End of the semester…

Give or take.  At least, classes are over now, and I’ve graded pretty much everything before the final.  Well, I do have to grade one set of scientific paper analyses, about 30 of them, but they’re only about 2 pages each.  That needs to be done ASAP, so people can see the comments before the final on Monday.  Meanwhile, I’ve done some Christmas shopping (How did I survive before there was Amazon.com?).  And tonight Robin and I are going out for sushi with the Hills.

What I’m reading lately:

Inez del Alma Mia, by Isabel Allende.  I read her Zorro: Impieza la Leyenda last year, so I thought I’d read her newest book in Spanish also.  It’s good, and eventful enough to hold my interest even when I have to refer to a dictionary a couple of times per page.  One nice thing about reading a novel in Spanish is that it takes me about 20 times as long as reading one in English, so I don’t have to search for something new to read as often.   I’d like to say I’m building my vocabulary, but that would be assuming that I have a memory.  Eventually, after looking up something enough times, I do start to recognize it, though.  “Lodo” is mud.  “A pesar de” means “In spite of”.  An “espada” is a sword.  And so on.

5 Responses to “End of the semester…”

  1. Reno says:

    I’m working on my Spanish for a competence exam I’ll take (and better pass) in January, and I’m so sick of textbooks that I have started reading John Gray in Spanish. Several years ago my cousin gave me Marte y Venus en el Dormitoria, and it’s hilarious. I suspect that in English it would just be kind of blah, but I’m finding it a romp.

  2. Allen says:

    Well, that’s an interesting approach. I have to admit that before I read Isabel Allende I read the first few Harry Potter books in Spanish. That actually worked pretty well, as I had read them already in English, so I knew what was going on and had a lot of context clues for the Spanish words.

  3. Reno says:

    oooh, Harry Potter! I wonder if I can find that in Spanish on tape in Berkeley… It’s hard (at least in Reno) to find audio Spanish books that aren’t about business.

  4. kicking_k says:

    Ah, we did that with Harry Potter too (back when there were only three books). I don’t think I’d make it through “Half-Blood Prince” in another language, though.

    And I have a copy of Gaiman and Pratchett’s “Good Omens” in French, which was very helpful for colloquialisms. I now know that “la siege de mort” is the passenger seat of a car, and that “rôder” is “to lurk”. Useful, no?

  5. Reno says:

    Indeed! This morning I gave my exam room to a French prof because (a) my room was unlocked, (b) hers wasn’t, (c) neither of us had keys, (d) the admins weren’t due in for another hour and a half, (e) she was giving a final, and (f) I wasn’t.

    As a special added bonus, I told her students that I would say for them every sentence of French I know, except the dirty ones that everyone knows from 1970s disco hits.

    Then I went out to the hallway to intercept my students — all two who showed up to collect their portfolios — very pleased as having been able to start my day by asking roomful of examinees, “Oue Youth Hostel?”

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