Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Two, Four, Six, Eight, How Do We Appreciate?


The pyramids of Tikal peeking out over the trees as we wait for the sunset. 
            "I'll meet you at the top," Hugo, our guide told us. My mom and I climbed the wooden stairs to the top of one of the pyramids of Tikal. At the top, the ruins peeked out over the canopy line. The sun started its descent. Another guide at the top asked the forty or so people at the top for silence to be able to hear the birds, howler monkeys, and other animals settling down for the night. Collectively, we all watch the sun sink before disappearing completely. My mom and I made our way back down the stairs. Hugo was waiting for us at the bottom. He never made it to the top. 
       "Oh, I was going to come up. We could have gone stargazing," he joked. As we walked back to our hotel through the woods by flashlight, he told us,  "I don't need to see the sunset. I've seen it hundreds of times before." He preferred to talk to the other guides at the bottom who also didn't feel the need to see yet another sunset. 
       I really couldn't blame him for not wanting to see something he had seen repeatedly before. Earlier in the day, we had done a group tour of Tikal. There was one pyramid Hugo said we had the option of climbing. While others immediately started the climb, I questioned whether or not I wanted to go up. I've climbed up my fair share of ruins in the past year and a half. Since living in El Salvador, I have visited Copan in Honduras and Tazumal, San Andrés, and Joya de Ceren in El Salvador. Less than two months earlier, I had climbed the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon in Teotihuacán near Mexico City. Would climbing this pyramid really be that different? While 2016 me in Taiwan thought: How many temples can one person see? The 2018 me in Central America was thinking: how many ruins can one person see? More importantly, though, how do you continue to appreciate something when it is no longer a novelty? 

The sunset at Tikal
          By realizing that I was not appreciating something as much as I should, I felt guilty. Here was an amazing experience, and I wasn't fully appreciating it. I came up with some ways I could help appreciate my time traveling, even if it wasn't a new experience. These aren't overly earth-shattering but maybe serve as good reminders. 

1. Take a Moment
     The day after we watched the sunset at Tikal, my mom and I went to a different pyramid to watch the sunrise. We walked up the stairs by the light of our cell phones. When we got to the top, there was no fence protecting from the drop-off of the pyramid. We flashed the light on our phones to see about fifteen people sitting on the stairs. We had not realized that they were there because they were sitting in complete silence. We found spots to wait for the sunrise and sat in companionable silence. 
      "Think about where we are," my mom whispered at one point. 
      I took a moment to think about the Maya who had built this pyramid and their lives and how they had built something that had lasted for so long. I also thought about how we were experiencing this in silence with a bunch of strangers. 
       There wasn't much of a sunrise. It was foggy. Still, by taking a moment I could appreciate where I was and who I was with. 

2. Learn More
     I had been caving before. I had been tubing before. I had never been cave tubing before. In Belize, we went on a cave tubing excursion. As someone who enjoys caves and tubing, it was quite a lovely experience. We floated down the river in the cave, shining our headlamps to see the different parts of the caves. What made me appreciate it more was learning more about caves and our guide's experiences mapping out the caves in Belize. The cave we were floating in was about 35 million years old, which is young for a cave. Giovanni, our guide said that they were still mapping out the caves in Belize because there was still so much to explore. He helped by rock climbing and scouting out for the cartographers. While the experience of floating down a cave in an inner tube was enjoyable in and of itself, I was able to appreciate it more by learning a little bit more about caves. 


3. Make a Personal Connection
     My favorite activity we did in Belize was taking a cooking class from a worker at our hotel in St. Ignacio. The biggest reason that this was so fun and memorable was that we asked Chef Will about his hopes and dreams and his life. He taught us how to cook, but talking with him was what made the experience enjoyable. Making connections with people is often the most memorable aspect of a place. 

     One of the people I have made a connection with in El Salvador is my friend Jacob. He is one of the most appreciative people I have ever met. Ask him how he is and his response will be, "Oh, just another day in paradise." He used to end our conversations by saying, "I appreciate you." This is something very rarely said outright. It is even rarer to hear it repeatedly. I have learned a lot from him about how to continue to appreciate living in El Salvador once the novelty has worn off. 

    When I first moved to El Salvador, I was amazed by my walk to school. It featured a view of a volcano behind the athletic fields. Most days now, I don't even take the time to look at it because I have gotten used to the view. In many ways, it is so much easier to appreciate my friends who do not live here. Hearing from and seeing them happens less frequently, so each time it is special. In El Salvador, I have gotten used to the people and living here that I don't appreciate it as much as I should, especially since my time here has an expiration date. I'm moving out of El Salvador in a little over three months. I'm trying to get the most out of the time I have left here. So here is me taking some time to appreciate El Salvador. 


 Here is a video I took when I first moved to El Salvador of my walk to school. 

