I decided to ask my hubby some hard-hitting questions about his recent language school experience, and here are his answers:
Can you believe you have already completed your first semester of Language School?
It went so quickly I hardly remember it. It’s summer break already and it seriously seems like we just moved to Texas a month ago. It’s especially hard to believe that I can have conversations in Spanish now when I couldn’t speak anything just four months ago!
What were some of the highlights of the semester?
One early highlight was a long conversation I had with some neighbors from Chile. It was only a couple weeks into the semester and I was blown away that I could understand and speak enough to communicate in Spanish!
Another highlight was, after a lot of work and planning, broadcasting the school’s graduation ceremony over the Internet. Seeing one of the students cry in front of the camera because his parents in Mexico were watching was very rewarding for me.
What were some of the lowlights of the semester?
Phonetics exams were the lowlight! I did really well on one of them, but the others were pretty rough. I really should know the six points of articulation for the letter “n”, for example, as well as the symbols for velar voiced fricatives, palatal voiceless affricates, and bilabial voiced nasals, but phonetics just wasn’t my thing.
What was the hardest concept so far to learn of the Spanish language?
Word order and sentence structure! Spanish is so different. For example, in English, we say “I love you.” In Spanish, it is “You I love.” That is a very basic example; it gets much more complicated!
What was the most surprising thing you learned from all your classes?
In my Latin American Culture class, I learned that the barren papaya tree can be made to grow fruit by piercing the trunk with a machete. This can force it to become hermaphroditic (in other words, self-pollinating) when it was only male or female before. I was shocked!
Would you do anything differently during your first semester if given the opportunity?
I would have hidden my I.T. skills. Once word got out that I knew how to work with computers, I had too many people needing help. It took away study time and family time. I just had a hard time saying no when there were so many needs.
What are you most looking forward to now that you have completed the first semester and have a few months off?
Family time!!! I spent way too many afternoons helping around campus and too many late nights cramming for class the next day, and my family suffered. Going back to Illinois will be awesome, too, since I really miss family, friends, and the scenery.
Are you ready for 2nd semester and all the challenges it will bring?
I’m trying not to think about next semester after hearing how much harder it is than first semester! With God’s help, I will be ready, I’m sure.
How has your family handled all the changes that the move and Language school have brought?
Overall, we have handled it extremely well. I’m very proud of my wife and girls for making it this far. Things have changed so much in the last few years – especially with our move to Texas – so obviously there have been some really hard times, but we have grown as a family and I know we will look back on these times and thank God for how he used them to work in our family.
What does the future hold for you and your family during and after the last semester in school?
Only God knows for sure, but I think we will be further stretched next semester. Danyelle will be taking grammar and phonetics classes and I will be under a much greater workload than last semester. Also, we could very well be on staff with RGBI by next semester, which means I would have some work to do for the school in their technology area on top of my schoolwork.
After December, when school ends, I hope to be able to work 25 hours or so for RGBI and spend the rest of my week working with World Radio Network and Upon This Rock International (UTRI) as God leads. It’s also very possible that I would take a Bible class or two in Spanish at RGBI.
Danyelle will be homeschooling Abree this fall on top of her schooling, so she will definitely be stretched. After school, Danyelle’s main responsibility will be caring for our girls, but she will try to be involved with RGBI and UTRI as God allows.
All of this depends on having enough monthly financial support, so we are praying and trusting God to provide so we can make it through school and then focus on full-time ministry as soon as school is over.