It’s been a little while, so I figured I’d pop my head in and give y’all a quick update on life over here.
I’m through 9 of 15 days of my intensive language course. Things are going well – I still feel like I’m reviewing the exact stuff that I’ve been learning and repeatedly screwing up for years now. This time it is clicking with a bit more ease, but it’s no walk in the park. The nice thing is that this time I actually feel motivated to study it and get it down.
I switched my course for the semester that starts in early February. I was in the Language, Literature & Culture program, but I changed to the Hispanic Studies program. Hispanic Studies has more faculty members from the University of Granada, and are more focused on the actual subject matter than they are on linguistic aspects. I signed up for some cool ones (Flamenco and Traditional Music, anyone?) so I’m looking forward to the start of that semester. Unfortunately, Hispanic Studies also comes with more homework. But I’ll only have 4 days of class a week, so I can’t complain too much.
More random observations and personal experiences from recent days:
- As expected, Andalucia is awesome for its free tapas. Each drink you order comes with awesome free snacks.
- While lacking spice and strong flavor, I am really starting to enjoy how the mediterranean diet is quite healthy without sacrificing much in the taste department. Obesity here is way less frequent, and I see a lot less unhealthily skinny people here too. It seems like a lot of people here manage to hover around “just right,” and that they don’t have to work too hard to stay there.
- My family and teachers have started trying to correct some Latin American influences on my Spanish – and are trying to get me to pick up the Castillian lisp as well. I’m subconsciously starting to use it at times, and also picking up the sloppy Andalucian habit of dropping the ends of many words (“Muchas gracias” sounds like “mucha gracia” and “más o menos” becomes “Má o meno”)
As a native of another former imperial colony whose language has mutated much from the mother tongue, I don’t know what to think. I react negatively to the idea of British English being superior to an American dialect, since we can all understand each other regardless. I’m not closing my mind to Castillian Spanish – after all, I chose this country for study abroad over a plethora of Latin American options – but it certainly is making things more confusing. Once I was an American trying to pick up Mexican Spanish. In a few months I’ll sound a third American, a third Mexican, and a third Spanish. If I do Peace Corps in Latin America after I graduate, the people there are going to be crazy confused.
- Last week I got a cold, mostly hanging around the throat and nose. Now it’s turned into a really annoying cough. I’m hoping it passes soon, but at least my head feels clear now.
- I watched inauguration online since I didn’t know if the televised coverage would dub over the speeches or not (they didn’t). People seem pretty interested but I didn’t get the best vantage point to really comment on Spaniards’ opinions. It’s obvious that people over here are very interested, but beyond that I don’t really know.
OK, I’m out for now… Time to beat myself over the head with some Spanish grammar.