For the end of my second week, Day 11 was a bit on the boring side. In grammar class, we had to teach another lesson in front of Leonardo and the other students, but I was prepared this time. As part of my lesson, I continued my lesson on the gender of nouns from last time, and discussed ambiguous nouns (can be either male or female in gender), groups (one gender, but refer to both sexes), and occupations (form is one gender, but article changes depending on physical gender of the subject). After that, I taught a second lesson on the formation of superlative nouns, which was both interesting, and a little confusing. For example, common superlatives in Spanish end in the suffix “-isimo,” which denotes the ultimate degree of the adjective. However, there also are adjectives “ocultos” or “hidden/uncommon” that use the Latin root of the Spanish adjective to form the superlative. If I had a copy of my notes with me, I could go on in detail, but I’m sure most of you reading this didn’t come for a grammar lesson, so I’ll go on. After everyone in the class had finished their respective oral reports, we had a new lesson on the roots and origin of the Spanish language, which can be traced all the way back to ancient Latin, which in turn had connections to most of the languages of modern Europe. Like phonetics, this was an incredibly interesting lesson, but it was hard for me to wrap my head around all at once, and I hope to return to it someday. Linguistics fascinate me; they are both interesting and mind-boggling all at once.
Anyway, after a 1 hour respite and a rather ordinary lunch, I returned to school for Conversation Class, and an eclectic mix of topics. To begin, we discussed the practice of arranged marriages in the modern world. Now, I don’t wish to place stereotypes on anyone, but I thought that this practice was most common in India; what was surprising to me was that arranged marriages occur in all parts of the world, including some parts of the United States. Our second topic for the day was the local cuisine of Chile, some of which I’ve already written about in past entries. Besides empanadas, we learned about Pastel de Choclo (literally “Corn Cake,” a kind of corn casserole with onions, red peppers, and beef), Cazuela (a rich stew made with onions, beef, and potatoes), and Mote de Huesillo (a kind of non-alcoholic drink made with peaches and wheat. Sounds weird, but looks good). For the last few minutes of class, Lilianna had a game for us to play to build up our vocabularies: each of us took a card with a different occupation on it, and it was up to us to give hints to the others so they could guess the occupation on the card. It was fun, and we learned about a bunch of new jobs, but the game was a little too easy for us, and we were done well before class ended. For the last 10 minutes or so, we just talked to Lilianna about school and our interests. I think that’s the thing I like the most about Conversation Class; even if the conversation goes completely off topic, it still remains fun and engaging for everyone in the classroom.
The rest of the night wasn’t all that exciting, and I can’t even remember what we had for dinner that night. Ah, well. Don’t worry, things are going to get more interesting. Tomorrow, we head to the mountains for Weekend Excursion #2. Until then, God bless and stay well!