****I'm having a hard time getting pictures uploaded, so for now it will just be text stories. Sorry, but I'll try to get pics up as soon as I can. ****
May 15, 2011
The Exit Poll, Amen
Well, another semester is in the bag, and only one more remains between me and graduation. This semester however, has without a doubt been the most fun out of all of them so far. And surprisingly, it has also been the most successful in terms of scholastic achievement.
I finished the semester off with a 3.8, receiving A’s in Spanish Literature, Spanish Internship, Spanish Grammar, and Spanish Life and Culture. I got a B in my Advanced Language Skills class, but I think I’ll get over it. The grades are great to get, and I like that my GPA is now just a bit higher, but there were so many other things I learned this semester that weren’t graded, and those things will stick with me longer I believe.
There a lot of small things: the new friends I’ve met. The relationships I’ve built over here in Spain. The memories made. Learning how to survive in a foreign land. Figuring out the Spanish highway system, and therefore which roads I’m allowed to ride my bike on. Trying not to get too upset with the lack of free Wi-Fi in Spain. The joys of walking everywhere…seriously.
Learning to deal with the lack of control Spaniards have over their own bodies as they walk down the street. Always watching where I step, in order to not get my foot covered in dog poop. Learning to love the idea of the siesta, and practicing it regularly. Becoming highly proficient at packing a 5-day trip into a backpack.
And then there are the deeper issues: learning patience, in a different way than I have ever learned it before. Acceptance, in learning how to deal with cultural differences. Finding ways to curb the intense feelings of longing for my family and friends back home.
Slowing down the way I live…not too much, I can’t do that, but enough that I’m not always rushing from one thing to the next. The soul-searching that comes with traveling solo (which I don’t mind). The fact that I love being around people without phones, because it forces us to make plans and stick to them.
I’m so thankful for being able to have experienced this entire semester. It’s been one of the greatest periods of growth I have been through and I know it has made me a more rounded person in general. Now it’s on to the next step…summertime.