Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Father's Day/Feliz Dia del Padre

One of people who encouraged me to learn Spanish was my Dad. When I was just six years old, we would watch Sesame Street and sing along while we Luis and Maria taught us Spanish. Here's a link to one of the Classic songs - this one is about saying "hola". Classic Sesame Street - Hola with Maria and Luis.

In the second grade, my elementary school had an international week. My teacher asked us to bring in words in Spanish, and whoever brought in the most words won a prize. So, my Dad kept giving me words that he knew. I don't really remember what I won, but it doesn't matter because learning those words was the bigger prize.

As I got older and started to learn about the world, my Dad started to tell me about the places in the world he visited in the Navy. He loved Barcelona, Cannes, Italy, and Greece. As I entered high school, he told me about his high school Spanish teachers. My Dad often quotes one of his teachers, "M, you speak so well too bad you don't know what you are saying." My Dad's mother's friend Hazel told my Dad the importance of learning languages, too. He never forgot that, and clearly, passed that on to me.

When I was in high school, my Dad and I made a promise to each other that if I went to Spain to study abroad, he would come and visit. In 2002, we fulfilled that promise. I drank my first cafe con leche with him in the Cafe de Indias on la Avenida de la Constitucion in Sevilla. We visited Ronda and stayed in a Parador over looking the gorge. The yemas from Ronda were so good. We took a train to Granada to see the Alhambra. Then, we returned to Sevilla. The night before he left, we went to see flamenco at la Carboneria while sipping on tinto de verano. We stuffed our faces silly with jamón serrano and queso manchego at the Alfonso XIII hotel. It was a trip I will never forget.

My Dad and I in Ronda, Spain

I am grateful for a father who cultivated within me such a love of Spanish language and culture. Parents play an integral role in encouraging their children to be open to learning languages and by seeing value in it. Having supportive parents, of course, make the Spanish teacher's job that much easier.

No comments:

Post a Comment