What is a grandmother like me doing in a place like this?27 de Febrero de 2011 | Por María | Categoría: Vida de la EOI
Could somebody believe that the roadworks to bury the railroad in Logroño could make a woman come to study English at the Official School of Languages?
Well, I’ll start from the beginning.
Once upon a time, a nice morning at the end of May 2010, I was driving through Lobete neighbourhood looking for a cabinet-maker to do some odd jobs at home. I had to leave Logroño to go to Varea. When I reached the tunnel in Piqueras street I found it closed to traffic, because of the famous works to bury the railroad. Then: chaos, traffic mess, and an obligatory detour to the left. I turned left, and in the next roundabout I bumped into a huge truck lying across the road, so there was another detour again… In short: I got stuck in a dead-end street, unknown for me, with a row of the called “cheap houses” on one side, and the Official School of Languages “El Fuero de Logroño” on the other side.
While I was trying to get out of this traffic jam I looked up, and I came across a close friend carrying a lot of books, papers, and so on. We greeted each other. She looked really upset and worried about her near exams. She was thinking about repeating a year.
–“Oh.” – I said- “But, must you work so hard at this school?”
–“ Of course.” – she answered – “We work really hard. If you want to learn English, this is the right place.”
–“Oh, yes.”- I thought at that moment -“I had always wanted to learn English and this could be the right place.”
I left my car in the middle of the street, and ten minutes later I had in my hands all the necessary information to request one place at this school. As I wanted to gain admittance in the second year, I had to do an exam (Oh, my God!…). And the exam was the following Monday (Oh, my God!… again).
But no; I couldn’t get worried for a little hitch like this. When I arrived at home, I had already bought my Elementary Grammar and my First Vocabulary. Now, I only needed to find in my brain the neuron where the English that I had learnt ages ago was kept. Through the weekend, the old neuron that, I imagine, was quietly asleep in the chest of my memory, got up-to-date and the following Monday at 4 o’clock I was ready to take my first exam after 40 years.
The exam’s day was memorable. All the cultural movements from the current XXI century, and some others from XX century too, were represented by the crowd which was taking the exam. From Punk to Gothic, including the Beach look (with lots of tattoos everywhere), and from Hippy to Posh, including some businessmen mixed with the usual students.
Actually, they were an odd bunch…It was quite a shocking feeling for me. It was like going back to my twenties although with a little bit of arthritis and eyestrain. It sounds funny, doesn’t it? But, was it really a sensible idea? -“What was a grandmother like me doing in a place like this?”- I thought.
Finally I passed my exam, got my place and here I am in Basic-2 surrounded by amusing teenagers and nice young people (younger than me, of course). I’m working like a slave and believe it or not, I even enjoy the exams.
Anyway, when I’m on the internet looking for the slight differences that a verb has when you change a preposition, and I realize that it is midnight, I ask myself once more: -“What the hell is a grandmother like you doing in a mess like this?”
PS 1. – I never went back to look for the cabinet-maker who had to do that work at home.
PS 2.- My training sessions to learn the list of the one hundred most common irregular verbs have improved my memory a lot, although I still lose my keys and my glasses once or twice a day. (Well, if it also happens to you, it may not only be a question of age…).