Monday, November 29, 2010

Final Projects

The end of the semester. That means Christmas break is just around the corner and only a single week remains of classes. That should be good right? But the thing is, we have a week and a day after Thanksgiving Break before Finals. Everything ends up being due when there is only a week left of class to work on it. I ended up spending 14 hours on Sunday to finish the following video/documentary for my Culture and Civilization: Americas class.

It did not come out exactly the way I would like. I didn't get the interviews I had planned on. There just wasn't enough time. I sent the emails to them and didn't get a response for two weeks, 3 days before the due date of the project. So I ended up having to do all of the narration. I am disappointed in the project but I did put a LOT of time into it still. On top of the 14 hours on Sunday, I probably put an equal amount or more of time into the research and gathering process in the weeks previous.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Edge

Thanksgiving break is coming to a close, but that doesn't mean ASU has some of the main buildings open. The Union is closed. The library is closed. That made studying a little difficult until today.

Yesterday we tried to go to the park to study. It was too cold. I did manage to get my Public Relations assignment done but my hands were freezing by the end of it. Later I did everything but study.

Today we came to The Edge Coffee House. I am here every Wednesday for Tertulia but very rarely come on my own. But today it provided a nice environment to study. I bought a soda and a hot drink and spent four hours there. Nice environment. Nice beverages.

Unfortunately, tomorrow it is back to the library.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meeting Goals

At the beginning of the week I set a few goals. Two of them were major goals that I really wanted to meet. On top of the daily homework assignments, I wanted to finish the introduction to a documentary I am working on for a class and I wanted to start studying for a final.

I was happy to meet these goals today. I think by setting the goals it pushed me to actually work on some of these extensive projects rather than the typical procrastination. I have found that actually putting work into something instead of waiting until the day before, has really paid off this semester, whether it is a paper or presentation. I have tried to do homework on the day it is assigned, and that is yet another goal I have met fairly well. This semester has been far less stressful when I don't procrastinate so much.

Goals really do help!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Last night, I began my first application for what I consider a real job. It is basically a paid internship, but it lasts for up to three years. The job: teaching English in Spain.

I am hopefully in securing the position. It will be a great opportunity for me to help students learn English which is becoming more and more prevalent in the world, all the while I am learning Spanish for myself. Along with the work will be plenty of times for me to travel in Europe and improve my communication skills.

Along with learning Spanish and teaching English, it will provide another opportunity for me as well. My plan is to have two blogs while I am in Spain (if I get the job). One will be an English blog for my family and friends. It will be a travel blog. The other blog, if I have my way, will be a more feature/news type blog. I want to practice my Journalism skills in both Spanish and English. I will interview people and try to find interesting stories to write about. The second blog would probably be bilingual, with stories in both English and Spanish.

The application process is very long. Along with the application I have to work with government agencies in order to have my background checked, obtain a visa, and other things. I have two teachers who have already said they would write letters of recommendation for me. Even though it is not required, I will probably ask them to write the letters for me. I will also have to write a paper myself to submit with the application. Hopefully I can get the job in Huelva, where our university has a partnership.

This will be a really neat opportunity if I am able to get it. And for me I will call it my first real job because it is paid and it lasts more than a few months.

Monday, November 8, 2010


As if being sick isn't bad enough. I am sure the same concept will apply to those in the work force, but on top of the illness is all the catch up work that goes along with it.

I went to my classes on Friday with a sore throat. I thought it was just sinus drainage. By 7:30 that night I had a fever of over 100. Saturday I went to the doctor to find I had two infections. So then came the antibiotics. Friday night and Saturday I spent in my room, bored, and getting nothing done. Then came Sunday.

I was unable to go to the morning service because I hadn't been on the antibiotic for 24 hours yet. But I got to go to the library Sunday night in order to start catching up, although I am far behind. It is amazing how fast things can pile up. Procrastinating doesn't help.

Watching movies in Spanish and listening to Spanish music is a lot more fun than reading those stories in Spanish that are required for class on Tuesday. More to do tonight. More to catch up on.

(If it isn't obvious by now, I am running out of ideas for blogs. Any ideas, feel free to leave a comment.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Although it was a rather boring Halloween weekend, today started out pretty good. The Japanese Student Organization hosted "Little Japan" today and I was finally able to attend one of their events. Before going to my class I got to watch a Japanese dance, try some Japanese food and learn to fold a throwing star from one of my Japanese friends.

Then came class which brought with it discouragement. I love to speak in Spanish and I have been practicing, trying to read Spanish short stories. In order of proficiency, I am probably: Speaking, Writing, Reading, and listening isn't even on the chart. When it comes to the last two, I am not always exactly sure what I am reading. It doesn't always make since and what I think is happening isn't necessarily happening.

I said the character dies in the end of the story. The teacher shakes his head no and asks the class, "What do you think, does he die or not?" No one can answer and he says to have an answer for the next class. He speaks slow and I get the gist of it, he speeds up and I don't even try to take notes. He says this is how they actually speak in Spain. I believe him.

It isn't uncommon for me to ask my friends to repeat themselves when speaking Spanish. Or other times I just make up an answer and hope I understood correctly. I began asking myself, should I apply for this job in Spain that I want to get so badly? If I get there and I can't understand the majority of what they tell me it is going to be very difficult.

If English is the hardest language to learn, I hate to imagine what so many of our international students must feel like every day!