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January 14, 2013

So, the good news...

is that I have an out for Area Studies.  Not that I want to be a big ole party-pooper (and it's not a reflection on Area Studies), but in case you haven't guessed, my schedule is a bit full these days.  I arrived home tonight approximately 6 minutes before Kelsey left for her Girl Scout meeting.  And, yes, that IS a typical Monday.

So instead of spending 3 hours in two sets of discussions on Tuesday mornings, I'll spend that time watching Destinos (oh, Don Fernando, you and your gran secreto!), reviewing "Nuevas Rutas" y quizás a wee bit of exercise (while watching a Netflix pelicula en español, por supuesto!).  No, I may not have as much regional knowledge, but with only 6 weeks left in my course, I desperately need more study time.

You see, as a sort of enigma for the Spanish department, I get to opt whether I participate or not. And, by enigma, I mean EFM who was slated for the F.A.S.T. course, but tested out and is in a whole new course with employees only.  So, confusing for everyone.  Oh, and when I went to introduce myself to the Language Training Supervisor, I barely got out my first name when she said, "Dinoia, right?  Same as Peter?"

Yep, the one who doesn't fit the mold...but is very much appreciating her classes and now glad to have more time to study during the day....cause guess what?  Full-time language is crazy insane!  Two days a week I have two hours of conversation per day, plus lab and study time.  The other three days consist of four hours of conversation plus lab and/or study time.  You know what happens after four hours of conversation in a non-native language that you are still trying to learn?  Yep, I find myself not being able to think in either language.  Or spell, for that matter...not a good thing, but I know it's temporary.

I have to say, up until today, I was a bit worried.  My days are so insanely packed now that I have little to no wiggle room.  I am very lucky to get home by 6 p.m. (and we live 15 minutes from FSI, door to door) and even luckier if I get to spend an hour or two with the LG before he's off to bed.  However, today I had my first one on one sesssion.  It was better than I thought and actually gave me a good start to the day.  I followed this up with 4 more hours of conversation and couldn't even contemplate leaving FSI until 5 p.m.  However, the girls were great, Nick loved his day at school and I am learning to say no to extra obligations that I really can't take on right now.  (I suppose this sounds selfish, but in order for my investment of time and money into Spanish class to pay off, I have to make a few sacrifices).  

I am also realizing it is likely a good idea that I did not opt for the 6 month course.  While I think that would be an amazing opportunity, with three kids and a spouse you-know-where, I just don't think it was a commitment that would work for us (because you do have to consider how it affects your family, especially when only one of you can drive).  For 8 weeks, though, it is totally doable.  Now if everyone could just say a little prayer for me and/or think good thoughts between 12 and 2 p.m. on February 21st for my official evaluation, I'd appreciate it.  If it's anything like my last evaluation, I'll need all the good vibes I can take!

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You are doing awesome, Jen! Sending you good vibes from India!!!

Nothing but good thoughts and vibes coming your way from Cairo. And I'll even try to do them in Español!

Cheering for you from Ankara! Vaya chica!!

My experience with area studies was that it's a total joke. You dodged a bullet -- phew!

Good luck on your evaluation!

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