Yesterday, in between arrests and fires and smack dab in the middle of a slight hangover, I pulled out the study sheet for my oral exam. I opened up my notebook and got to writing the answers so I could go back and study them.
The game plan was to do it all without consulting my books or a translator. Since I had both a review class and a study date for tonight, I figured I could iron out any mistakes later on.
With this in mind, I relaxed and stopped stressing about spelling or exactly perfect use of articles. I wrote three pages, all in Korean. Or “Korean,” as I thought of it. In fact, I was telling my coteacher just this afternoon that I’d show it to her later on so she could laugh at what I was sure looked like baby Korean.
When class started today, the teacher asked if any of us had reviewed and written down our answers. I proudly raised my hand, because I’m still relying on my enthusiasm and effort to sway opinions when they’re inevitably discussing how inept I am. The teacher then said she was going to check our answers and perfect them for studying.
"Shit," I thought. Those pages weren’t meant for anyone but me to see. My plan backfired. What was supposed to make me look studious and hard working was going to fully expose me for the fraud I am.
When she sat down with me and checked my work, something magical happened. Her red pen made very little contact with the paper. I figured she was just frozen dumb after seeing what I had done to her language. But no. There was just very little need for improvement.
Of course, it wasn’t perfect. But about 30% of my mistakes were careless things (I have an awful habit of writing 어 instead of 에, even though I’m saying it and thinking it correctly. It’s a mental hiccup along the lines of someone who forgets to cross their t’s.), 30% was misuse of articles, and 30% was spelling errors. The remaining 10% was me trying to get fancy and say things we hadn’t yet studied. THERE WASN’T A SINGLE SIGNIFICANT ERROR IN MY USAGE OF GRAMMAR PATTERNS. Which is awesome, because that’s been a struggle for me this term.
The teacher said it was very good, and not without a little surprise in her voice.
TL;DR: I wrote three COHERENT pages in Korean. I am actually fucking learning this language.
Now. If only I could speak it.