Doors Can’t Be Pink and Other Lessons Learned in a Spanish Elementary School

Pink Door

Source: Ian Storey Decorator

Color Well

Chicos, hay que colorear bien,” groused the English teacher as she corrected workbooks and tried to wave off Elsa, who was always hovering around her desk like an extremely hyperactive bee. La profe had just finished reprimanding Andrés, who had dared to color a door pink.

“Doors can’t be pink! Think about it, Andrés! Seriously, what color are doors?” she had asked him, as the little boy with the bowl cut and wide brown eyes stared shamefaced at the floor. Andrés, along with his equally adorable best friend, Kike, was the star of the class—he never spelled “thirteen” as “threeteen” or told me “I have six years old.” But today he had dared to color a door pink!

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Mis Impresiones de una High School

One of the things I was looking forward to doing when my in-laws visited was taking my father-in-law to my old stomping grounds—my former high school. It was inaugurated in 1992, and it has the second-largest swimming pool in the state (!), so—I’ll admit it—I thought he might be impressed. As a former high-school teacher himself, he found everything interesting and remarkable (as in, something upon which to remark).

Afterwards I asked him if he would write up his impressions of the visit. He sent me back a very professional-looking document. If I were a teacher, I’d give him an A+, or in Spain’s system, a matrícula de honor. First I’m going to let you read what he wrote in Spanish (if you can), and then I’ll translate it at the end.

Graduation Crawfordsville High School

Graduating from my high school

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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Hendrickson

Before my parents came, I had one of my classes write them letters, telling them what to do, see, and eat in Spain. I will exceprt some of their responses for you.

If you want the beach, you go to Almeria. Thear are very hot. By for now

You should eat macaroni, spaguetti…It’s very good. Here the typical food is the rice in Zamora form. You should see the cathedral, the shops “Bershka” y “Zara.” Too you see Herreros street and park Valorio.

Just FYI, Zara and Bershka are like Ann Taylor/Forever 21. Not exactly unique. Also, Herreros street is the party street. Ha!

My name is Pablo. I am 14 years old. In Spain you go to San Sebastian, the Concha beach. Adios, bye, adios, hasta pronto.

You should see cities and monuments. You should eat meat. My favorite food is spagueti.

You should eat jam.

(Pssst. He means ham. But they say it HHHHHam with a really strong jota sound.)

FOOD PLACES MONUMENTS CITIES REGIONS. You should see the temples of God Church.

See, normally they refuse to even speak English to me so reading these I am finally able to assess exactly where they are at in terms of English level…What do you think?