Okay, so enough depressing stuff, right? Now on to other aspects of life. In addition to my first English student, Henar, I now speak English with Irene about once or twice a week, and I have another student that I will start 'teaching' the 19th, Tuesday. She is 9, so that will be interesting. But I love Henar and her parents. They love giving me apples and tomatoes, since they found out that I love organic food. When they found out that my dad is an organic farmer, they just loved that! Her dad gave me the greatest compliment one day. I was talking with Henar and her dad, and he was like, "You must listen well to the way people talk. You have picked up on the accent well." And a friend of Laura's, Suzanna, who met me when I first got here, said my Spanish has improved considerably. I need to hear things like that, because sometimes I feel like I am in a rut, Spanish wise. I just don't feel like I am learning as rapidly as I was before, but I'm sure I am.
Fall is finally starting here. The leaves are turning colors and it makes me happy. Fall is my FAVORITE season in ND. I love the colors, the smells, the weather, and especially the food. They don't really have fall food here like we do there. Squash, pumpkin, apples...I love all the ND produce of fall. Here it is chestnuts, grapes, and figs. I tried fresh figs the other day and they are delicious! Now that it is a little more chilly out, there are women selling freshly roasted chestnuts. The smell is amazing. I tried some yesterday on my way home from my lesson. They are very hearty and the taste is something you have to get used to. But now I can say I have tried freshly roasted chestnuts.
It has also been getting a little more chilly here, but not like in ND. It was a little colder here one day than during the others, and my host mother commented on it. I said, "This is normal for ND. This is perfect fall weather." She looked at me like I had horns growing out of my head. I don't think she would be able to handle our winters.
But it is eternally amusing to me to see everyone bundled up in their 'winter' jackets, with scarves and hats. They must think I'm from the moon, wearing only a cardigan over a blouse and a scarf. Come to think of it, maybe that is why I have been getting some weird looks on the street.
One reason I like fall so much is that it inspires me more to write and do creative things. I have no idea why. I can only guess it is because the beauty around me leads me to contemplate. I have a couple ideas of stories, not about fall but about other things. I won't write them on here, but maybe I will have to start another private blog with my poetry and my stories. I mean, only if they are going to be read and enjoyed.
So my favorite class is Medieval Art of Burgos. The material we study is interesting, yes, but the teacher is also awesome. She has told me that she will help me to improve my writing in Spanish. She has also mentioned that if I have any questions, just to ask. I get scared because since I am one of only 2 international students in class that maybe I just don't understand because it is in Spanish. But she tells me to ask, no matter what; even if it is after class or via email. One day, she could tell that I was trying to figure out in my head what the heck she was talking about. So she stopped what she was saying, asked me if I understood, and explained it in simpler terms. It made my day; something so small but made my day.
In my class of Phonetics and Phonology, the professor loves giving examples and using us international students and our accents. The other day, he played certain songs, in both English and Spanish, to show that if you are used to hearing the sounds of one language, you will hear what you are used to in another. For example, in one English song, the Spanish speakers hear something entirely different, even though that is not said. I don't know if that makes sense at all. But then he also used Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail as an example. Totally awesome.
I love my Spanish Grammar: Syntax class. Not only does the teacher explain things well, but I just simply love grammar.
Literature of the Middle Ages. Love the material, but the teacher...well...the teacher is...I want to say 'Hitler in drag', but I feel like that's not nice. She is very...demanding, I guess is the right word. She is the one that told me I can't sleep in class and has not been very understanding to those of us in class who are not native Spanish speakers. But whatever. Can't win them all, right?
Okay, next post. This one will be on my trips to Astorga and Leon. And believe me, there are some good stories in there.