Spain, knees

Just a bit of an update on the knee situation: I did go to Spain last week to visit my parents and my aunt, in Alcalá de Henares, which is where Cervantes was born, and where my mom is doing a semester as part of her university’s study abroad program.

I almost turned around at Charles de Gaulle to take the next train back to Poitiers, but after a pep talk from J I stuck it out and had a great week in Spain, even if it did involve a lot of sitting. We had tapas every night, saw the inhabitants burn their giant sardine for Ash Wednesday (a tradition which no one seems able to explain), and went to Madrid my final evening. In Madrid I got to ride around the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen museums in a wheelchair, eat really delicious pintchos (like the things we ate everywhere in Pamplona where they were spelled with a Basque x), and see a flamenco show. I even spoke a tiny bit of Spanish and got back onto Duolingo (though there are some definite issues with that app and I wish they would hire me to fix them!).

All in all it was a great trip but walking was still very hard for any sort of distance. It required a lot of concentration and sometimes it hurt anyway. So I didn’t go in to work yesterday, since I had an appointment with the surgeon anyway for my feet. The same surgeon does knees so we looked at both of them, and he thought it was by no means sure that my ACL is actually broken. Unfortunately we won’t know till my MRI in La Rochelle on March 29th (in Poitiers the first appointment was even later!). He was more shocked by the state of my left big toe which I do need to get operated on at some point but I don’t know when I’ll be able to squeeze it in.

I’ll be back at work next Monday, in time for my conseil de classe, the bac blanc, and all sorts of other fun stuff. In the meantime I’m doing exercices every day and will head back to physical therapy tomorrow evening.

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5 thoughts on “Spain, knees

  1. Laurel says:

    I’m starting to think you might be better off if you just replaced your lower limbs with wheels. But in seriousness, I hope you mend quickly. Also I’m curious what you think needs fixing about Duolingo! Ed & I are up to Spanish level 9 and I generally like it, though there are things that annoy me and I’m curious whether they’re the same things that annoy an actual language teacher.

  2. mom says:

    my input on duolingo: they shouldn’t include stupid sentences, like ones about black water. it should be a simple matter to put together adjectives and nouns that might actually go together.

  3. Yes! So my main problem with Duolingo is authenticity. The windows are black? How do you eat an egg? My family has two dresses? Wtf??? It may seem silly but authenticity is important in language learning if you want one day to actually go to a Spanish-speaking country and communicate rather than just recognize words. Sometimes I look at a sentence and just TRY to imagine a situation in which a person might actually say it. It’s hard.

    Otherwise, I wish they were better at identifying sources of mistakes: “You used the wrong word” is often not at all what happened.

    And my “weak skills” are not my actually weak skills, so instead of practicing pronouns, I end up repeating “como estas.”

    Also I think some of the exercices could be done so that there is less recognition and more recall: a Spanish sentence where you don’t see it written but translate it into English; a Spanish sentence that you answer without seeing the words, etc… the possibilities are endless but I do understand that it’s a free app and you get what you pay for.

    That said, it IS fun and it DOES keep Spanish in my brain.

    Also Mom I am going to add your link to the original post.

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