Monday, September 26, 2011

2 year Spanish report card

As I mentioned earlier, I have just celebrated my 2 year anniversary with Spain. In thinking what was an adequate way to pay tribute to this great country and how its changed me. So I decided to gauge some of the progress I have made in these last 2 years. I have taken time for some serious introspect and reflection. Ha. Here are the criteria and my grades. 

Espeeeeeaking the espaniiiiiiish: A

Although I still have many times where I am frustrated with my Spanish abilities, I have to say I am proud of how much I have improved. I can't remember how good or bad my Spanish was when I first arrived but I know I have improved by miles. Mostly thanks to the best, most patient teacher ever, this guy: 
Isn't  he cute?
I have to give lots of thanks to Alberto for helping me to improve because its mostly thanks to him that I feel confident speaking Spanish. Learning a langauge is really hard and I have more to learn but I think it is one of the areas in which I have seen the most improvement.

Starting a life in a foreign country: B

In this aspect I think I have had both successes and failures. Right now I feel like my life is much more in Spain than it is in the US. Its kind of a strange feeling but I am really happy with my life here. However, I still feel like I have no close Spanish friends. I have my friends on the frisbee team who have become like a family for me but I still feel like there is no one I relate to like I do my American best friends. I can't decide if this is something cultural or if I am not as extroverted in Spanish. 

Traveling: A+

Yay travel!
One of the best things about living abroad is that I can travel easily and cheaply throughout Europe. I have been doing my best to get to know different parts of Spain and Europe. In the past couple years I have been to London, Paris, Italy, Amsterdam, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Ok, I'll stop making you jealous. I'm hoping to add more to my list this year! 

Work: B-

Carnavales with my little monsters
One of the both nice and frustrating things about living in Spain is the surplus of people that want to learn to speak English. On one hand its great, because there are always job opportunities. On the other, it is frustrating to be limited to ONE job. Fortunately, I do enjoy teaching and I think I am pretty decent at it. I had a great two years as an auxiliar and was looking for more responsibility this year in starting a new job. However, it is frustrating that after 2 years of teaching I am still having to share a classroom with a teacher that has no experience at all. But asi es la vida and at least I have some responsability this year and get to lead some classes. Got to see the silver lining right?

Love: A+

I have to say with all the challenges that come with a bilingual and bicultural relationship, I have found a really great boyfriend here(and guide to Spain).  I probably should write about him more but sometimes its hard to put it all out there on the internet. He has been a big part of my time here and Spain and I have done tons of Spanish-y things that I would have never done without him. Gracias cari!

Food: A

Looking waaaaaaay too happy about eating a snail.
I love, love, love food and although I try to eat healthily for the most part I have to try anything new. One of the best things about travel is experiencing the food of each place you visit. I think in the last 2 years, I have tried most every part of a pig's body and snails! I also love to cook so I've been trying to make some delish Spanish recipes at home. My biggest successes have been lentil soup and gazpacho...yum!

I tried not too be too hard on myself haha. But, I think I have done pretty well in the last 2 years and hope to continue this year as well. I love Spain and I think it loves me back!


  1. You mean you've "improved by kilometers"!

    Happy expat-iversary!

  2. Yay! I like it when you write about the nov (Cat introduced me to this term) because, obviously, I really relate. So, do it. You don't have to be super personal (I honestly do not reveal a lot of personal details about me and Mario; I just am sappy), but it's fun to see pictures and to hear what a great guy he is. :) Anyway, we could totes be friends if I lived in Madrid. Too bad! :(

  3. Haha thanks guys! And Kaley I will try to write more about the nov...everyone asks me about him anyway!

  4. Hi! I'm Lauren and I just celebrated my 2 years in Spain too (& I just moved to Madrid!) Maybe we could get together one day-- seems like we have a lot in common...!

  5. Yeah I would love that! Email me and we can get a drink or something!