20 May 2011

Exam logjam

So, I passed my midterm exam with an admirable grade.  But there's hardly time to take a short breather because the next exam is just 10 days from now.!  And this is the final exam which covers everything from the entire course.  Can you hear that weird noise... it sort of sounds like the noise those long skinny balloons make when the street busker guy is twisting them into balloon animals?  Well, that squeaking is coming from my brain which is stretching to accommodate the mountains of new grammar and vocabulary that I take home every day from class, and which need to be studied, memorized and understood for this exam in 10 days.  

Everything is on hold for the next 10 days (including blogging) while I study and study and study and study, with small breaks for eating, sleeping, weeping, then back to more studying.

I'm praying that the jingles stay out of my head for this one.  These last few days of studying have been rudely interrupted by my brain singing Strangers In The Night (Sinatra version) in an endless loop over my dative possessive pronouns.  Why can't my brain sing instrumentals? 

10 May 2011

Pronoun purgatory.

I have to write my midterm Croatian exam tomorrow.  I'm studying hard to keep my cases straight, and learning new vocabulary at the speed of light, and trying to remember when k changes to c and when a singular masculine noun is alive vs not alive, etc.  I can store most of this stuff nicely in my brain, but I've got a block when it comes to pronouns.  Seriously.  Don't ask me why I can't remember these things.  The pronouns in Croatian are a bit of a handful.  In English they are pretty easy to keep straight:  I, me, my, theirs, them, his, him, etc.  Simple stuff.  And I study them in Croatian.  Really really study them.  And I feel super confident when I sit down to write a test...and then it happens.  Whammo-bammo, the pronoun section of my brain goes out for coffee and leaves something useless in its place, like a pop tune or an old jingle.

So here's what's going on in my head as I'm trying to write the pronoun section of the exam:

Me:    Alright pronouns! I know this stuff like the back of my hand. Let's see, second person plural locative.
Brain:  we're sorry, all our operators are busy; please hold the line
Me:  okay don't panic, I'll just go to the next one.  Hmm, this one needs third person singular masculine in the accusative.  No problem.  I know this one, it goes like...
Brain:  YMCA, it's fun to stay at the YMCA
Me:  oh help!  come on, I know this stuff.  How do you say 'with her' in Croatian?
Brain:  I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper
Me & Brain:  wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too!  Be a Pepper, drink Dr. Pepper! 

It's grammar-jingle-dyslexia.  With flying monkeys and hula hoops.

If the teacher only knew what was going on in my head......