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Back to School!

Old 06-24-23, 08:41 AM
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Back to School!

Taking college Spanish starting this summer! I hope to; get my brain working again, socialize with new people, and prepare for a cycling trip to the Pyrenees next year (with my bud whose learning French). With luck and success, I'll be able to take 4 semesters of Spanish before the trip.

This summer classes are on-line, but in-class starting in the fall which leads to the Key Question: What bike should I ride to Queens College? A) The same bike I road to Brooklyn College in 1982, a cheap heavy Motobecane.

Super cool aside; the City University tuition per semester for non-matriculating seniors is $80!
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Old 06-25-23, 06:37 AM
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Having been in the Pyrenees I would avoid "heavy" at any and all costs. If your not there for the views and you dare the descents could be terrifying.
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Old 06-25-23, 07:29 AM
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Take the '82 Motobecane to class. I started a new job last year at 60 and bike to work parking my bikes in full view behind my desk. Two of the bikes are older than most of my co-workers which just adds to my smug satisfaction of 30 years of bike commuting, and doing it in my 60s. I doubt you could take the Motobecane into the classroom with you. But you may be able to bring a small folder into class, which would avoid the issues of securing a bike outside, although Queens College looks to be a bit away from any "Mean Streets".

I'd also vote for the Motobecane because you're still riding to class and that specific bike is a direct link to your earlier school commutes, so there's a nostaligia factor, but also again some smug satisfaction.

However, for the Pyrenees I'd also suggest something newer and lighter.

Buena suerte!
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Old 06-25-23, 04:18 PM
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“Dos burritos, por favor.”

My Spanish sucks, despite growing up in New Mexico, living in Southern California and Miami, and spending a season racing in Spain.
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Old 06-25-23, 04:23 PM
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Yikes! I saw “Back to school” and I thought oh no, here comes all those back to school ads and the first day of summer was just a couple of days ago!!! Good luck with your classes and the commute.
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Old 06-25-23, 07:27 PM
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Don't be too expectant on quick progress (in Spanish, not in biking). I am a similar age and have recently been brushing up on my high school German.. progress is super duper slow, the vocabulary just doesn't stick like it did when I was eighteen. I'm getting a bit better month by month though.
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Old 06-26-23, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith
Don't be too expectant on quick progress (in Spanish, not in biking). I am a similar age and have recently been brushing up on my high school German.. progress is super duper slow, the vocabulary just doesn't stick like it did when I was eighteen. I'm getting a bit better month by month though.
I expect a slog of rote foundation building, starting with forgotten grammar terms like direct object pronoun and indefinite article. Luckily I have endless opportunity to practice here in Nueva York.
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Old 06-26-23, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
I expect a slog of rote foundation building, starting with forgotten grammar terms like direct object pronoun and indefinite article. Luckily I have endless opportunity to practice here in Nueva York.
Don't forget the value of watching Spanish language television (Univision & Telemundo being the most popular) although both of those are Mexican Spanish, not Espana Spanish. And with regard to dialects, see if you can find out what is spoken in the Pyrenees area, it might be a different dialect than true Spanish, maybe even some French thrown into the mix.
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Old 06-26-23, 12:19 PM
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Old 06-26-23, 12:22 PM
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You might have to learn Euskara.

https://www.etxepare.eus/en/what-is-...0in%20Euskara.
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Old 06-26-23, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder
And with regard to dialects, see if you can find out what is spoken in the Pyrenees area, it might be a different dialect than true Spanish, maybe even some French thrown into the mix.
See immediately above.

There used to be a professional cycling team from the Euskadi region. Euskadi-Euskatel. The latter part was the name of their telecommunications company. One year, before the start of the U.S. Pro Championship in Philadelphia, a rider gave my then girlfriend his cycling cap.
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Old 06-29-23, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Indy that's borderline cruel! 😉
I thought I was going to learn Spanish, only to find I need to learn English grammar. Direct object pronoun? Infinitive?
Ruh roh!
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Old 06-29-23, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
Indy that's borderline cruel! 😉
I thought I was going to learn Spanish, only to find I need to learn English grammar. Direct object pronoun? Infinitive?
Ruh roh!
BITD (2000), I spent 7 weeks bike touring in Andalucia. I hadn't take a Spanish class since my first year of college (1984). Before I left for Spain in March, I bought a pocket sized dictionary and a grammar book and spent a lot of the winter studying. Things worked out well. Tha hard part was not making myself understood but rather understanding the responses. The nice part was that people were polite in return for me trying to communicate in the language.
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Old 06-29-23, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
Indy that's borderline cruel! 😉
I thought I was going to learn Spanish, only to find I need to learn English grammar. Direct object pronoun? Infinitive?
Ruh roh!
Just wait till you get to subjunctive tenses...
You will definitely not be fluent after four semesters - but you will definitely have a better experience.

Euskara badakizu?

Last edited by DiabloScott; 06-29-23 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 07-11-23, 09:54 AM
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This condensed summer class is very immersive with 9 hrs/week of class time and about 6 hrs/week of homework. Also, the modern curriculum is so much better at ear training than the HS french classes I took 50 years ago.
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Old 12-06-23, 04:44 PM
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Second semester's Final tomorrow! It's a lot of fun interacting with the kids, they're very good to the old guy. With one more semester I'll have a solid foundation of grammar and vocab. I'm talking whenever I get the chance, but not fluent. Still translating everything in my head.

