¡Chicos! ¡Estamos en España!

These are words we're heard quite a lot in the last few months and after three weeks out of the country, it's good to hear them again. All too often, when the bell rings and class is officially "done" we all begin chattering, yes, in English. That's when our teachers give us this subtle reminder that "GUYS! We are in SPAIN!" to which we reply "lo siento" before heading outside to finish our conversations. As if it's better to speak English outside than in the classroom. Maybe we should all have New Year's resolutions to speak only Spanish during school hours. 

We've only been back for two days but it feels pretty much like we are picking up where we left off! Justin and I jumped up a group with three other previous Group-D amigas, and we are now officially in Grupo E. This included a few teacher changes and a level change from B2 to C1. Basically C2 is the top level and we started the year in B1. So right now we are all trying to make the jump from Bs to Cs. I'm most worried about grammar, because we skipped basically a whole book and have to make it up in just a few weeks as we learn new material. The Group E people have been so nice though and are going to help us get caught up. 

This semester I'm taking the usual require classes, Gramática, Conversación, Composición, and DELE (once a week test prep class), plus Literatura and Historia de España y Europa. It's so strange to have a first day of class where I actually understanding nearly everything that is being said! When I think back to my first weeks here, I had NO idea what anyone was talking about ever! Now I can sit through a class and understand almost everything the teacher says. I can't believe how far we've all come, and we are only 1/3 done! I was a little worried about starting up again after 3 weeks speaking only English and hearing German, Italian, and French everywhere, but I think my brain appreciated the break and is ready to work hard again. 

Today in Composición, Chelo told us about the top 3 New Years resolutions that people always attempt. The first two are fairly easy to guess: to stop smoking, and to lose weight. The last was surprising but made me realize how lucky I am! Apparently, a New Year's resolution that is a big deal in the world is to learn English. I have that one covered! (and since I don't smoke and I'm quite pequeño myself, I guess I'm off to a pretty good start). When learning Spanish, I always think about how lucky I am to have grown up learning English. Not that I had any say in it, but I'm so glad I did. Learning Spanish is hard stuff, but it's nothing I'm sure to learning English. Not only does our language have crazy rules and exceptions to rules, but we often speak it so fast and run together all our words that I don't know how anyone ever learns. And I know that I still don't know everything there is to know about our grammar and the intricacies therein. 

This last year, I began accomplishing a goal. I'm not a huge New-Year's-resolutions fan, but I do have a small list of general life goals stowed away in my head. One of them was to spend a year traveling and/or doing something amazing, which turned out to be ACA, and to learn another language. Starting in September, I began that goal, and now here I am and I plan on finishing it out strong in 2013. Already this year I've had opportunities that I never thought I would have. On the second day of the year I got to ski in the Swiss Alps with the most amazing friends. (I guess we could say it's all downhill from there . . . no pun intended). I have been so lucky and I am thankful every day for the opportunities I've had. For 2013 I plan on completing my DELE and feeling confident in my fluency levels in Spanish. I can't wait to see what else this year holds!
grandma
1/8/2013 10:11:08 am

Shelby I love this blog! I'm happy that you and Justin got promoted to Grupo E and to C1. I'm glad that you get to learn Spanish Lit as well as the History of Spain and Europe. I'm also happy that you got to grow up speaking English. I'm very grateful that you are able to fulfill one of your life's goals this year by learning Spanish, travel Europe, and ski the Swiss Alps with your most amazing friends---and I know you'll finish out strong in 2013! Love you real good.

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Sheri Seibold
1/8/2013 11:38:28 am

Muy bueno! That is about all I speak in Spanish, so won't try to say more. I'm so proud of you and Justin and the other kids there who are working so diligently to learn a new language. You are so much smarted to do it at this age. I know it will benefit you in the future in ways you don't even realize now. What a great start to 2013, it's going to be a muy bueno one for you! love you much, mom

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