Beyoncé is an honorary member of my language class.
(Act like you didn’t know this post was coming.)
We reference her every day. It’s not uncommon to burst out in her songs. We’ve even gotten our teacher (a close, personal friend of Bey) on board.
I asked one day whether he thought it was likely she would perform in Macedonia in the next two years.
He paused for a minute before saying, “I will ask.”
It’s also a milestone every time we learn vocabulary that allows us to adapt one of her songs.
- I been sipping, лувеница. (Pronounced loo-ven-eetza.)
- Убава hurtssss. (Pronounced Ooh-bah-va.)
- When we learned how to give directions, we memorized “to the left” instantly.
- This was how we learned vocab about family:
If an activity requires passing papers, it’s always to the left. (“It’s a bylaw,” our language teacher recently joked.) A homework question recently asked for the birthday month of our boyfriend/girlfriend. I answered with Beyoncé’s. (It’s September, by the way.)
Then there are the charades. We often play games to reinforce new vocabulary, practice conjugating verbs and other skills.
Whether charades or another guess who you are game, the class generally assumes someone will end up with Queen Bey. Our wonderful — and oh so patient — teacher has had to become Bey. (He pointed to the left twice. He gets it.)
He’s also been Cher before. (He just plays a diva well.) Our clues included that he had great legs and he looked great for his age. He guessed Tina Turner until this happened.
Apart from Beyoncé, I can’t compliment the Peace Corps language program enough. I had two worries when I applied:
1. I was afraid of what I would miss in the lives of my friends and loved ones. (I have terrible FOMO.)
2. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t be able to learn a new language.
Our language growth is measured through a language proficiency interview conducted at the end of pre-service training. We had a practice version today that I stressed about right up until the moment I sat down across from my interviewer and said zdravo (hello).
I’m sure I fumbled through some of the conjugations and mixed up a few prepositions, but I was so encouraged that for more than 15 minutes, I spoke exclusively in Macedonian, in full sentences and paragraphs, and could have gone on. When it was over, I felt really good about it.
I’m in a class with five other creative, intelligent, and hilarious women. (One of them has had a Beyoncé themed birthday party!)
They push me to work hard, encourage me when I forget everything, and let me know when I accidentally talk about the boobs I’ve seen instead of the cities. (An easy mistake to make. The words are really similar.)
I’m grateful that somehow we all ended up together and I’m grateful that we all love Beyoncé.