Friday, September 25, 2009

Amazing Skills

I tend to view the relative difficulty of things solely with regards to how difficult I find them. So, for example, I find scientists to be essentially super-human. By contrast, I have trouble grasping that any professional in the fields that I'm good at might possibly not know something that I do. If I go to a talk or roundtable on a topic, and I have a thought or objection that isn't voiced, I assume that it is so obvious that it goes without saying (because how could a law professor not have thought of it, if I did?).

But yesterday, this instinct reached an absurd degree. I was in the bathroom, and two Hispanic members of the catering staff were speaking Spanish. And I caught myself absolutely marveling at how smart they were, because they spoke Spanish. Now, for me, a former failed Spanish student, that would have been an impressive accomplishment, but for these two guys Spanish was clearly their first language. It would be one thing if I was marveling at them being bilingual (which is a real notch in the belt), but that really wasn't my thought process. It was a simple objective belief that I had that Spanish = difficult.

1 comment:

The Gaucho Politico said...

this is hilarious to me because it reminds me of the scene in little big league where the guy talks about how smart the kids were in venezuala where he played winter ball because they speak Spanish and its a hard language.