Thursday, October 4, 2007

Por Fin


Well, I’m sure everyone will be glad to know (especially my college friends who are working their behinds off right now) that I am in real school now. I was a little worried about the program that I chose because I was afraid it was going to be too easy. The month of September was a vacation in the Bahamas (or, well, Spain) compared to my classes now. I tested into the highest level of advanced for the trimester, but my program director let me move up one more level into the superior classes for Grammar and Global Communicative Practice. I had already been in the lower advanced level for the month and it was pretty easy, so I figured I would be okay in Superior. Also, the students are a lot more serious the higher up you get, and that’s who I want to be in classes with. So we’ll see if I made the right decision, because now the classes are a little intense. It’s all the same grammar that I’ve always learned, but the professor kept reminding us that the difference between advanced and superior classes were the details, so I will really have to study this trimester.

I’m really excited, though, because I am learning about things that are appropriate for college students. I felt a little like I was in elementary or middle school the past month, but that’s what I needed. I could not speak or understand hardly anything when I got here. It has taken many, many frustrating baby steps, but I think I finally hit the point where it’s all coming together! It took a little longer than the two weeks that other people told me it would take, but that is probably because I spoke mostly in English the first couple of weeks I was here. Now I speak in Spanish, I think in Spanish (though it’s not natural yet, I really have to try hard), and I have even had Spanish dreams! Understanding the language came first, I can now understand almost everything that people say to me without having to constantly translate it into English in my head. I can speak Spanish a lot better than I could before, but it’s still hard sometimes to come up with the vocabulary and the correct order/syntax of sentences. I constantly have to correct myself, but at least it doesn’t take me 5 minutes to get a thought out. I can’t believe I can finally really do this – it’s pretty unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still nowhere near the speaking level of a 20-year-old or even a teenager from Spain (it took me 20 years to get there in English, after all), but I finally feel like I am functioning in Spanish without a filter. People that speak more than one language are a little deceiving when they tell you that it will all come together at some point, whether in one week or two weeks or a month. That statement is true, but they don’t tell you how frustrating and long that time is. Time goes by a lot faster now that I have settled and feel comfortable living in Spanish. So fast, in fact, that I’m really scared I’m going to wake up tomorrow and I’m going to be getting on a plane back to the States. I miss everyone so much, but I’m still having an unbelievably amazing time!


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