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… for being able to speak Spanish! Word has spread among the Latino community that the English teacher habla espanol. When I asked one of the room service stewards how he knew I spoke Spanish, he told me that a Mexican crew member told him my Spanish is very good. I am so excited! Crewmembers I don’t even know greet me in Spanish when they pass me in the hallways.

I think this has also given me a little more credibility professionally. Several different crewmembers have asked me if I speak any other languages. I get the feeling they ask this with the expectation that I, like many Americans, only speak English. Something in their face changes when I answer that I majored in French and now speak Spanish. They seem to respect me a little more knowing that I too have struggled with a second language.

And just so I’m not blowing my own horn too loudly, one example of my limitations in espanol: I was at a disco a couple weeks ago and a Mexican came up to me and said something in Spanish. I asked him to repeat it (in Spanish) 3 or 4 times. Then he switched to English and said “I’m sorry. I thought you spoke Spanish.” I replied “I do, but not in here!” They play the dance music so loud that conversations are challenging – I can hardly understand my own language at the discos!

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