Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Remember that Time I was A Spanish Major?

I don't know if everybody knows this but I am a Spanish Major. Yep, I'm majoring in a foreign language. I wish I could tell you I have a plan for it but I don't. I plan on having a plan but I think that things will turn out alright.

Being a Spanish major, I obviously have to take lots of Spanish classes. And you probably think that this blog post is going to be about my experiences in those Spanish classes. WRONG!!!!!!! This post will be about my enrollment in my Portuguese class. Yep, you read that right.

Classes started last Monday and it was seriously like a punch in the face or gut or a kick in the knees, whichever is more painful to you. I was immediately given piles of homework all due basically the next day. I know I'm whining about school, but when you've done nothing all summer but work in the beautiful mountains of Colorado all the time NOT thinking about school, it is a major readjustment. And let's be honest, last semester was not the most productive.

Anyways. This semester I am enrolled in 2 Political Science classes, one Spanish class, and....one Portuguese class!!

This happened because I dropped a certain Spanish class last semester which happened to be the prerequisite to every other Spanish class I need for my major. Fail. So I was only enrolled in one class for the semester and I figured I would probably need to fix this. So I decided to try Political Science out. So far so good. Then I needed one extra class to put me at Full Time Student status. So what did I choose? Yep, I chose Portuguese!! PORT 110 soon showed up on my schedule. Why may you ask? Well, I had a few friends who took it and said it was very similar to Spanish so it was easier to learn and it was and interesting class. So I went with it.

About 1 week before classes started I received an email saying a new section of Portuguese was opening up. It was labeled PORT 300 and was just 110/120 shoved together in one class AND it would count as an elective credit for my major! I thought this sounded like a good idea so on the first day of class I went to my original Portuguese section and then learned that the other class met right afterwards. So I went to that as well.

Long story short, I am now in a fast-paced Portuguese class. O, my, gosh. I will be doing 40 workbook pages a week for the whole semester. I will try desperately to not mix up my Spanish and I will hopefully make it out of this class alive.

The other day we were learning how to tell time in Portuguese and we had to write responses on the board. I wrote my time on the board. It was simple: 4:30. Easy right? ha.
Come to find out instead of writing out '4:30' I had actually written out 'a bedroom and a half.' A few spelling errors and I had completely messed up the meaning. Whoops.

There a 8 Portuguese speaking countries in the world. Did you know that there are more Portuguese speaking countries in South America than Spanish speaking ones? I didn't. Kind of a cool fact. More people also speak Portuguese than French. I think.
There are few countries that speak Portuguese in Africa, one in Indonesia, Brazil, a few small island countries, and of course, Portugal.

We are also required to have a Portuguese/English dictionary for class. No problem right? Wrong. I had to special order mine through a bookstore in town. The only plus about that? The lady who helped me asked me if I was traveling to Portugal. The way she asked it was in a way that put me out of college and in the world as a real person. I thought about making up some elaborate story about how I was traveling Europe and Portugal was the only country in which I didn't know the language but I figured I would just sound dumb so I quickly confessed I was just a student at UNCA that had gotten suckered into taking Portuguese. She still thought it was a nice story.

Moral of the story: don't take classes labeled 'Portuguese 300.'

But I will make it through. And I will know part of a third language which is pretty cool. And if I end up studying abroad in Spain (really leaning toward it) I will be able to understand things if I hop over to Portugal. Plus, it should make for some great stories this semester.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Primer Dia de Los clases

Yep. That's right. First day back to school (that's what the title says-first day of class). And yes, I realize I am in college and I don't ride a big yellow school bus. I couldn't resist this picture though. I used to ride the bus. I loved it. I had the coolest bus driver ever and I rode bus 13. I miss it so much and you can be sure my kids will be riding the bus.

I've been dreading this day for weeks. I have enjoyed summer so much this year that I'm ready to call it quits on this school business (just kidding Mom and Dad).

Growing up, my lovely mother always woke up at the crack of dawn on the first day of school and cooked us the best breakfast you have ever eaten in your life. Yep, you have never eaten my mom's breakfast but you like it anyways. I always had the first day of school jitters. No idea why. I was really good at school, I had lots of friends, and everybody liked me (so i thought).

Anyways, since graduating I have eaten oatmeal and bagels and/or a poptart on the past first 3 days of college every year. Very anticlimactic I might say.

This morning of course was the first day of classes for the fall semester so I woke up ate my bagel, drank my tea and got ready for my 9AM Portuguese class. Yep, Portuguese.

I left at 8:30 which is about 15 min early than normal because there is construction EVERYWHERE on my route to school. The main highway I take to school is down to one lane in both directions so i avoid it at all cost. Today, everybody seemed to have the same idea as I did. It took me forever to get to school.

