Don’t Want to Be Forever Young

In Beginner Spanish today we were learning how to ask somebody’s age and I had students guess mine. It was very funny. They all think I’m much younger than I really am. And if you try to tell me they are saying it to suck up, you haven’t met any teenagers recently.

I’m actually really glad I’m not younger because it’s now fashionable among young men to paint their fingernails. I find that… not conducive to the awakening of my hormonal processes, so it’s just as well I’m too old to care. I don’t know how I would have found a boyfriend if I were young today. Nail polish kills it for me on sight.


17 thoughts on “Don’t Want to Be Forever Young

  1. LOL True re nail polish. Plenty of boys in my classes seem to wear it on occasion, but it seems most do it as a passing fad (e.g., saw a friend try it on) rather than a persistent style choice.

    I do like that beards and longer hair for men are in these days. I kinda dig that, wish it was in vogue when I was young enough to care.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Perhaps I am too cynical, but I assume that anything nice that students tell me before the final grades are posted falls under kissing my ass. I am sure some of them are genuine, but I also feel like at least some of them do try to manipulate. In my case, the nice things are about my teaching (thankfully, never comments on age or looks), but still, I am terrified of being duped, so I dismiss them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ” haven’t met any teenagers recently”

    You’re officially old when the latest teen styles don’t bother you (that’s middle age) they just seem boring and ugly but you’re too kind to point that out to them, assuming they’ll grow out of it…


  4. “fashionable among young men to paint their fingernails”

    Thinking out loud… how much of this is motivated by the lack of innovation in clothes? When I see tiktok videos (or my students most of which are pretty globalized) the clothes seem all…. pretty old. It’s like music which stopped developing in the late 1980s or early 90s (at the absolute latest)…

    Clothes as fashion seems over so now it’s grooming, ornamentation and body modification…. maybe even trans stuff is partly about that… (not the main part, but… as a secondary contributing factor)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also related to clothes…. has the goth look made a come back in middle America? I first noticed it returning to Poland in Warsaw this summer (and I’ve seen a fair amount since where I live).
      I’m wondering if it’s a local or broader movement…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m surprised that you have Beginner Spanish at your university. Aren’t US students supposed to have at least two years of high school Spanish by the time they reach college?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if they are required to but 2 years of high school doesn’t place them out of Spanish 101. Even 4 years of high school rarely do. Six years of high school Spanish do normally place them out of Spanish 101.

      We learn more in the first 2 weeks of our Spanish 101 than they do in 2 years of high school Spanish. I mean this in a very literal sense.

      It’s an absolute mystery to me what they do in high school for several years.


      1. Thanks for the clarification. Here in Europe students are supposed to leave high school with 8 years of English as a foreign language and 3-5 years of a second foreign language. In any case, most universities will not offer ab initio language courses for English, French and Spanish. I thought American students would have ample opportunities to practice their Spanish in the US.


        1. “most universities will not offer ab initio language courses for English, French and Spanish”

          Poland has a weird German-Soviet system. Any department or section of the university that wants to offer English classes has to hire their own English teacher (same goes for any other language).
          The English department teaches English majors only (and you’re expected to have something like B2 English to be admitted).
          The same goes for German and maybe French and Spanish.
          Languages that aren’t offered in high school often have a substitute language requirement for entry. At my university, Scandinavian languages require a higher level of English to be admitted than does the English department.


  6. “Aren’t US students supposed to have at least two years of high school Spanish ”

    Can’t speak for the present but, traditionally…. no. Some high schools have a foreign language requirement (I can’t remember if mine did… I was in band which may have been an acceptable substitute).

    Foreign language requirements (usually one year) are far more common at universities.

    And US high school Spanish (or French the second most common) is at an extremely basic level. I knew someone with four years of HS French and still took French for an easy foreign language credit and halfway through the first semester they had passed everything done at high school in four years… some universities will let people test out of the foreign language requirement but HS classes won’t get you to that level.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Illinois wants to introduce a language requirement in high schools but there’s a massive shortage of teachers.

      We let students test out of language courses all the way up to and including Advanced level 1. It’s a great way to weed out the native speakers who otherwise will clog up beginners and intermediate courses in search of an easy grade.


    2. We had two years of HS Spanish, but a) it was really basic, and b) it didn’t have to be Spanish. Just a language other than English– it’s usually Spanish in the South, because it’s easier to find a Spanish teacher than anything else here, but I’ve heard it used to always be German in the midwest, and the last time I checked out schools in my hometown, they were also offering French, Latin, and Mandarin.


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