Image by James F Clay via Flickr

Today I was in class where the information was non-stop. Now, I fully comprehend this is what a taking a class and being in a learning environment are all about. But this class was in English and the majority of the students do not yet speak English fluently.

Most of the students in the class have other First Languages, some weren’t born or even raised here. Since I was born and raised with English as my first and only language to date, you’d think processing the information would be a cinch for me.

Well, it wasn’t. My brain went “overload, overload, overload” a few times. Not only that but we had to navigate the computer screen as we learned and I lost my place a couple of times.

But then, I still have days where I wonder: does an E go one the end of that word or not? Does necessary have 2 s’s or 2 c’s? Does exaggerate have 2 g’s? Sometimes I cannot recall. Still, you’d think it would be easy to simply digest information since the class was in my native tongue.

What amazed me was when I glanced round the room (which, by the way, was so freezing cold, I raced home to put socks and sweaters and jeans on instead of my sandals, capris and t-shirt and I’m still not warm brrrr)…

Anyway, when I glanced around, every single one of class mates was taking it all in stride, whether they fully understood the English or not. Each of them appeared happy to simply be there, learning together. Yes, happy. Even the lovely woman from China who has a horrible cold was smiling and interacting joyfully.

Did that ever make me feel lucky to be sitting among those people.

I’ve heard that English is the hardest language to learn. But I also think it’s the easiest language to forget.

People, however, aren’t they just the greatest? The human spirit of connection is visible no matter the language we each fluently speak.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s class to see my new friends again.

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