Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"W" Curve and Midterms

This week officially marked the half way point of my time abroad.  I have to say, when people told me that the time would go by fast, I didn't realize just exactly what that meant.  Looking back on the past two months, I have no idea where the time went!  Probably in all those class trips that I went on!

I have to say, studying abroad has had it's ups and downs.  We were told before leaving that we would experience the "W" curve.  The curve starts with you being super excited to start and super ready to jump right into the newness of everything.  Then once the newness wears off, you start to feel a little homesick.  But the homesickness fades with time, at least for most, and life is good once again.

Sometimes I feel like my life is lived by this "W" curve, or at least in waves.  Everyday has it's ups and downs, and I'll be the first to admit that I do tend to get homesick from time to time.  But when I'm feeling down sometimes, there's nothing better than a great group of friends to let you know that everything that you are feeling is normal.  Honestly, I love my friends here and they are like family because we do everything together.  Sometimes the best times are just chatting with my friends, sharing everything that is going on in life.  It's refreshing to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with simple everyday things like getting hot water for the shower, not understanding most of my families conversations, and just small things that I would never think about at home.

But I think I'm out of the bottom and back on top because Spain is proving to be beyond anything I could have imagined once again.  Maybe it's all this constant rain that's affecting my mood, but now it's sunny skies once again, at least I hope.  I am so fascinated by the culture, the people, the history, the sights, everything here stimulates me and makes me want to learn more and more (a definite sign that I am doing just fine here in the land of Spain).

Now a note on my midterms week.  I have to say that this week was particularly stressful due to them.  They are so much worse when in Spanish.  My Civilization exam went decent, not great, not terrible.  My Geography exam went splendidly if I do say so myself.  Best midterm grade ever possibly?  I am waiting for the results for my grammar class.  Let's just say I think that that class is necessary, yet not at the same time.  My professor/director made a list of "Typical American Errors" that we are supposed to know.  Things like the difference between por que, porque, por qué, and porqué.  Sure they might all look the same, but trust me they are not.  I had to write a composition describing a photo, and if she found one "American error" in my composition, I would receive 0/40 points on this section of the test.  Not cool.  I'm just praying that I didn't make a mistake on this part because at best I would get a D.  Ridiculous.  And it doesn't help that my host sister disagrees with the Professor half the time, which sometimes leads to confusion.  But I'm hoping for the best with this class since it might be my worse subject (which is surprising seeing as I always did well in Spanish classes at Hope, hmmm maybe it's the professor?  Just a thought haha).  For my Comparing Spain and the US class, I had a composition and I wrote about Spain's empire and how after the Spanish-American War, specifically with the event of the USS Maine, the empire collapsed.  It was a decisive moment on history because this was when America became a major player on the international level, and Spain began to decline as a world superpower.  I liked the topic.  We also had a test today, and I am waiting for the results of that as well.  Hoping for the best here too.

But after a weekend of crazy stressfulness, it's off to more adventures in the cities of Córdoba and Sevilla.  I haven't really looked at the itinerary for the trip, all I know is that I need to be at the University's dorm like place at 8:15 tomorrow.  Or they leave without me.  So I best be getting to bed soon.  I won't have internet access this weekend, but I'll try to post a short blurp about my trip on Sunday.  Until Sunday!


  1. Hola chica!! I want you to know that being homesick is completely normal and I experienced much of it while being abroad in Honduras last year. I think I probably called home in tears at least once a week and when my mom was in the hospital I begged my dad to let me come home. IT IS DEFINITELY WORTH IT THOUGH! Stick with it girl! I'm so excited that you're doing it. I know it's already half way through but understanding the families' conversations gets even easier during the second half and coming home to hot showers after months of not having them makes you realize what a blessing they are. Taking a grammar class abroad, even though its not fun all the time, is kind of interesting because you can leave class and practice what you learned right away. At least that was my experience. I hope your trip goes really well and you have a lot of fun! Que te vaya bien!!
    <3 Melissa

  2. P.S. How long does it take you to get mail over there?

  3. Melissa! It varies with the mail. Nate sent me a letter and it got her in 4 days but the norm is more like 10? So I don't know what the Spaniards do with the mail.