they said it would happen; i didn't believe them.
but here i am, mere weeks into my Tejas residency and i have mastered...
i am actually really excited about this. i've spent weeks in foreign countries and never picked up a word of the native language. i took 3 years of german in high school and i only remember how to count to ten (minus the two. i can't remember two). my two closest friends are enviably proficient in spanish, and i am so jealous that they can carry on conversations with spanish-speaking people while i came home from guatemala knowing only how to ask someone if their bum itched (we were screening for pinworm). i have resigned myself to the fact that i am just not good at languages. i wish i was. i will be the first one to sign up for that brain chip implantation.
still, necessity is the mother of invention, and, i guess, language proficiency. when everyone around you is chattering away in spanish--nurses, doctors, patients, housekeeping, the computer tech...you manage to pick up the basics.
i am delighted to discover that i can now successfully introduce myself, evaluate a patient, describe findings of an ultrasound, deliver her baby, congratulate her, and follow-up her postpartum course, all in a really quite inventive combination of bio-linguistics i like to call sparades ("spanish charades"). this is also where my sign-language background comes in handy.
and i can tell i'm getting better, because more often patients are responding with 'si' or 'no' instead of puzzled (or worse, frightened) glances. my vocabulary is expanding to the point where i can actually ask a patient what she would like for post-partum contraceptives, a step-up from asking her what she wanted for "no mas bebes," which is what i was asking.
i could never go to mexico and have any sort of decent conversation with anyone, but stick me in a room with any spanish-speaking pregnant woman--i'd do all right.
Felicitaciones a mi!