The Essence of Learning

23 Septiembre 2016

P.S. (because it really is post scriptum, even if it’s at the beginning of this post) Well. I meant to finish this post about a week ago and instead it has simply sat here getting old. Sorry. So now I’ll finish it! Can you guess where I took it up again?

 

An exhilarating feeling.

Lightness of the feet.

Lightness of the mind..! Not a good thing, because:

Goodness, I must have forgotten English by now.

This is the essence of learning!

These are what I am feeling now. Though give me a few days and I’m sure I’ll be trying to resist the temptation to complain about headaches and heartache over language and country and what I miss!

But for now, I will relish this delight in the world of Español!

As we were told in our meeting today, the language is only half the battle–then there’s the culture. My roommates are super sweet girls, both of whom are very patient with my many blunders in their language. Speaking of which, everyone here is SO friendly and accepting. They love hearing you try to speak and don’t mind when they don’t understand your try.

From my perspective it’s fun to try to get ones thoughts across with a limited vocabulary. Often when I don’t know a word, I can get the same idea across using other words. However, there are TONS of people from over 50 countries here. It’s amazing, but the accents and different words for the same things can get confusing(and can be road-blocks for those of us trying to use the language). For example, in Argentina, frijoles (beans) are porotos. Or something like that. See? I’m still confused about them.

Half of the school are Brazilians, and from my room (which is next to the entrance to the dorm) I hear lots of Portuguese. From afar it sounds like very rapid Spanish until they get closer and I hear the many consonants. That’s the only way I can tell it apart as of now.

I love getting to know the other people and their little quirks that make them who they are. A surprising amount of people here know at least some English, so communicating in Spanglish is quite easy, and rather humorous too amongst all the mistakes/incorrect words. Additionally to the frijoles vs. porotos, there are words here (often verbs) that carry ill meanings, while in other countries they’re perfectly fine to use anywhere. The struggle going from one Spanish country to another! I suppose you speak very carefully when you first get there. Though bless the soul who comes to Argentina looking for a pineapple and instead receives a black eye (Piña = pineapple, but in Argentina Piña = punch [and I don’t mean the sickly sweet beverage served at dinner parties]. For the sake of knowledge pineapple in Argentina is anana).

While we’re on the topic of different countries and their various language choices, here’s a side note on the Argentine culture — these people know how to take it easy. We’ve had holiday after holiday after parade after everything’s closed (AGAIN) after sleep after great food after… wow. These people. I love it. Plus, they have a siesta every day. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s basically several hours right after lunch in which the entire town goes to sleep. All the shops close down, the students take naps/study. America, I hope you’re taking notes.

Alas, I am encountering the culture.

Lightness of the mind…

Lightness of the feet…

An exhilarating feeling…

This is the essence of learning!

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