WHEN not blogging for the Olive Press, I spend my weekday afternoons giving English classes to adults and children who responded – or whose parents responded – to the flyers I posted in the town center.

It’s an excellent job. You set your own schedule, decide your own rates and interact with some extremely interesting people.

Spending my college years trying to learn Spanish, in addition to my current, daily quest to conquer the language, make me a perfect candidate to teach these private lessons.

My own language acquisition experience gives me great empathy for their successes and mistakes – many of which are quite funny.

For example, while discussing Christmas traditions, a pair of students recounted their younger days when they received a “free” baby pig they later ate. With slight trepidation at the possible responses, I wondered how they killed it. My two late-twenty-something male students emphatically explained that the pig was frozen to save them the mess. As it turns out, free = freeze = frozen.

When talking about our plans for New Year’s Eve with another student, she told me this: “My boyfriend will go to your house to celebrate.” My surprised face let her know she had misspoken and she corrected herself quickly.

These errors are not unlike ones I’ve made myself and are no less entertaining.

So, here’s hoping your holidays are spent with relatively clean hands in your own home or that of a loved one.

Felices fiestas!

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