Editors Note: Alyssa Fleming is going to college in Madrid Spain. Her grandparents live in Wayndale & they are sharing some of her E-mails with us.
Hola! Qué tal? I am not sure how to do the upside down question mark and exclamation point yet. Anyways, I have been back in Spain for about a month now. So far, I have been focusing on school, somehow 6 classes and 19 credit hours constantly reminds me that there’s a reason that 18 credit hours are the limit. However, do not be worried, somewhere between my philosophy readings, physiology diagrams, and mad midterm studying, I do get some down time to veg with the girls in the apartment and go out in Madrid 🙂
One of my more recent adventures involved going to an Indian Restaurant in Madrid. I know I know, I’m not in India, but I had never tried Indian food before so it was a good experience! And as my first experience with Indian food, it was amazing! Furthermore, after the Indian food we went to a Jazz Bar with live music, which I have been trying to post videos of on Facebook forever now…but alas…Facebook is not the best. I will try to get some pictures up on my Photobucket and see if I can add movies there soon.
As far as the traveling this semester ….I am hoping that I will get to do more, I was just looking at flights and trying to plan a trip to the Canary Islands in April as the flight would only cost 55.00 Euro roundtrip! Also, I finally got spring break figured out and booked! I am going to Paris for the first half and then to Marrakech in Morocco for two days and the last day in Tangier, Morocco before coming back to Madrid! AND it is in less than a month! I am super excited!
The last trip I was trying to plan was to go to Valencia, in the south of Spain, which I hear is GORGEOUS, for Semana Santa (religous holidays in April that grants me a 5 day Easter break). Also, with traveling I may go to Toledo in two weekends or so. I am told that is an easy day trip as it is only a couple hours on a train to get there, and it is suppose to be a great place!
AS far as the Spainsh, I am committing myself to trying REALLY hard to learn Spanish, this means reading in Spanish every night, going to Intercambio 5 days a week. I have only gone one day a week so far but my friend just told me she found more today. For those of you that do not know, Intercambio is where I meet with Spanish people trying to learn English and we exchange languages so they speak English to me and I speak Spanish to them or vice versa. I really want to have a good grip on the language by the time I come back (cross your fingers for me!)
Also new in my life, my university runs a community ESL (English as a Second Language) program. It is basically free English classes for people of the Spanish community in Madrid. The university gets its students to teach the classes, and I am currently teaching (along with one of my roommates) an Intermediate 1 class. It is mostly adults that want to learn English for their jobs or travel and our class is usually 15-20 people and is Monday and Wednesday, 7-8pm. We have been having fun with it, like today we did riddles, we put up a few on the board and had them come up with the answers, and then had them write their own in groups. Last class we made them listen to a Maroon 5 song and sing it (it was funny). Also, to improve my teaching skills, I am signed up for a free workshop in March, so with that and this experience I will be able to teach private lessons and get paid for it. (job next semester :)). Let me know how you are doing… I love to keep in touch with the mothership…(note to self: next time do not write at 1:30am 🙂 which brings me to another new thing about my life: I rarely go to bed before 3am anymore, but I figure that is OK as long as I’m consistent right? Plus my earliest class is 11am on M-W, and F, and on T and T, well, not till the afternoon, so I feel as though I have adapted to the Spanish lifestyle : dinner at 9/10pm bed at 3am up at 10am.
Anyways, I will talk to you all later!! I miss you all so much and I think about you often! Hope all is going well!!
Best Wishes, Alyssa Fleming