Thursday, October 6, 2011

hula hooping to spain.

i always blog at inopportune times. like when i'm actually supposed to be rewriting my article summary for spanish.

that entailed me putting my microsoft word into spanish (mexican spanish but argentinan was tempting) and to install the spanish spell check. now microsoft word alerts me when my number and gender don't agree. or when i need an accent.

so far my spanish article is looking something like this:

Personas llamadas “coyotes” ayudan los inmigrantes viajar a través de la frontera y ayudarles a encontrar trabajo una vez que lleguen en EEUU. Según el articulo, “…cuesta unos 400 dólares o el equivalente a un par de semanas de trabajo de los ilegales en EEUU.” Muchos de estos inmigrantes son jóvenes y estudian en las universidades. Muchas otras trabajan.

beautiful, isn't it? 

yeah, i didn't think so.

while i'm sitting here in the library with my new toms shoes (i'm so friendly!) and my awesome aluminum water bottle when i really could be outside enjoying the sunshine if i had time, i am blogging. and oh what a joy blogging is.

today i woke up early and worked out for the first time since i injured my back. they say that it takes time for exercise to become addicting, but i'm ready to work out again. i don't think this is normal.

to keep myself from napping after my early morning work out (i consider eight to be early for a thursday) i proceeded to take a nice, long, shower and wear my striped white and blue shirt with my striped white and blue bow. once i had my bow pinned in exactly where i wanted it, i grabbed my study abroad packet, a notebook, and a pen and headed to the library basement where the ACP office is located.

here is what i know about ACP, and as an RA, i should know a lot more. it stands for academic and career planning. they help you with resumes and real world stuff. internships. study abroad. interviews. getting jobs. graduating on time. planning your whole entire future because that's why you're going to college, to get yourself a better future with lots of debt later. it has extended office hours, which means it closes somewhere around... ten o'clock at night (my college is the most sleep deprived campus in michigan, that's a legitimate fact) and that you don't need an appointment.

so i walked in feeling cute and clueless. i walked up to the lady at the front desk and said, "i'd like to talk to somebody about studying abroad."

she smiled and said, "what do you know?"

when i said, "nothing" her face fell and she said something along the lines of, "i don't know if i can help you."

i perked up and said, "well i want to go to spain!" and then we were rolling.

i did not actually sit down and discuss studying abroad with a nice lady in an office like i had planned. instead, this nice secretary gave me a packet and said that here at alma college, we have a six step process. steps one through three need to be completed by a certain date, because steps four through six become international and there's communication between us and the foreign country. one step at time. each step comes in a nice manilla envelope and you just turn them in one at a time, it's nothing to worry about.

she sent me away with directions for step one and a list of alma approved study abroad programs.

i instantly went back to my dorm room, propped open my door and labeled it "emily está... un su cuarto! dice hola!", dragged my laptop over to my bed, and sat up there going through the approved study abroad program sites.

in my gigantic packet that i got the other week that i showed to my mother, there was this fantastic program in madrid. madrid is cool. madrid is the capital. it's MADRID. who wouldn't want to spend a winter semester in madrid? it even had literature classes for me. but was it pre-approved by my college?


from there i looked at what i needed to do to get a program approved. that involved writing a detailed, well-thought-out essay about why this program is superior to the other programs in said country, what i would do to make this program approved, and all kinds of other hoops. that plus everything else i needed to complete for step one before i could move onto step two. i think my stomach fell to my feet when i realized that maybe madrid wouldn't be an option. i might've had the time, but i joined a sorority two nights ago.

time is of the essence. i'm not sure if that's the right phrase. but it sounded legit.

i began to research a winter semester in oviedo. it sounded nice. i began to get excited. then i clicked on "courses you will take in oviedo" and it went on and on about economics and sociology.

hello, my name is emily, and i'm an education major so i can teach kids literature and spanish.

goodbye, oviedo.

the only other pre-approved program in spain was segovia. so i clicked on that.

it began to look happy. i would go in as an intermediate/advanced spanish student! i would live with a host family and be within walking distance from the university! i would take literature and spanish culture!

then i quickly realized that everything for applying for this was for winter of 2012.

let me lay that out for you. winter of 2012 starts in january. this january. that's in two months.


to study in winter of 2013, which is NEXT winter, meaning we get through this winter, spring, summer, fall, and then winter, i thought i was applying late. can you really get all of this done, get approved, and get shipped off to france or something when you decide two months beforehand that you want to study abroad?


i began to panic. i needed things about 2013 NOW. i was applying now. what if the courses change? what if it wasn't approved anymore?

and i found some stuff on a nice handy PDF file... that wouldn't load. either my dorm room internet was taking another gigantic poop like usual or my adobe flashplayer needs some serious updating. i'm in the habit of closing those windows upon opening up my computer.

i sent a long and harried email to my mother explaining that i was researching study abroad opportunities and how i was scared out of my mind even though i was only look at step one out of six. when i was done emailing her, i checked out the education program that argentina had in rosario. perfecto! education!

it was only in the summer. i cannot afford any of that. i gotta work in the summer to make money to study abroad in the winter. and pay for my ridiculous expensive private college education.

after i tossed out argentina and settled for spain, i spent the next twenty minutes memorizing anyone lived in a pretty how town. you know, with up so floating many bells down.

i guess the point of my blog is this: i've gotten up, been productive, and freaked myself out with study abroad.

i am going to study abroad.

i'm not going to take no for an answer. i'll find a program that tailors to my education major needs. i want to spend four months in spain taking classes and being immersed in the culture and the language and having one of the best opportunities of my life. because i'm worth it. i really am and i will tell myself this until i get there.

i am growing up so quickly.

wish by spirit and if by yes.

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