|Weiden im Winter by Kerstin Borchardt|
I certainly studied the language for three years back in high school, but I’m still horribly out of practice considering I haven’t made a concerted effort to speak it since 2007. And really barely made an effort then. Languages were easy once upon a time. I saw the patterns, they just clicked in my mind, and the grammar and vocabulary was a breeze to memorize. Then I went to college and either a) got dumber or b) just stopped being linguistically smart. Russian was way more difficult to learn than German or Latin or French had been, and now that I finally started to get the hang of Russian, anytime I attempt to speak one of the other three…Russian spills out of my mouth. Or, best case scenario, a Russian-German-French linguistic mishmash hybrid language that really doesn’t do credit to any of the three. Occasionally I’ll even throw in some Latin-inspired grammatical constructs, since that’s technically the language I studied longest for a whopping five years.
But I digress.
The point is that I am currently in Germany, doing a job they wanted two Captains to do (and I’m definitely still a Lieutenant, and there is definitely only one of me), and yet I’m also pretty sure that a monkey could do my job. It amounts to forwarding emails, sitting through briefings, and highlighting semi-useless information just so I can say that I was “tracking” it. Like I was saying, a monkey could do it, and not even a particularly intelligent one. Speaking German? Totally not required. However, I have at least made good use of the time--Germany has some very, very cute shoes--and the food has been fantastic, at least for a schniztel and bratwurst fan.
Anyway, it is roundabouts that time that I need to go make my presence known at a briefing in which I will have no speaking role. Don’t worry, I’ll bring my highlighter so I look official and important-like. At least I get a nametag??