May 6, 2010 | Spanish

An Italian Detour, Continued

How much Italian can I remember by teatime tomorrow?

It is late afternoon as I write this, and throughout the day I have continued my brief but intensive Italian detour in preparation for our Italian guest tomorrow.

Out of Retirement: My Italian Books

I have now been working on Italian since shortly after I woke up this morning—mostly written grammar exercises but also Pimsleur—and have moved through three distinct phases.

Phase 1: Disappointment, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. I realized that no matter how well I did on Pimsleur yesterday evening, I had forgotten a gazillion different things: vocabulary, word forms, syntax, etc. I concluded that I had been way too optimistic and overestimated the state of my Italian skills. Things were looking bleak.

Phase 2: Joy, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. After a couple of hours of Italian grammar review, the rate at which I was remembering stuff accelerated. For the next several hours I did better and better, running through present and past tense verbs, perfect and progressive forms, vocabulary and idioms. Things seemed to be flying back into my brain. My growing cockiness manifested itself in an abundance of excessively rolled r’s.

Phase 3: Nausea, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Halfway through the afternoon it seemed the sudden and intensive switch to a different language was becoming too much for me. My back hurt. I began feeling sick to my stomach. I think the part of my brain that was dedicated to my Spanish studies began rebelling and attacking various muscle groups.

I have decided to take a nap and see what happens after that.

Tea is at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow…

Post a Comment