Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In Which I DON'T Look Like a Deer Caught in Headlights

In Korean class, I like (to try) and show off. It has nothing to do with my classmates and everything to do with the fact that I'm ridiculously competitive in all things academic. I will risk making mistakes in order to participate fully and try to express myself. I will experiment. I will be bold. 

This is me in a store or wherever when asked a question in Korean in a real life situation:
1. Open eyes wide.
2. Stammer
3. Picture the flashcard, worksheet, lesson in which I learned how to answer this....and blank. Completely.
4. Stammer apologies some more.
5. Give up and/or gesticulate wildly to try to make them understand.
6. Feel desperately embarrassed that I've been living here for over a year and often fail to answer simple questions.
7. Walk away and berate self to study harder.

I've been getting better though. I try to rehearse in my head the questions they might ask me before I go into stores and how I can respond.  I repeat the answers to myself a few times before I go in and take deep breaths. Today I had not one but TWO successful conversations in Korea. And by conversations I mean mini dialogue type things but STILL. Listen to what happened at the dry cleaners (translated):

Me: What day do I come back?
Man: What day is it today?
Me: It's Tuesday.
Man: ~counts on fingers~ Friday.
Me: Friday? (just to make sure I heard right)
Man: Yes, Friday.
Me: Thank you! Goodbye!
Man: Goodbye!

I've been going to the dry cleaners for months and EVERY TIME before today I butchered this conversation. BUTCHERED. I've known the days of the week since last October. LAST OCTOBER and I still would go all wide-eyed deer when faced with having to communicate what I needed. I felt giddy when I left the dry cleaners just because I managed to ask what I needed without giving or receiving blank stares when I bungle simple phrases into unintelligible Korean.

Spaz update: NOTHING! I haven't tripped over anything in DAYS!! In volleyball practice yesterday I didn't even get in the face OR hit anyone else in the face/head.Of course, I've probably just jinxed myself miserably but I don't care! La la la! ~Happy Dance~

....Did I mention how much I love spring weather? Expect similar giddy posting as the sunny days continue.

I went into the grand opening of a new makeup store in Yangsan before my French lesson (Innis Free!) and managed to say, no I'm don't need foundation I already have Innis Free foundation! Not just that, for the first time I filled out my own point card application instead of them taking my ID to get information and doing it for me. It wasn't even a bilingual sheet!

None of this is exactly challenging vocabulary but when you think about how frustrating it must be to not accomplish basic tasks without looking like an absolute fool or getting outside help you realize how good it feels to be able to do it successfully on your own.


Josh said...

happy for you little one! you = silly

Alex said...

~silly dance~

Nancy K said...

Cute. Glad to see that you are making progress in Korean.