Adjusting back to life in the U.S. really wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. There was the fact that my family rolled their eyes at me when I insisted that we ate dinner at 7:00 and not 6:00, like they liked to do. I was used to eating a later dinner (around 8:30) in Spain and I just didn't have an appetite much earlier than that. I missed seeing the beautiful Granada landscape everyday and hearing Spanish being spoken all around me. After five months away from home though, I was more than happy to be back in America with my family and friends.
Long story short, there is an oral proficiency exam that all Spanish Education majors must take. Ask any Illinois State University Spanish Education major and they will tell you that the OPI=death. You need to achieve an Advanced Low rating to continue on with the Spanish Education Major. Did I mention that the 30 minute phone exam costs over $100 to take and that you have to wait 90 days in between attempts? Needless to say I did not achieve this level, and as an incoming senior I didn't have time to keep trying. I switched to a double major in Spanish and English Education. I will still be qualified to teacher either English or Spanish and since I was already an English minor, this switch wasn't detrimental. However, I have a lot of English classes to take still, and therefore am going a fifth year at ISU. My theory is though, what is the rush to get out there in the real world?!
My 22 birthday is this weekend and my parents are going to come visit me and take me out to dinner. Although my 21st birthday was very different than the typical American 21st birthday celebration, it was everything that I could have hoped that it would be. I look back at celebrating my 21st birthday in Spain with my mom and I can't help but smile. I think about opening my birthday presents on the balcony of the Carols V Hotel, having our picnic lunch at Frederico Garic Lorca park and going on a Tapa adventure for dinner that night. Sometimes I forget that Spain really happened. I am so thankful that I have so many pictures, so many memories, and this blog to remind me that I spent five months in that beautiful and unforgettable European city.