|la palapa -- our classroom|
in my many months of preparation for this semester abroad, i experienced just about every emotion possible - happy, sad, excited, nervous, dread, fear, anxiety... the list goes on and on. (and sometimes, just sometimes, i feel like that wide range of sensitive emotions is still lingering a bit -- culture shock, oof!) when i would discuss this upcoming journey with friends, family, and even strangers, they would immediately respond with, "aren't you so excited!? it's going to be amazing! wonderful! fabulous! the time of your life! you'll be so tan!" (that one was always followed by a suspicious smirk or giggle.. not sure why?) and while i smiled and nodded in return, my head and heart were screaming, "no, i'm terrified. this is quite possibly the stupidest thing i've ever done. self torture! my fear and dread outweigh the excitement (but don't get me wrong, there was excitement in there.. somewhere. :). but it's for my education."
it's for my education! i'd tell myself. now now, little rachel, it's for your education! you can't get a degree in spanish without it. just a few short months abroad will allow for your biggest dreams come true.
do i have the voice of a fairy godmother or what?
so that was that, and i was reassured that, even if i had the drabbiest time of my life (rest assured: i'm not!) it would all be worth it in the end, because it's for my education.
fast forward a few months and here i am, two weeks into my classes in merida. with a whirlwind of an orientation week and constant opportunities to travel here, see this, buy that, i have easily been wrapped up in everyday life in merida, and shoot, we have to take classes!? but there's no time for classes! no time for learning! but what's that? what's that you say? oh yes, i'm here for my education. the one thing that kept me from backing out on a daily basis from october 2012 - january 20, 2013. kidding. a little.
so education is what's being done, my purpose for being here, the reason for the season, and my classes are going quite swell. my schedule looks something like this:
9:30-10:20 >> spanish
10:30-11:20 >> evolution
11:30-12:20 >> tropical ecology
4-5:20 >> understanding contemporary mexico
4:30-6:20 >> evolution laboratory
9:30-10:20 >> spanish
4-5:30 >> i do some volunteer work in a small town right outside of merida. my first day is today, so
be sure to check back tomorrow for the details! i can't wait to fill you in.
8-9 >> latin dancing
oh, whoops, am i forgetting a day? oh that's right, no! because we don't have class on fridays! ;)
i'll just let you take a minute here and soak that one up.
i really enjoy my classes thus far which makes getting up early for class and staying up late doing homework hardly seem like work at all. i'm totally geeking out in my science classes and, while honestly spanish class never really ends when 80 percent of my day is spoken in spanish, i feel like my speaking abilities improve more and more with each passing day. this semester i've felt that with everything i do, everything i say, every place i go, i'm learning. there are no "safety zones" where i can just flop on my futon, turn on mindless tv, and just be. i can feel my brain wheels in constant motion, turning, pushing, and working in every setting. it seriously is almost painful, it's working so hard. but can you imagine how buff my brain is going to be at the end of the semester? it's amazing really.
here's to education! happy wednesday! or thursday, if you don't have class on friday, either. :)