I woke up this morning after only five hours of sleep. (Too many projects rolling around in my head). The word that prompted my eyes to open was “Lista?” (Ready?) I could hear my Spanish tutor’s voice, repeating the invitation as she gently lured me into the next lesson. Every morning we would greet and chat about the previous day, what we had for dinner, what I did with my family, etc. and then she would say, “Lista?” (Ready to learn?) “Si, estoy lista,” I would reply, taking a deep yoga breath in preparation for the next mental challenge. Learning another language is truly exhausting.
After each new lesson, Ruth would study my squinched brow and give me plenty of time to process the conjugated verb or the irregular tenses and uses. After a few examples and some practice, she would repeat another mantra, “Es claro?” (Is it clear?) “Si, esta claro,” or “no, una otro ejemplo, por favor.” (No, another example please). I loved how Ruth demonstrated the experiential learning cycle, making it mandatory for the lesson to be clear before presenting the next one. Lessons build upon each other and we must allow time to soak in new information and make sense of it before being ready to take on the next lesson. I also appreciated Ruth’s constant response to my frustration, “poco a poco” (little by little). She emphasized the need for practice and encouraged me that eventually I would build skills.
What a great model for life. We are continually being prepared for the next lesson. I had such a full day yesterday. Before I dive in to today’s agenda and declare “lista,” I must review yesterday’s experiences – the conversations I had, the relevant information I gained, the day’s blessings. “Claro?” What from yesterday do I need to pay close attention to and follow up for more clarity. Allowing time for this thought process, (I call it prayer), is pertinent for declaring “Lista!”
What does the picture have to do with this message? Adam and Benjamin have been at grandparents’ this week – learning to ski and wake board. Learning any new skill requires commitment, practice, willingness to fail, persistence, patience and appreciation for the trainer.
Muchas Gracias Ruth, mi maestra. Yo aprendi mucho por ti.
(I don’t know where the accents are on this keyboard).