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Ahora, El Gato En El Sombrero Puede Leer Por Sí Mismo

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2020

When I was in Spanish 3, one of our assignments was to translate a children’s book from English into Spanish. She suggested we get a book that’s a beginning reader level. My teacher’s only rule was we couldn’t use a Dr. Seuss book because the rhyming structure and the made-up words would be too difficult to translate. This was an in-class assignment we would be doing all the next week.

I will say, I was not a fan of this teacher. There were times I felt like she singled me out. I didn’t like her teaching style, and her personality clashed with mine. She also kept calling me a name that wasn’t my name, and I insisted she call me by my name, and that didn’t help things. I feel like the only reason she didn’t give me a harder time was that I was quiet, I did my work on time, I got mostly As and Bs, and I actually paid attention in class.

I went home and looked through my old children’s books and settled on a book about a bunny who had an identity crisis. It wasn’t written by Dr. Seuss and it was a beginner reader level, so I thought I was good to go.

The next time I had class, I brought in the book so I could do the assignment. I placed the book on my desk and, while I was getting paper out, one of my classmates saw the book on my desk and said, way too loud, “You’re not supposed to have a Dr. Seuss book!”

On the top right corner of the cover was a small picture of the Cat in the Hat with a seal that said, “Beginner Books: I can read all by myself!” The back cover of the book had some information about the Beginner Books, as well as a bigger picture of the Cat in the Hat. 

Beginner Books was created by Dr. Seuss, and most — if not all — Dr. Seuss books are Beginner Books, but not all Beginner Books are Dr. Seuss books. All it means is that it’s easy to read.

I tried to explain this to my teacher and I pointed out the extremely feminine author’s name, but my teacher refused to listen and made me pick another book.

A different classmate had brought in three or four books in case someone else couldn’t find a book to use, and she offered to let me use one for the assignment. I agreed, only because my teacher wouldn’t give me an extension and I would be wasting classtime doing nothing otherwise. 

I ended up with a B on the assignment. I still feel like if it had been anybody else, she would’ve let them translate the original book. This teacher was the reason I gave up studying Spanish and switched to Latin for my last two years of high school and took ASL in college.

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