1. Take a Moment
     My favorite thing to do in El Salvador is spending the weekend at the beach or the lake. On one trip to the lake, Jacob pointed out to me, "We get to go on vacation almost every month. That's not something most people get to do." It's true, living in the states I never took weekend trips. I also would have had to take a plane to a tropical beach or lake. I appreciate the fact that I get to do this so frequently. 

2. Learn More
     Before living abroad, I was aware that I have a lot of privilege. My privilege is even more apparent in El Salvador. I make twice as much money as the local staff for doing the same job. My salary is higher solely on the fact that I was born and went to school in the United States. As a foreign teacher, I was told I would be getting $250 extra for this year. While this is nice, it does not significantly change my lifestyle. A local friend was told she would be getting $250 more. She was so excited because it meant that she could afford to drive her car to work. She had been taking the bus, which she had been robbed on three times. As a white person, I also get treated very differently both at school and around El Salvador. By learning more about my privilege, I appreciate what I have. 

Last three months here we go. Here's to appreciating every moment of it. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My Wish + Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2019

The past couple of years I have posted my wish for myself and others for the upcoming year, via Neil Gaiman. My wish this year is taken from the best advice I heard this year. I have footnoted the inspiration for each piece of my wish. Here is my wish for 2019. 

1. Jonathan Van Ness
2. Stacey Abrams
3. Beth Pickens
4. Hillary Clinton via Call Your Girlfriend/Michelle Obama via Becoming

Here is my list of some things I'm looking forward to in 2019, in no particular order. 



1. Live Action Lion King
Disney has sure capitalized on remaking their classic movies as live-action. They have Dumbo, Aladdin, and Lion King coming out in 2019. Lion King is the only one I am really excited for because the cast is excellent. It features such faves as Beyonce, Donald Glover, John Oliver, and Billy Eichner.


2. Queer Eye Season 3
Queer Eye was my favorite TV show in 2018. I'm so excited to get more of the Fab 5 and in Kansas City!

3. New Music from Carly Rae Jepsen
I also had this on what I was looking forward to in 2018. She only released the single "Party For One" this year. Fingers crossed there will be an album this year. 

4. New Music from Lizzo
Lizzo also released a couple of tracks in 2018. She has said an album is coming soon, so I'm looking forward to this too. 

5. Little Women
The year 2018 marked the 150th anniversary of Little Women. There were a lot of adaptations including a movie and a mini-series. The adaptation I am most looking forward to is the Greta Gerwig adaptation coming out in 2019. It unites Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet from Lady Bird. Meryl Streep and Emma Watson also star in the movie. 

6. If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
One of my favorite books last year was Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann. She has another YA book coming out in 2019 that features a romance, a fat protagonist, and a cooking competition. I'm in! 

7. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Marlon James used to be my brother's neighbor. Publishers have described this first book in a trilogy as the "African Game of Thrones." 
 
8. Hamilton in Puerto Rico
Last year Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that he was going to bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico for a three-week run to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. I immediately wanted to go but didn't know if the logistics would work out. Well, I am currently in Puerto Rico and I am going to see Lin in Hamilton on Saturday. 

9. Peru
Last year, I went to South America to meet up with my friends, Tyler and Jacob, to go to Brazil. This Semana Santa I will be going to Peru with my parents. We're going to Machu Picchu, among other attractions. 

10. Ali Wong book
Ali Wong is a stand-up comic with two stand-up specials on Netflix. In both of her stand-up specials, she was pregnant. This year she is releasing a book with essays that are in the form of letters of advice to her daughters. I'm ready for some funny and insightful advice from Ali Wong. 

11. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Helen Hoang wrote one of my favorite books in 2018. The Bride Test is about a Vietnamese man with ASD whose mom arranges a marriage for him with a mixed-race girl from Ho Chi Minh City. I'm banking that it will be equally swoony and steamy as her first book.

12. Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
I knew Harper Lee helped Truman Capote research In Cold Blood. What I didn't know was that Harper Lee worked to cover the trial of a reverend serial killer in Alabama as her own In Cold Blood. This book covers "the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity." 

13. Believed podcast
This podcast is already out. It tells the story of how women won the conviction of Larry Nassar and how it was possible that his abuse of power lasted so long. 

14. This is Love podcast
This podcast has already put out two seasons, but I am hoping to listen to it in 2019. It is made by the same people who made Criminal. It looks at love in all of its facets. 

15. Us
This is the second film written and directed by Jordan Peele. I thought Get Out was incredibly well done. This looks more on the horror side of psychological horror-thriller. I'm interested though. 

16. Veronica Mars TV Reboot
The TV show Veronica Mars checked off many of my boxes of things I look for in TV shows. It features a strong, smart female lead, it was set in high school, it had mystery/noir, and it was heavy in class issues. They Kickstarted a movie and wrote two books. I will always take more Veronica Mars though. I was very excited when Hulu picked it up for a limited eight-episode series. 

17. Miss. Fisher And the Crypt of Tears
Miss. Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian TV show that also satisfied my strong female lead/mysteries itch. They also kickstarted a movie, which I hope will be available to view in 2019. I'm ready to see more of these characters.

