Friday, October 17, 2008

Going to Class

I mentioned last month that I'm in a Medical Assisting class. That takes up my Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and then I have homework. Right now (not right this minute, but before class on Tuesday) we have to type up letters for referrals to and from other doctors and to terminate misbehaving patients, and we have to listen to a simulation of phone calls for a couple days at the office, log them in, and write up any message slips and appointment slips. And read the next chapter.

Wednesday night I started Spanish for Medical Professionals. Our instructor told us right off the bat that we're not going to learn to speak Spanish. We're going to be learning the basics of words that we'd hear in a medical setting. Things like prepositions, relationships (mother, husband, cousin), medical terminology, and how to pronounce the language.

I had to learn Spanish in sixth grade ("Hola, Paco. ¿Como estas?"). It was a requirement of San Diego schools. Being forced into learning it is part of what made me not like it. That and a traumatic visit to Tijuana for shopping with the family when I was about 10 or 12. It smelled bad there, a combination of sewer and the way grease smells in dumpsters behind fast-food restaurants. And at the shopping district, the vendors (male) kept hitting on me in an attempt to entice me into buying what they had for sale. It was creepy. I associated Spanish with the bad smells and emotions and wanted no part of it.

I learned a few phrases along the way out of necessity and living in Southern California, and after I learned how to pronounce Polish for a trip to Poland in 1997, I got better at rolling my R's in Spanish too. But I still didn't like it.

Until I went to the Just Give Me Jesus conference that Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter) held in San Diego. The musician for the conference was Fernando Ortega ("I am Fernando Ortega. You killed my father. Prepare to die."--Yes, he said that at the conference), and he sang a Spanish worship song that he said was a traditional song from way back when in Mexico. The song was, Con Que Pagaremos, and I understood almost none of it, but it was one of the most beautiful things I've heard in my life. At the moment I heard Ortega sing it, I decided that maybe I wouldn't mind learning Spanish after all.

I haven't done that yet, but that change of heart played into my decision to sign up for the medical Spanish class.

My purpose in taking these medical classes is to get qualified for a job, and maybe even with the Spanish to get a bit of an advantage over some of the other people who will be applying for the same jobs. Sure, the bilingual people will have the advantage over me, but I'll take whatever I can get.

Our instructor had a huge list of English and Spanish words on the board for us to copy and learn. Then she gave us a big handout with more terms. She went through everything, making sure we knew how to pronounce it and making us say things out loud so she could correct us. My pronunciation got "muy bien" every time.

Then she erased the vocabulary words (family relationships) and wrote medical terms until she ran out of space. We copied them and then pronounced them.

I already knew the word for heart: corazon. I learned that one when I watched Romancing the Stone back in the '80s. And the word for lung (pulmón) was easy to remember, because it's just like the medical terminology I learned last year.

So I'm on my way. But I stopped at the end of class to tell the instructor that I have a job interview on Monday afternoon (I passed the initial-screening phone interview with the HR person this past Monday), and if I get the job, I'll be dropping the Spanish class.

I told my Medical Assisting instructor the same thing at the end of class Thursday, and she suggested that I stick out the class and get my certificate so I won't waste all the work I've already done (the class is half-over). Unfortunately, the job would be a day job, so I wouldn't be able to continue the morning class. So she said she had a bit of pull and might be able to get me into the evening or online class. I might take her up on it, just in case I get the job but it goes south on me.

So that's the latest. Big interview scheduled to last about 2 hours Monday afternoon for an Admin job that pays really well for that kind of work. I'd appreciate your prayers.


Anonymous said...

German's better.


janice said...

Best of luck Skye!

I did care for spanish class either, not for the vivid reasons you gave though.

janice said...

I'm sorry, make that DIDN"T care for spanish class.

SkyePuppy said...

My son,

French is way better than German!