Denial seems so much easier than acceptance. I can feel this level of denial surging up through me when reading the critiques of the professor. Intellectually, I know it is there but psychologically it still wants a dominant role. I have to admit my errors.
In my first assignment I was a bit lazy. I wrote one draft, didn’t check the grammar or pacing of the story. I was just happy to have it finished. I sent it off and washed my hands of it. That was until I got the critique back from the professor who basically told me that my use of the Castillian language in writing was “tan pobre (oh so poor)”. Do you know what it feels like to a storyteller to be told that his use of “any” language is “poor.” I was devastated but knew that the error had been all mine. When I write in English I, painstakingly, take my time to examine each little nuance of every word, placement of adjectives, adverbs etc. Why hadn’t I done this when writing in Spanish?
The answer is simple but not flattering. I was scared. Fear was a factor in writing my first assignment and when I got to the end of writing it, I just wanted it to go away, leave me alone.
For the second assignment we were required to examine a singular moment in time and illustrate it as best we could by using the sights, sounds, smells of the incident to pull the reader in. I chose to write on what happened with my family and I during the 92 Riots here in LA.
I am pleased to say that the professor gave me a glowing review of the second exercise. He basically said that I must have worked like a madman in order to make such improvement. Do you see me smiling?
I actually did work like someone possessed. I couldn’t see myself doing less than I was capable of (fear or no fear). I have been speaking Spanish for more than 20 years but I realize, now more than ever, that speaking and writing creatively are two very different disciplines. I, literally, spent an entire day checking and re-checking my sentence structure, grammar, word usage, etc.
Knowledge and wisdom are not the same. I feel like I possessed a great deal of knowledge when it came to writing in Spanish but, through this initiatory process; I feel like I may gain a little of wisdom if I keep pushing on.