I had originally signed up for classes M,W from 9am to 12pm and then 4 to 5:30pm and then one class T,R from 10:30am to 12pm. For some reason, the schedule (horario) changed and I now have classes only M,W from 9am to 1:30pm (straight through, only 2 or 3 minute breaks every half an hour) and then 4 to 5:30pm. I'm so excited about this, despite that it's a lot in one morning. I now have no classes on T,R and therefore have four day weekends, every weekend. Two of my classmates also set up their schedules this way, so we plan on hanging out late every Monday and Wednesday night. It also extends my Spring break by two whole days, which is really time to visit another city.
The morning started out with toast and milk, like it always does. I found my own way to the bus stop (I had to tell my madre three times I could make it) and got to school with only a few minutes to spare. Composición y Conversación I is my first class from 9 to 10:30am. I followed what she was saying mostly. I wasn't entirely lost anyway, but I have a lot of trouble understanding everything and sometimes that is a problem. I introduced myself, told about my major, etc. I had to do this every class and it got pretty old pretty quickly because the classes consist only of the AYA Spain kids, which means most of us have the same classes together. We also discussed how we feel about Spain and the differences that we've noticed. Every class. I am glad that we didn't just jump right in to learning though...
In Composición y Conversación I, I need to write a paper for each trip that I take, describing the city, the food, the sights, etc. I have to buy a postcard in each city to attach to the paper. I also have to keep a dictionary of Spanish words, defined in Spanish. I need over 300 words by the end of the semester. I've already started this with words my host mom has said to me that I didn't know. I didn't know "vegetable", for some reason, but I learned cabbage pretty quickly as we eat it a lot (repollo or col). The teacher was really nice. She seemed a bit eccentric, which always makes for a fun and interesting class. And she speaks English, so if we are really lost, she can help us.
The next class is Civilización y Cultura. The teacher was soft-spoken (odd for Spain) and very nice. It seems like we will have a lot of presentations in the class, which I'm not too excited about, but it'll be good for my Spanish. She told us (all teachers told us to always use pen) that in Spain, only little children used pencils. I'm glad I asked Tom for a good supply before I left. She also wants us to write about our trips, but she wants more of the history and culture of the cities. These need to be 300 words or more, in Spanish, of course.
The last class of my four and a half hour block is Composición y Conversación II. This teacher talked really fast and my brain was so fried by the time this class began that I picked up almost nothing that she said. Even the simple questions that she asked us, I was completely lost. I zoned out a lot, which is not good. Apparently, we have a small project due tomorrow that will be a presentation about a region of Spain. Thank goodness my partner knows Spanish pretty well. The only thing I understood was that she pointed at us and said "Galicia". In this class, we have an essay, or maybe more than one, that is 3-4 pages long. Let's hope only one. There is also an individual oral presentation about a subject that she picks, and then a collective oral presentation with another student about a subject that she picks.
Then I go home for la comida. I took the bus back and found my way just fine. Lunch was cabbage and a piece of hamburger. I was so excited that she brought out the ketchup to eat the hamburger with. It was probably the best hamburger I've ever had considering it had no bun, toppings, or anything.
Back at school I began my last class of the day at 4pm: Traducción or Translation, which was probably my most favorite class of the day. She spoke a lot of English and a lot of half English half Spanish sentences because that is what we are going to be doing, translating. She was really nice and smiled a lot. She had studied for many years in Salt Lake City, so she was the least odd of all of my teachers. We are going to have written essays and a major translation project. We get to choose a source in Spanish and then we have to translate it to English. It can be a song, a section of a novel, or anything really. It sounds like fun. I also have to do a Power Point presentation over something.
Today for lunch, we had fish. Only it was the actual fish... the whole fish with its tail wrapped around and stuck in its mouth. I was like "¡Tiene sus ojos!" (It has its eyes!) I tried it. You just had to pull the meat off from around the spine (la espina). It wasn't bad but I refused to touch the head. "No quiero comer la cabaza" (I don't want to eat the head). It wasn't that bad and it tasted just like fish, so no problem. Just shrug it off, right? Relax. Really though, I'm never relaxed. I have no idea why I'm not flipping out.
The language issue is no better (after a day), but I figured out why I'm not very upset about it. It's like if you have a really bad head-cold and you can't hear clearly enough to make out what anyone is saying and you just shrug it off because you can't help it and you can't change it. You just wait until your head clears and not worry about. I studied enough Spanish to be able to express myself just fine and practicing with Tom gave me the ability to get around not knowing exactly how to say what I want to say. For example, my host mom told me that it was very cold outside and I wanted to say "I will dress warmly", but I couldn't remember the word for warmly, so I said "I will dress a lot" with some hand gestures indicating many layers on my arm. She understood perfectly.
Anyway, when I finally get some homework or something else to do, I will stop writing novels, but for now....