Of all of my Spanish students, Dee had to be the coolest! She was a non-traditional university student in that she already had a nursing degree and other university degrees. She was older than me, she was born and raised in Ireland, and she still spoke English with an Irish brogue. She was an attractive woman despite being in an electric wheelchair. She had studied French when she was younger, but now wished she had studied Spanish. In her assisted-living home, she spoke Spanish with the workers there, which really improved her Spanish. I would often see Dee outside smoking cigarettes before she came to class. I liked her because she would always liven up the class. If she didn’t understand something, she would ask questions without hesitation. If she thought that there was too much homework or the exams were too difficult, she was very vocal about that. All the students loved her because she would make us all laugh. Everytime I gave a pop quiz she would mutter things under breath, but not so softly that we couldn’t tell that she was cursing me in her own unique way. It was all very comical because she would eventually do everything required, but only after some grumbling. Sometimes she would jokingly accuse me of picking on her because she was a woman, or a foreigner, or something or other. I learned to have a witty repartee to defend myself. We went through these mock arguments quite often, so the students looked forward to them. The students loved it! She was so comical! One day, Dee tells me, “You’re just doing this to me because I’m a cripple!” Then she gives me a big smile. The students laughed. I said, “That is so lame!” And students laughed even more. Dee said, “You don’t care about needs of the handicapped.” And I said, “You don’t have a leg to stand on!” Everyone laughed out loud, including Dee.

You don't have a leg to stand on!