Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How it started

This week was pretty relaxed. I have gotten back into the swing of running my sisters around town, doing all the errands for my mom, and taking on the responsibilities (aka chores) of living in my family's home.

This week, though, I got to go to Gilbert High School for a day and talk to five different Spanish classes about my experience in Nicaragua. The classes were all Spanish I, so I was immediately brought me back to my own first experiences with Spanish.

In the winter of my sixth grade year my family was hosting our first foreign exchange student, a 14 year old girl from El Salvador. The two of us being so close in age, we became friends almost instantly.  For one month, we were completely inseparable. When we were not out exploring Arizona, we passed time by swinging outside and singing Feliz Navidad at the top of our lungs. The month flew by, and soon it was time for her to leave.

I admit, my heart broke as I lost my new friend. However,  I was left with a passion to learn Spanish. I had had a small taste and now I committed myself to becoming fluent in the language.

Soon after her departure, seventh grade registration arrived and I, of course, signed up for  first semester Introduction to Spanish. As soon as the class started, I was in love with Spanish. Everything was so fun; the teacher, the music, the sounds, I loved it all. Luckily, I also discovered that I have a talent for learning foreign languages, so the class even came easy to me. After the semester was over, I wanted to continue learning, but disappointment overwhelmed me when I learned that I would have to wait until eighth grade to enroll in Spanish I. Fortunately, the Spring semester flew by, and soon I was enrolled in my next, full year Spanish class.

I kept up the pattern of enrolling in every Spanish class possible all the whole through high school, eventually graduating from Spanish V as a member of the National Spanish Honor Society in 2011. Although my motivation occasionally slipped, my passion for Spanish never left me and really still continues as I study at Northern Arizona University. My experience in Nicaragua this past semester has finally cemented all the Spanish language knowledge that I had collected the past eight years in school. It converted me into a fluent Spanish speaker!

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