My adventure with the Spanish language began my freshman year of high school. Taking a language class was required to graduate and I had a choice between German and Spanish. While German seemed relevant, given my heritage, I could not argue the practicality in learning the second most widely spoken language in the United State.
I remember my first class very well. My professor taught the entire class in Spanish. Giving us directions to stand, sit, turn around and jump in the air. Everyone was terribly confused, but the way she spoke was fast and exciting. Every word felt so full of life and energy; I was hooked from day one.
I studied Spanish all through high school. We even took a trip to Spain my junior year. It was on that trip, listening to all the passengers on the subway talk among one another that I realized I had a long way to go before I would achieve the level of fluency I so desperately wanted. This desire to become fluent, to have the ability to fully express myself, under any circumstances, was growing deeper the more I learned.
My studies continued into college, eventually becoming one of my majors and sending me to Cuenca, Ecuador for a semester to study abroad. Estudio Sampere was our escuela in Cuenca; it was intense and rigorous. We spent all afternoon in class and all evening completing mucha tarea. There were times I felt so overwhelmed with it all, but in the end, I am very grateful. I learned more about my beloved Spanish language in those 6 months than I had in the previous 6 years.
After college ended, so did my studies. Two years went by and all the words I had worked so hard to remember, slowly faded. I missed Spanish so much. Too many flash cards had been written for me to just let it all slip away! That is when I found Luis. He has helped me to remember much of what I thought was lost. He helped bring Español back into my life.
The other night I had a dream, this older women was talking with me as we waited in line at the market. She was telling me about her grandchildren and she had the most beautiful Spanish accent. As the dream went on I slowly began to realize that she had been speaking Spanish the entire time, and I understood every word of it! Fluency is possible and I am determined to get there
The Spanish language has caused me more stress and defeat than any of my life’s passions or hobbies. It has tested my patience and resilience more than anything else I have voluntarily put myself through. But, no matter how discouraged I may feel at times, I simply cannot stay away. Why is that, I sometimes wonder. Why do I continue to stay on this roller coaster ride? In all honestly, I really don’t know why. I think a part of me feels that I have come so far, I cannot turn back now. I feel I owe it to myself to reach the level of fluency that I have wanted since I was fifteen. At this point, I simply cannot with without that rush of excitement we all feel when participate in a conversation, entirely in Español! I have a commitment long ago to accomplish something and I feel self-driven to do so.