Okay, I confess.
I sort of avoid my old language teachers.
This is technically my third language that I have studied courtesy of the Foreign Service Institute (fourth if you count the Arabic I took at post, but since that teacher doesn't work for FSI, it doesn't count for the purposes of this post).
So there are a number of folks walking around FSI who I have studied with, and some of them I even genuinely like. But I sort of avoid them.
I found out at our Nordic get together the other week that I am not the only one. Other language students do too.
It isn't that we don't want to talk to our old language teachers. It is that we want to talk to them in the language we studied with them, and that really screws up the language we are studying NOW.
So when I see my Russian teachers, who I only studied with for an hour a day for 16 weeks greet me in Russian, I respond in Russian....and then I start using Russian pronouns in Estonian class.
Which is BAD, on multiple levels.
But Hebrew? I'd be doomed. I got to a 3/2+ in Hebrew and then lived in country for more than two years. So I try to avoid it at all costs.
But today in the cafeteria, I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned to find Sara, my Hebrew teacher, who I just LOVE! She greeted me in Hebrew, and I gave her a big hug.
And then I begged her not to speak to me in Hebrew so that all the Estonian I had mashed into my brain over the past five weeks wouldn't fall out. Because Hebrew still has a better grip on those over-taxed brain cells.
Luckily she understood...so now I won't have to avoid her anymore.