Now that September has arrived, it’s time for me to return to my Irish classes. The first was on Wednesday, and despite the fact that the first two reminder emails for the class also mentioned a wake for someone and announced the death of another, we actually focused on vocabulary the entire time. To be fair, the woman who died recently used to attend the class a few years ago (before I joined) and was a friend of many of the other students…but a large part of the reason that I stopped going last spring (no classes over the summer) was due to the return of our regular teacher. For the first half of the year (and my introduction to the class), we would spend a full half to three quarters of our hour-long class talking about who was sick and in the hospital, who was undergoing chemo, who just found out they had breast cancer, or who had recently died.
Granted, most of the students in the class are much older than I am, and they have been part of the Gaelic League community for years and years. There’s certainly something to be said for the camaraderie and community that the class provides for many of the students–it’s just hard when you are trying to learn a language and the class is the only opportunity you have to practice and speak to people. I suppose it’s worth mentioning that my dad speaks Irish fluently and also teaches it sometimes, but he lives 700 miles away from me, so unfortunately I can’t avail myself of his tutelage. One day soon I hope to be more comfortable speaking and writing and we can start practicing over the phone and over email.
Until then, wish me luck as I continue to learn. If you want to come, it’s only $3 a class!