The following was an article that I wrote back in May/June for my school’s newspaper’s back page. I’ve already gone through the program discussed, and I’ll probably post an article about it later this week.
Back in January, I applied to a language immersion program in Vermont. Essentially, I’m going to try and learn as much as Spanish as I possibly can within the scope of a month. It shouldn’t be that bad, considering there’s nothing else really to do in Vermont except speak Spanish and drink maple syrup out of oversized martini glasses. With that being said, there was one part of the application process that was particularly un-enjoyable- actually having to explain why I thought it was important to speak another language. I thought and thought and thought to myself about what possible use knowing a foreign language could have. I thought about the necessity of communication in forming a more unified and peaceful global community. I thought about the importance of understanding the culture of others. I thought about the significance of Spanish in forging a lasting relationship with our neighbors to the south. Lastly, I thought about the fact that we’re all people, and at the end of the day that’s what counts. I then burst out laughing at those things, and listed the following as my reasons for wanting to learn Spanish.
1. Swarthy Latin Charm
On a scale from 1-10, the charm one gets from speaking Spanish is approximately Antonio Banderas. I would actually write it in number form, but I only have 800 words, so we’ll go with that for now. As a Spanish speaker, you can shmooze your way through anything in life. Got an F on a test? Turn it into an A with some Espanol. Want to woo a girl or guy that you quite fancy? Sing Enrique Iglesias to them. Killed somebody? Say “hola” to some Spanish (and a defense attorney). Let’s face it, Spanish adds appeal to everything. Would anyone really find this guy attractive if it weren’t for the fact that he speaks Spanish?
Number Two: Latin American Domination
It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to be the President (read: ruthless dictator) of at least three Latin American countries. Between the weather, the food, and the language, it’s by far the most desirable place to be supreme ruler. The caveat in that dream prior to this summer, however, was my lack of Spanish speaking. After all, I can’t convince anyone that their government is full of capitalist pigs that want to steal their souls if I don’t speak the same language as them. Either way, this summer seemed like a great opportunity to advance that dream of mine. Once I’ve mastered Espanol, then it’s just mastering my communistic rhetoric. Then its beaches all day and pan con queso for breakfast every morning.
Number Three: Chipotle Snobbishness
Everybody loves Chipotle. But let’s face it; it’s not really authentic Mexican food. With that being said, I’m not the one to point that out, as I am not a Spanish speaker, and I still think that Taco Bell makes a mean burrito. Nevertheless, that won’t be the case once I learn to speak Spanish. I’ll get to start ordering my food in Spanish, I’ll get to pay in Pesos, and I’ll get to lecture my friends about how tacos aren’t realllllly Mexican. Most importantly, I’ll get to be condescending to people as I walk around with my Chipotle cup with those stupid phrases on them. After all, man, we are talking fresh, organic, natural ingredients in a portable and accessible medium that is both flavorful and naturally sustainable. And natural sustainability (and free trade!) is seewwwww important.
Number Four: Mounting My Defense Once I Have Been Ousted From Dictator
There’s a strong chance that once I’ve become dictator, the people over which I rule will eventually overthrow me and put me on trial. If that indeed happens, and I must face a jury, I’ll need to actually testify as to why they shouldn’t throw me in jail for taking over their government, and destroying their economy. Unfortunately, even with the ability to speak Spanish, I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with a viable defense as to why I shouldn’t be jailed for my coup. Just as long as the angry authorities that come to get me don’t apprehend me Noriega style, I’ll be ok.