DiabloScott , I'm there!

Last edited by BTinNYC; 12-06-23 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 03-07-24, 07:00 AM
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Humble-brag update.
In my third semester, the rote vocab and grammar is pretty much done, and now it's about conversation and writing. Attendance takes about a half hour because everyone gets a follow up question or two about their morning or weekend, and often cross-questioning to other students, such as "What did BT say that he did on Sunday?". First exam was 4 parts, each requiring a 150 word response, and this was a big leap. The professor is superb, there is no dilly-dallying, he's always charging ahead, but the guy is so engaging and charming it doesn't feel like he's whipping us along. Está todo bien.
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Old 03-07-24, 07:46 AM
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I'm jealous.
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Old 03-07-24, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
There used to be a professional cycling team from the Euskadi region. Euskadi-Euskatel. The latter part was the name of their telecommunications company.
Back in the saddle again.
All Spanish riders with one exception. And yes, still orange uniforms
Euskaltel - Euskadi 2024 (procyclingstats.com)



....and a congrats to @BTinNYC for tackling new broadening challenges.
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Old 03-07-24, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
Humble-brag update.
In my third semester, the rote vocab and grammar is pretty much done, and now it's about conversation and writing. Attendance takes about a half hour because everyone gets a follow up question or two about their morning or weekend, and often cross-questioning to other students, such as "What did BT say that he did on Sunday?". First exam was 4 parts, each requiring a 150 word response, and this was a big leap. The professor is superb, there is no dilly-dallying, he's always charging ahead, but the guy is so engaging and charming it doesn't feel like he's whipping us along. Está todo bien.
The biggest problem I had with my Spanish classes in high school was having nearly enough conversation my second and third years, and I was in 3 Advanced my senior year. That did not bode well for college. My high school instructor was a old guy from New England who wore jackets with patches on the elbows. Grammar and vocabulary lessons nearly all the time. We maybe had 15 min. or conversation every couple of weeks. When I got to college and placed into Spanish 3 (Long story about one of the clocks in the placement exam room being wrong.), I was shocked to discover that the classes were all in Spanish. That was really hard for me even though we were learning grammar I had learned in my second year in high school.
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Old 03-13-24, 03:42 PM
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I started a German course one months ago and really like it so far. Feel myself like a real student again. During my college years i used such a services https://domypaper.com/ all the time and here turned out that i need that as well from time to time. To be honest, i thought it will more as an entertaining for me, but turned out to be completely different .

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Old 03-13-24, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC
Taking college Spanish starting this summer! I hope to; get my brain working again, socialize with new people, and prepare for a cycling trip to the Pyrenees next year (with my bud whose learning French). With luck and success, I'll be able to take 4 semesters of Spanish before the trip.

This summer classes are on-line, but in-class starting in the fall which leads to the Key Question: What bike should I ride to Queens College? A) The same bike I road to Brooklyn College in 1982, a cheap heavy Motobecane.

Super cool aside; the City University tuition per semester for non-matriculating seniors is $80!
I've been aching to do the same. My frequent riding partner is from Juarez, and we live in SoCal, where not only is Spanish spoken just about everywhere, a lot of places have Spanish names. I am constantly asking her "What does _____ mean?"

As a result, I know a lot of Spanish nouns and adjectives, but virtually no verbs. I also know nothing of grammar, and can't put a sentence together other than asking for a beer. I was able to get by sometimes when we were in Patagonia, but other times, I was a flat failure.

I'm also half Sicilian, and with Spanish and Italian being so close, knowing Spanish would have a dual benefit to me.

If only I weren't so lazy.
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Old 03-23-24, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug
Having been in the Pyrenees I would avoid "heavy" at any and all costs. If your not there for the views and you dare the descents could be terrifying.
The descents: make sure the wheels are true with spokes adjusted. If the wheels are old, get new wheels and while at it, get a new lighter bike with a cassette that is good for your climbing ability. Also, you will notice the newer bikes have a longer head tube and the fork is not ridiculously "bladed" but a bit more thicker at the crown. Descending over 40 mph in the Pyrenees requires ability and control. And please, did you ever experience "wobble"?

Pyrenees: Northern Spain - could be Basque area known to be separatist tendencies in Spain. They speak Spanish but also Catalan. Yeah, just to say, if you don't understand some words, well...Catalan.
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Old 04-07-24, 09:14 AM
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How has the commuting been going?

I left college unfinished in 1987 and returned in 2019. Finished my BA in 2022 in order to start my 4th career. Now I'm in grad school. I commute to Hunter College sometimes on the subway and sometimes by bike. It's fun to have young classmates. I'm older than all of my professors except for one.
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Old 04-08-24, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
How has the commuting been going?
First off, how excellent that you went back and finished!! Now in post-grad...that is just awesome, Chapeau!

I'm 95% commuting on the bus. Riding through central Flushing is pretty fking nutty, especially during rush hours, and that's from a guy riding ~ 3,000 miles a year in Queens.
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