Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rosetta Stoned

One of the perks of working for a state university is that I have the opportunity to use Rosetta Stone, a language learning tool. There is a waiting list, and there are certain requirements in order to be able to continue using it. For instance, if *someone* deems that you are "not on schedule to complete the required hours," a user can be summarily inactivated. This happened to yours truly two weeks ago. There was no warning, no chance to explain, bargain, beg, etc.

Two days after deactivation I received an email from the university's Rosetta Stone administrator stating that my name had come up on the waiting list for Rosetta Stone Spanish. The administrator wanted to know if I would be interested. I immediately sent off a reply that I had been inactivated but that I was very much interested in continuing my Spanish lessons. I stated that I had been looking forward to the Thanksgiving break as a chance to put in some intense language-learning time (time which would have put me over the 12 hour per semester minimum). I received an email stating that I would be activated immediately by clicking on a link and following instructions.

I dutifully clicked on said link and followed instructions TO THE LETTER. I did note, however, that the user name I was assigned was different from the one I had used before. I just figured that one was not allowed to keep the same user name once one had suffered the ignominy of being deactivated (inactivated?). I immediately plunged into a lesson, knowing that the Rosetta Stone Nazi was watching and ready to purge me for the slightest indiscretion.

After I had logged a couple of hours (I am my mother's slowest child), I noticed that some of the words were NOT as I had learned them and the pronunciation was different. I discovered that I was studying Spanish (Spain) and not the Spanish (Latin America) in which I had invested so-o-o-0 many hours. I sent an email to aforementioned Nazi. I knew I had not made the mistake, but I offered myself up as a sacrificial lamb by stating that apparently I had "clicked on the wrong button." I asked if there was any way I could receive credit for the time and effort invested. She replied that she didn't know that I was a "reactivation" and that no, unfortunately, I would not receive any credit for work done in the past. Really? The part of the email where I said "I was recently inactivated" didn't give you a clue? In her defense, she did apologize for having placed me in the Spanish (Spain) course. She said that I would not receive my certificate for the work unless I started all over, but that if I felt I had mastered the material I could move to the next level. I am way too linear to move on without my certificate. So while everyone else is watching football, shopping, or decorating the house, I am slaving away at my Rosetta Stone Spanish.

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