Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My First Spanish Essay

This post is pure procrastination. 

But I have to write my first ever critical essay in Spanish, quite a daunting task. Spanish has been my hardest class this semester, probably my hardest class at Swat, and possibly my hardest class ever. It meets everyday, so I never get a chance to put off assignments. And while I manage to keep up with the day to day assignments, worksheets and book work for the TTH grammar section and readings for the MWF "drill" section, there are also long term projects (such as this one) looming over my head.

The hardest thing about this essay is that it brings me the closest I've ever been to thinking in Spanish. I'm writing in Spanish about a book I read in Spanish, so there's really no room for English to intervene. 

My friend Sarah asked me once over dinner if I felt that I write differently when I write in Spanish. She's a junior and knows the language well enough that it takes her as much time to write an essay in Spanish as in English. "I really think I write differently," she says, or something like it. 

As I write this essay, I'm trying to negotiate this empty space, or rather, this space where I'm not in control of the words. My thoughts, and the words that actually come out on the page, are limited by my vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. I am sure that I'm writing differently because of these constraints, but I'm also sure that this isn't what Sarah means at all.

Are these things I would say in English (if I were in the sixth grade)? Is my organizational scheme somehow different? 

But in my frustration (and procrastination) I begin to wonder if I will ever know if something's different, if I will ever have the upper hand in this battle for expression, if I will ever hold the reins tight enough to know that what comes out is me, and not the lack of the right word.  

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