Today is “English day” in the office. Yesterday the new administrative assistant came into my room to tell me he wants to learn English. I said, “NO! Everyone wants to learn English. No one speaks Portuguese with me. I need to learn Portuguese. You don’t need to learn English.” He told me I could speak Portuguese with the guys one my team. I explained that only one of them doesn’t try to practice English with me and that’s only because when he told me he also wanted to practice English, I told him I refuse and will only speak Portuguese with him. Actually, I have finally put my foot down with my team and respond now in Portuguese to their English and always try to ask questions in Portuguese. But yesterday I realized that the administrative assistant really should know English since he is dealing with lots of different people in the office. So we agreed that we’d alternate English and Portuguese days.
But I’m frustrated that my Portuguese practice seems to be decreasing. The frustrations about language learning are compounded by my frustrations in general that I spend all my time sitting behind a desk. I’m not an office person. I’m a teacher. I’m a mover and a shaker. I learn and work by interacting with people, not by interacting with a screen. And I want to learn this language! How can I learn a language that I need in order to function well in this environment if I sit behind a computer all the time? And especially if the handful of people I do interact with on a daily basis always speak English with me???
I need to vent a little. Expect further posts on my current frustrations and feelings of purposelessness. And if I’m feeling a little less in the depths of despair, I might post about my gorgeous weekend in Tofo diving with manta rays.