Thursday, June 17, 2010

the World Cup

Chile won! 1-0 against Honduras. It was a good game, where by "good" we mean "Honduras put up a little fight but Chile dominated control of the ball the entire time."

Classes are canceled for the first and final games, and any time Chile is playing, so yesterday morning, instead of getting up at 6:15 and going into school, I got to sleep in, watch the game in bed, sleep some more, get up, have a leisurely breakfast, and watch the rest of the game. The U.S. could learn from this, if there was anything we cared about as much as Chileans care about soccer.

This week we've just been doing review for the oral test next week, and it's interesting to see the effect on their focus of us having conversation in Spanish, instead of me using limited English with lots of modeling, and them trying to understand. (The effect is "bad," for what it's worth.) The students have been asking me three questions:

1. Did I see the U.S. tie England?

They say "tie" [empatar] a certain way; if not disdain, then definitely a decided lack of prestige. Yes, I did watch the game, but I didn't think the U.S. played very well, except for our goalie. Acknowledging that my country's team played poorly seems to baffle them. I think they wanted to have a sort of "yo momma" back-and-forth about it.

2. Am I rooting for Chile? [I'm not sure how fanatic this implies I should be.]

Duh, of course.

3. Who do I support if the U.S. and Chile make the final?

Since I'm trying to communicate, I can't say "I don't really care that much"; I might as well respond with "Yes, I love tuna melts more than I love my girlfriend." (I don't like tuna melts, and they don't know what a tuna melt is.) They would sense that something weird was happening, but they wouldn't get what.

Only slightly less startling was the other honest-but-dodging answer: "It's not going to happen. The U.S. is going to lose."

Here's someone, their teacher, of all people, seemingly in full command of his faculties, saying...his country's team not only didn't play very well, but is going to lose?! In the World Cup? This just isn't done, I think.
Everyone chalks up my lack of crazed enthusiasm to being American, which isn't inaccurate; but I can't explain to them, any more than I can explain to sports fans in the States, that I just don't care about televised sports that much.

Remember: just because you're speaking the same language doesn't mean you're communicating.

1 comment:

  1. Vis a vis the last line, see also, "I don't understand. You have to speak more slowly." "No, more slowly." "s-l-o-w-l-y." ;-)