Thursday, 5 July 2012

Goodness gracious it's July!

How on earth did that happen? We've been here for almost four months now and it is still a little surreal.

Last night we went to the last class of the ten week Arabic course - I'm surprised we made it.  There is a final test on Sunday, which we are postponing for two weeks because neither of us would pass the test at the moment.  It's been a massive roller coaster.  We are the only people on the course who started with no Arabic at all.  The grammatical rules, at this point, are very straight forward, but there are sooooooo many of them and they affect everyday language intimately; but that is not really the issue.  The issue is the vocabulary of more than 500 words that we really should have memorized by now - not to mention the 29 letter alphabet that we were introduced to last week!!!

The alphabet was the straw that broke the camel's back.

We hadn't made the first session (it's the only one I've missed in the whole ten weeks- 48/50 hours is not bad!) because a certain little kitty snuck out between my legs straight into the welcoming killing machine that is "Mother Cat" in our back yard. Mother Cat (who is not Button's mother and is pregnant again) didn't take kindly to Miss Button's appearance and proceeded to drive her out of "her" backyard - with extreme prejudice. It was a very subdued Button who curled up with David that evening. The next morning, Button was not quite her usual self and slept in a dark corner most of the day. She came out just as I was deciding to drag her out. Surprise, surprise there was a very sore lump on her side with a puncture wound near it - along with several other puncture wounds. A call to the vet...they opened at 4...over the other side of town...if they kept her overnight we could go to Arabic...if it didn't take long we could take her to Arabic... we could rush her home and come back to Arabic late... Of course none of those things happened. It didn't take long - she either had an abscess or she had perforated her thorax - we needed to watch her breathing closely and feed her antibiotics twice a day for a week. When she was spayed that was easy...but now? Watch the video and see....

The upshot was: the cat won, Arabic lost, and wasn't that a bad idea!!

In the next lesson the teacher very kindly went through the letters, their sounds and most of their physical structure. Arabic letters have different shapes depending on whether they are written alone, at the beginning of a word, in the middle of a word or at the end of a word - the explanation took about 30 minutes.  Then we tried to keep up.  Oh ye Gods and little fishes!!!! He went so fast that I wasn't actually able to focus on a word before he had finished with it.  We all tried to slow him down, but to no avail.  I walked out in a fury about half an hour before the end of class.  It's the first time I have ever walked out of a class as a student, but it was that, or throw things.  Anyway, driving along on Monday, listening to myself saying "If only I had another week," it dawned on me.  The teacher had said we had three weeks to do it in!  Hooray!!  All we have to do now is practise..............

Emma (the slightly dotty Englishwoman that every class must have) and Sabrina (American/Spanish and a convert to Islam) keep telling us that we have learnt more than we realise.  I know we've learned alot.  Just not enough.  We're not going back to the Polyglot for more, we'll find somewhere closer to home to avoid the two hours of travel time.  Preferably a course that is purely conversational.  We do have all the building blocks, I just need to get over the terror of taking that first plunge into the deep end.

1 comment: