I’ll have French with that, please.

imageMy marathon first day of classes began at 9am, when all 90 or so of the students in the Business and Language and Culture programs gathered in one to be read the results of the Spanish placement exam we took last Thursday. For some people the results could’ve potentially determined whether or not they would receive credit for some of their classes. Ever skeptical of placement tests, I was simply afraid of being placed in a class where I would be bored, as has occurred no less than twice in the past. Happily, my fears did not materialize, so at 10:00, I trooped off to Spanish IV Grammar with most everyone else I happen to have already introduced myself to. That class was followed back-to-back by Spanish IV Conversation, Basque Culture and Language (in which it was immediately clarified that we would not actually be learning any speakable Basque, to my great disappointment), and Direct Translation, a regular university class filled with actual Spanish students (and some foreigners from countries other than the US) instead of my American cohort from the Language and Culture program.

I am permitted to take one single normal class at the university. Two, supposedly, if you can convince them. I’ve been telling myself and the world that I am going to take French while in Spain, and that was my plan. But that is a normal university class, just like the translation one, and when the academic advisor person suggested Spanish-English translation in the list of possible options for me, I couldn’t resist trying it out. My poor brain struggled through it, and I loved every second. French – and Chinese, which I’m inexorably drawn towards – were also on the list of possibilities and both meet at 8:00am four times a week, unfortunately. But I don’t care. I’m here to learn, not sleep. So, I shot off a pleading missive to the advisor this afternoon, begging to be allowed to take some French along with my translation, please. Please please please.

After my translation class finally ended I dropped my backpack off at home and hightailed it to shop I had spied selling my favorite Turkish-German fast food, döner, which I devoured in the sunshine in a park that I’d spotted on my walk to church. Oh glorious day! Before my unexpectedly hilarious Europe in the World class from 5:00-6:45 (oh yes, we have class that late), I went grocery and school supply shopping, briefly met one of my housemates (who hooked up the wifi and gave me the passoword!) and ate the only delicious-looking pastry I could find. I miss German pastries.

This week is going to be crazy. We are allowed to visit any number of classes that we would like to take and need to decide on which we want, without missing any of the classes we actually do end up picking, before official registration next week. In the end I will have 5 classes. I just have no idea which.




  1. Absolutely fascinating!! Hope you get that French class and the Direct Translation class sounds quite intriguing (sp??) Anyway – does it teach you how to listen in one language and translate to the other? Love, Grandma L.

    1. It teaches you how to translate texts from English to Spanish as accurately as possible. And that’s about it, I think. Should be just a lot of practice practice practice.

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