June 2, 2013 by ebostick1212
I have previously addressed the goals I wanted to accomplish during my year here in Sevilla, and I have accomplished them, for the most part. Of course there are several smaller accomplishments that I feel are worth mentioning, as well. At least for a laugh, or two.
–I got through an entire year in a primary school without getting head lice.
–I convinced several small children that I do not speak Spanish, often by speaking Spanish directly to them.
‘¿Betsy, hablas español?’
‘No. No hablo español, solo hablo inglés. Ahora, ponte derecho.´
–I learned how to flip a tortilla de patatas.
–I figured out how to change the butano canister without accidentally blowing up the apartment complex.
–I always match up my socks now, because children WILL notice if they don’t match, and they WILL question your style decisions all day.
–I kicked my diet coke habit, and subsequently fell into a coffee habit.
In no small part, due to this, I became a regular at a café.
–I got my commute down to half an hour, on the dot.
–I didn’t eat churros every day, in spite of wanting to.
–I can now speak on the phone to a Spanish person without having a nervous breakdown beforehand.
–I developed a keen sense of direction from having to wander so many winding streets.
–I learned to calm down an entire class of twelve year olds by firmly calling out ‘Oyyy!’, which was probably strange to them as that sounds exactly like their word for ‘today’, which is ‘hoy’.
–I can now successfully siesta. I no longer freak out about the things I should be doing between the hours of 2:00 pm and 4:00pm.
–My double R’s are getting better, due, in part to the repetition of the tongue twister ‘El perro de San Roque no tiene rama porque Señor Ramírez se lo ha cortado.’
–In spite of being an ardent supporter of separation of church and state, I am no longer fazed that this idea doesn’t exist, here.
–I can now use the past subjunctive in Spanish.
–I now realize that the weird guy in my apartment complex is shouting ‘butanoooo’ and not reciting some odd daily prayer. Also, the mysterious pan pipes that play up and down my street aren’t from some Peter Pan-esque man traipsing around the neighborhood, it’s the afilador, or knife sharpener signaling his coming upon motorbike.
–I learned the best way to prevent colds while working around hundreds of snotty, coughing children is throw away the hand sanitizer and USE BABY WIPES. (That hand sanitizing stuff is bad for you anyway.)
–I can now understand Carmen, Guadalquivir´s extremely Andalucían secretary.
–I figured out how to decode Spanish last names. María Bocanegra Martín…Bocanegra: Dad´s first last name, Martín: Mom´s first last name…complicated, right?
–I disciplined a group of primero students without fear, and kept them in for recreo. I am pretty sure one of them tried to put a curse on me, but alas, I am primero witchcraft-proof.
–I realized that I have started eating my words, in true Andalucían fashion.
–I came to prefer pueblo life, in Mairena to living in a big city like Sevilla.
I think the most important accomplishment I made this year was enjoying every second. I had my ups and downs like everyone, but never did I think ´this sucks. I am going home forever.´ I really did relish and learn from everything I did this year. That is what is making my decision to stay in Spain or go home so difficult.