It's Friday evening and the piney smell of Spain is drifting in through my open door after the large rainstorm we had last night. We've had another fast week, as all of them seem to be, but as always I'm very ready for the weekend. I've never had weeks in a school year (or summer, for that matter) go by so quickly. It seems like we wake up on Monday and before I know it it's Thursday and almost the weekend. However, as I've mentioned before, Thursdays leave me feeling exhausted, bummed out, and incompetent in Spanish.

Yesterday was no exception. With DELE first thing and teaching English classes to rather wild children up until dinner, Thursdays just really have nothing going for them. The highlight of my day is Literature class, where we are starting our section on Don Quijote and reading a much easier, slightly abridged version of the classic. Still, it was hard to shake the "I don't really speak Spanish at all" feeling I had left over from DELE and attempting to teach ten niños the names of fruits in English didn't really help. My only urgent homework was a C1 level article to read and summarize for Conversation and I managed to get that done in about half an hour, although it seemed a bit complicated and boring.

Today I woke up determined to start the weekend off on a good foot, so I headed to Conversation with a smile on my face and a forced confidence in my heart. It didn't last long though, because when Ana walked in she announced that instead of discussing the article like we usually do, we were going to have a sort of impromptu midterm conversation/test. We each would have to go sit with her and explain the article until she stopped us, which would be three or four minutes. Depending on the day, this can seem pretty simple or very difficult. Luckily I managed to make it through, feeling alright about the whole thing but not great. After that it was off to Grammar which actually somehow always makes me feel better and is one of my favorite classes. I finished off the day with Lingüísticas and Composición before I began my relaxing Friday afternoon ritual (which consists of either cleaning or watching some sort of BBC program with Ryan). 

I did have a great day, and I'm glad I have Fridays to recover from Thursdays so I can really enjoy the weekend. But then tonight I was looking over some of my first blog posts from when I got to Spain. Now that it's all coming to an end, it's hard to remember what it felt like when we first arrived. Travel, new scenery, and the feeling of being in a foreign country aside–the language barrier was huge. I remember have no clue what was happening for the first two or three weeks of Folklore. I recall learning something about some festivals but I didn't understand most of it. That first week the man from the airport came to drop off my luggage and I didn't know how to say "I don't know where the dean is, can you wait while I call her?" and I couldn't take notes in class because I was too busy focusing on what the teacher was saying. Today I can read, write, and speak in Spanish, and even if it's not perfect, it's about a million times better than when I arrived. I have conversations with my teachers, I listen while taking notes, I can diagram sentences and tell you if a verb is reflexive, passive, or impersonal based on context.

I might not have a clue what to do on the DELE when it comes. But it doesn't really matter to me at all. I've learned more Spanish than I ever imagined I would and wouldn't change a single thing about the year so far. And it's not over yet! This last month is packed with activities and farewells, tests and quizzes, book reports and documentaries, and always, always time with my Mejor Amigos Para Siempre (MAPS... the Spanish version we invented for BFFs :) Have a happy Sabbath everyone!
4/26/2013 06:55:21 pm

Wow, Shelby! Your time in Spain is nearly over and you will be coming home soon. What an experience you have had. I am so proud of you! And I for one can vouch that you have learned Spanish very, very well. I know this last month will be very busy and I also know that you will enjoy every bit of it. So study hard, eat some oranges (if there are any left) get a kabab when you have a change, and savor the time you have with your mejor amigos para siempre. And don't forget---

I love you real good,

Sheri Seibold
4/27/2013 10:01:25 am

Well, Shelby, maybe you're just getting old like the rest of us, because time really does go faster the older you get. :) As fast as the next five weeks go, just soak it all in, like the rain. I know you will. I don't think anyone takes their moments in like you do, be they the best or worst or somewhere in between, you take it all and gain from each bit of it.

I'm so thrilled you've had this last eight months with your MAPS learning, living and loving in the the beautiful rain and sunshine of Spain.

Enjoy the last few weeks, and don't work harder than you play, because I think the moments of play will be the ones you remember forever.

Love you much, miss you lots, Mom


Leave a Reply.