Went to Portuguese and felt that familiar first day of class punch in the face, except this time it was in Portuguese. I am a Spanish major and Portuguese is similar but very different. I learned that very quickly. My brain was spinning by the time the class was over. Then I decided it would be a good idea to actually take the harder Portuguese class because it actually counts towards my major. Well that class happens to meet right after the one I had just gotten out of. So...another hour of Portuguese.

Left Portuguese and headed over the campus police office to pick up (and by pick up i mean pay for) a parking pass. Forgot I had to have a copy of my schedule AND proof I paid my semester bill. Well, the website where I needed to get these lovely items was not working so I went to the Bookstore instead. Bought some books, walked out and threw away my bag in a trash can. No big deal. That is until I realized when I was on the other side of campus that I had thrown away my receipt, which I need in order to sell back some of my books.

So I walked back across campus and proceeded to dig through the trash while several dozen people passed by and stared at the crazy girl digging through the trash can on the first day of class.

I then walked back across campus to the library and on the way I happened to accidently walk through freshly laid sod around which there were several signs saying not to do so. Oops.

Finally made it to the library. And to my other class. Then I went to the gym and decided I would finish the day riding the stationary bike and lifting weights. I forgot to check out a towel and so I sweated all over the machine and the floor and anything around me. It is kind of disgusting how much I sweat. Sometimes I think it probably isn't healthy. It is probably why I have to drink about 50 gallons of water a day to feel hydrated. I'm the reason that we could run out of clean drinking water some day.

Finally finished working out and came home to my lovely apartment and about kissed the ground because I no longer have to live in a dorm room in my life. I enjoyed it but I quickly learned that I was not made to live in a dorm room. I would if I had to but it is certainly nice to have a place where I lay down on the floor without fear of contracting some kind of funky disease.

All in all I made it through day 1. Day 2 should be interesting for sure. I'm not going to lie I was eating dinner tonight and realized that I had started school. Completely forgot that I had classes to attend tomorrow. Oh well...

Don't be a stranger summer....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Settling In

So I returned to Asheville last Monday, August 9th. Last night is the first night i've spent in my apartment since returning.

Right now my room is in shambles and I literally jumping right back into life today.
But I feel good about it.

It feels good to be back. To be in a place that is my own. A place that I know fairly well. No more suitcases, 7 sets of clothes on repeat, or travel size toiletries. Seriously, everything looks so gigantic. Toothpaste, contact solution, shampoo/conditioner. All looks like giants should be using it.

Classes start Monday and I feel like this week is the calm before the storm.

I saw this quote today while attempting to shop for a dresser and I liked it. I know I've heard it before but it made me laugh really hard.

This pretty much sums up life right now. And life in general sometimes. I think I'm starting to reach a point where I understand that crap is just going to keep happening. I can still be frustrated by it, angry at it, sad at it. But I can keep living, keep going. Taking time to process the crap but I will be ok.

Bottom line. It's good to be back. I loved Colorado very very much and there are certainly days when I wish I could go back but it was time to come home and jump back into life...full throttle.

For the first time in a long time I feel life again. I can also feel myself changing and growing.
This year is going to be a crazy one but I'm not afraid of it, at least not right now :)

I love these verses and am attempting to memorize them:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4: 4-7

Enough said

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

At The Top of The World

About a week ago I went to Leadville, CO with John Moss, Marion Chesney, and Meredith Isaacs, a few of my fellow interns at Frontier Ranch. It is about a 30ish minute drive from Buena Vista. It is an old Colorado mining town that rests atabout 10,000 feet. It is a fairly big tourist place but is more off the beaten path than most tourist towns in Colorado.First stop was this place called Melanzana. All of the interns were buying these awesome pull overs that they make there and I swore I wouldn't buy one......but I did. And I do not regret it.

After purchasing the jacket John Moss wanted to take us up to this mind he and another guy had found while they were Geocaching which is like a big scavenger hunt using a GPS.We all hopped in John's black Ford Escape and proceeded to drive up small back country roads. When we finally got to the first stop the view was unbelievable:

I seriously could have sat up there for hours. There was a storm rolling in and it was thundering off in the distance. Off to the left the rain was moving across the valley. It was absolutely gorgeous. The air was clean and crisp. The wind was in our faces. It was so refreshing.

But this was not our final destination. So we loaded up and started driving straight through the woods. The drive was on a small road literally through the trees. We had the windows down and if you weren't careful branches would slap you in the face. We finally parked in the middle of nowhere and then began walking down a steep incline. when we came out of the trees we saw this:

We sat on top of the world that day. As I looked out over the mountains I thought about alot of things. I thought about how right this summer has been. About how there hasn't been one moment that I wished I could leave, or that things were different.

I was where I was supposed to be.