Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snowy Salamanca

Don't be envious, but the snow in Salamanca doesn't last long. The second picture is from the snowfall my first day here, and it all melted the next day. It was actually snowing Tuesday when I took the first picture, though you cannot see the snow. Really, it was more like a rain, which it turned into later that day. A small part of me misses the snow back home...a small part. We have had a lot of rain here, and really I am ready for Spring! To my family and friends in Louisville and Indiana, please know I do understand that it could be worse!

I have finished the second round of my job, and tonight I will tackle the third (I work with three different professors, so in my head I have divide my job into three sections). On Tuesday the professor, Rosa, asked me to lead the class on my own. Actually, she sent me an email on Sunday telling me where the class meets and just to use a lesson I had already developed. What? I panicked for a moment and then emailed her asking for more direction. She obliged, and left worksheets in her mailbox. I arrived on Tuesday and found for students: two young women from Germany, and two from Romania. I have taught Sunday school and substituted in elementary and middle schools, but it was a bit difficult to take the teacher role with essentially my peers.

However, I introduced myself and started the lesson, improvising where I thought necessary. We read an article about the art of lying (I learned something: the average person tells one lie a day, but the average college student admitted to telling two lies per day!). I was worried that the work was too easy and I was insulting their intelligence-I didn't want to appear to be babying them, and I didn't want to waste their time. But they seemed willing to do a few exercises. With fifteen minutes left I offered them a deal: we put away the worksheets with the understanding we would practice speaking English for the rest of class. (Rosa asked that I pay special attention to speaking-that this session was for practice). We just talked about ourselves. English is actually their second/third foreign language (I cannot imagine learning a foreign language, in a foreign language...The class went well. I love being able to meet people from all over the world every day.

Speaking of international students, this week I met several other exchange students in my building. German, Italian, Mexican, Portuguese, Australian, Russian-very diverse! Last night at dinner they were discussing foreign languages (yes, plural) they have studied. Most know at least 2 if not 3 languages in addition to their mother language...amazing. Now it is my goal to learn other languages, too.

I wasn't expecting to see many pets here, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Cats are everywhere, just wandering around. And people walk their dogs, but rarely are the dogs leashed-the dogs stay close enough to their owners. On city streets! I am trying to imagine our dogs unleashed, in the just isn't a pleasant image!

I am planning a trip to Barcelona for next weekend! I am going to meet a good friend who is studying in Milan this semester...very excited! Now, if only the banks would start cooperating with me; I am very frustrated with both the Spanish and American banks, right now! But, things could certainly be much, much worse. Nearly everyday I wonder at all the blessings I have received; such a wonderful opportunity I have to be here...God is good.

Blessings from Spain,


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