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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Swedish For Immigrants - Week 8 Part 1


The End Is Near

Part 1

Only a few more days now. No school Monday – Tuesday. I have an assessment interview Wednesday (Utvecklingssamal). This and last Friday’s test will determine what class I take next. This test was a big one and I was determined to be up for it. There were four parts. We were to have two hours to finish it. I put in six hours homework on parts 1 & 2 earlier in the week and was going to review parts 3 & 4 Thursday evening. Best laid plans. . . .

Our Thursday mornings start with an hour in the computer room. We look at Swedish language on-line sites. Sometimes we type and print out lessons, which doesn’t help me much, but probably good for students who have grown up writing Arabic script – الخط العربي. Beautiful to look at, but how they hell does anyone read those twisting, curvy lines and dots? Must be a huge transition from that to the European alphabet.

This Thursday we are not typing. Teacher is talking, in Swedish as usual, and as usual I am clueless, but can tell it’s about Friday’s big test. Something has happened. Something to do with class times. This does not sound good. (Pun unintended).

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” I tell her. Now she writes it on the board. There’s been a mistake in class-time scheduling. Parts 3 & 4 of the test will be given today, one hour from now. Part 3 is about Swedish verb tenses, a subject impossible to understand unless you are Swedish. I had planned on going over them this afternoon.

Both test days were a disaster. I got so stressed out trying to answer parts 3 & 4 I forgot most of what I had practiced on 1 & 2. I figure my overall average in class is no better than 60%, but that might turn out to be to my advantage. I don’t want to be in any sort of advanced class. I’ve barely survived this ‘Intro’ class. If there’s a section for slow learners, that is where I want to be.

This class has had ups and downs, but I’ve enjoyed it most of the time. I like the teacher. She’s been good at what she does, and fun, good sense of humor. Hers is not an easy job I think . . . fighting the cell phones. I feel compassion, having had the problem teaching high school students in Seattle. The guys and gals in this class are much the same, but their average age is around 32. They can’t seem to stay off the damn phones. It’s like an addiction, texting, having secret conversations, looking up words used on tests – there is a translation app. Teacher is constantly catching them at it.

“Put that away!” Sometimes she whacks the guilty student’s desk with her pointer. Pow! I love it when she does that. Always makes me laugh.

It’s been a good experience. I think most of this class have done very well. A couple, not so much. I suspect they occupy seats for the money they are paid to attend to attend these classes. A couple other students, like myself, are struggling, but making a serious effort. Another two are cheating on the tests, but sound like they are also learning, and know more of the answers to questions than I do.

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