today helped us learn Spanish in any way shape or form. If anything, we all reinforced errors repetitively.
Today was not our favorite.