No Monto Mi Bicicleta En Enero

2020-01-13 – I haven’t ridden my bike since January 2.

January 2 was a pretty nice day for January, and I did 20 some miles on the North Branch Trail. But it’s gotten wintry. Today there is snow on the ground. Last year we had a few more nice days in January before winter closed in and froze me out of riding for a couple months.

This year I am spending a fair amount of time studying Spanish.

Kit and I have been studying with a teacher from Colombia, but we’ve also had a break from that; el maestro has gone to visit his family there for a month. But the weather doesn’t prevent me from working on the Duolingo app or reading stories in the Spanish diarios or watching La Casa de los Flores on Netflix. We watch with Spanish audio AND Spanish subtitles. I miss probably half the words, but I am getting the gist of the historia—which is pretty escandalosa.

The “point” of learning Spanish is so that I understand more of my meetings with immigration clients. My interpreter is there to make sure we understand each other. But things can get oscura for from time to time as the conversation goes from the interpreter to the client and back to the interpreter. Catching a few words here and there would help a lot. And maybe someday I’ll get good enough that I won’t need an interpreter.

And that’s the real point. I’m learning a new language. It’s a new skill. It’s not just for client meetings. I’m learning to talk to anyone who can talk to me in Spanish.

I’m going to be put a lot of miles on the bike before I’ve arrived at that point, though. Whenever I start to feel like I’m really mastering my Duolingo lessons, I play one of their podcasts that are billed as “intermediate” Spanish. I’ve still got quite a ways to go.

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