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Published: April 24th 2012
Colorful houses en Valpo.
Enjoy. Haha. A little beauty to balance the chaos in my mind.
¿Que?....Exactly. That has been my favorite word these past two days. I don't know what my deal is but it feels like my Spanish has gone out the window. I've noticed that my Spanish abilities literally differ from day to day. Other ISA students say the exact same thing. Maybe it's just part of the process? I don't know but after 2 months of being here, this is pretty scary. Many people assume that after being here for a little over 4 months we'll all be fluent. There's a lot of pressure because no one wants to be the horror story--the person who comes here and leaves speaking the same way. No one wants to be "the failure". THE HORROR!!! And right now I'm wondering if that might be me... I just don't understand. One day I speak fine and the next day it's like a train wreck in my mouth! I have a little over two months left and I'm starting to feel really stressed. ALL of my classes are in Spanish. I do fine in those. In my classes I literally have forgotten that my teachers were speaking Spanish. Actually FORGOTTEN. I've forgotten at home too. A couple of weeks ago when I was talking to my host family, I mentally stepped back for a second and took in everything. All these people were speaking Spanish, and it felt so comfortable to listen that I couldn't believe it wasn't in English.
And now... I can't read. I can't speak. I can't listen. I can write but that's it. Even when I was watching Flor Salvaje this morning, a telenovela I always watch, I found myself starring dumbly at the screen thinking "¿Que?" (what?). Then today in my writing class it was hilarious. I sat next to Jack as we all did a fairly simple fill in the blank assignment. I looked at him, he looked at me, and then we looked at our respective papers like "duhhhh...". Haha! It was a challenge to rub two thoughts together! He said he felt like he had hit a wall and I felt the same way. Tonight I felt so frustrated during dinner. My host dad was talking and it seemed like his lips were going to fly off his face, he was talking so fast! Where's the pause button when you need it?
This is such a turn of events! But maybe it's just my time to struggle. Maybe this pressure will produce a diamond? I hope so! Or it could just produce a lump of coal. I've been so breezy thus far. I guess I took for granted that it would always be this easy. When we first got here, others were complaining about how difficult it was to understand their families. I didn't have that problem. A miracle had happened. I prayed before I met my family and then when I met them, I understood EVERYTHING! It was way bizarre. And they even told me they were speaking fast but I understood them! And as confirmation that a miracle had happened, my roommate wasn't understanding anything...but I was. And then others complained that they couldn't speak to their families. But I could, and easily! But now everything is in the trash can! ¡Hijole!
Well, in 2 months we'll see how this saga ends. Don, don, don... Hopefully this is just a phase.
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