18. Shrill
This TV show is loosely based off of the Lindy West book of the same name. It stars Aidy Bryant who "plays Annie, a fat, young woman who wants to change her life, but not her body. The current statistic is that 67% of women in the United States are a size 14 or greater. They make up less than 2% of what is seen in media. I'm excited for some fat representation that doesn't revolve around weight loss. 

19. Central Park Five
Ava DuVernay is creating, writing, and directing a drama based on the Central Park Five case. I'm looking forward to seeing how it is dramatized in DuVernay's capable hands. 

20. TV Finales 
This year many TV shows I've watched off-and-on will be ending, including Broad City, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, You're The Worst, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I'll be along for the ride to see if they get a fitting ending.

21. Kristen Visit
My friend Kristen is coming to visit me in El Salvador. I'm so excited!!!!

21. New and Old in El Salvador
Outside of school, I have developed a weekly routine in El Salvador. On Mondays, I go play ultimate frisbee at the British school. On Thursdays, I go play Dungeons and Dragons. There's also at least one hockey game thrown in the week too. I'm excited to keep these routines. There's also a list of things that I would like to do in El Salvador before I leave in June, so I'm excited to do even more exploring. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

My Favorite Things of 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I Facetimed with my friend Tyler. We discussed what we viewed as the hits and misses of 2018 and some of our favorite things of the year. He asked that I write a post about my favorite things of 2018. He also requested that I name-drop him on this blog more frequently. This year seemed to be a long one. Did you remember that we had an Olympics this year? In some ways, this list was difficult for me to come up with because many things I enjoyed were not new to 2018. For example, I still continue to listen to old podcast favorites and continue to watch the same TV shows. I didn't watch that many movies.  The media I took the most enjoyment from this year was books, so I have many of my favorites below. Many of my favorites are old favorites. Nevertheless, here are some of my favorites and things that brought me joy this year.




Diverse voices
This year saw a lot of projects with diverse voices be successful, from Black Panther to Crazy Rich Asians to Dumplin'. More, please!


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John Green
John Green is most well-known for his YA books. However, I appreciate him more for the other content he creates. This year I started watching his Vlogbrothers videos he creates with his brother Hank. They make videos to send back and forth to each other about a range of topics. They also have two podcasts, Dear John and Hank and the Anthropocene Reviewed.  I will also occasionally listen to their podcast Dear Hank and John, where people just ask them random questions and they give dubious advice. John also has his own podcast called the Anthropocene Reviewed, where in each episode he reviews two things about the human experience from the Taco Bell breakfast menu to Teddy bears. 



Snipping Tool
The computers at are school are a little older. One day I watched our grade level leader use the snipping tool on her computer. I don't know why I didn't know about it sooner, but it is like magic.


New Place visited: Mexico City
Sometimes when traveling with others you go to places and do things that wouldn't normally be on your radar. This is how Mexico City was for me. I went over Thanksgiving with my friends Leah, Michelle, and Baylee. Lately, when traveling to cities, big cities have felt like generic big cities. Mexico City has its own feel to it. It is also one of the cities you can walk and find a ton to do. There are ruins mixed with colonial architecture mixed with modern. Also, my cool friend Jacob from Taiwan went there before me. He also asked that I name-drop more on this blog too.


Purchase under $40: Clothes from Old Navy Mexico City
When living abroad, there is a certain appeal to go to things that are familiar. That is why my friends Tyler, Josilin, and I went to an American diner for breakfast in Hong Kong. It is why we wandering into an Old Navy in Mexico City. Is it uniquely Mexican? No, but we can't go to Old Navy in El Salvador. I hadn't slept very well in Mexico City, because it got cold at night and I didn't have warm enough clothes. I ended up buying flannel pajama pants, fuzzy socks, and a sweater at Old Navy to wear at night. I slept so very after that. It was one of the best purchases I made all year. Not even mad about it.

Purchase under $2
There's an anchor chart floating around the internet for teachers that shows students when it is okay to interrupt a teacher's teaching. I designed a poster for my classroom that said it was okay to interrupt me if Lin-Manuel Miranda entered our classroom. It cost less than $2 to have it printed. I tweeted a picture of it and tagged Lin. I was at a restaurant celebrated a friend's birthday when a friend messaged me to say that she saw my tweet and said I must be so excited. Notifications were not showing up on my phone for Twitter. I left the restaurant with my friends Vanessa, Jared, and Elise. I told them why I was scrolling through Twitter. They too started searching for what this message meant. We were about to give up when Vanessa found it. Lin had retweeted me and the tweet had thousands of likes. There was a lot of giggling and jumping followed by me collapsing on Jared and Elise's couch not sure where to go next with my life. 


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"This is America" music video
I am always amazed at the diverse talent of Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. The video to the song "This is America" was very well-done. It endures rewatchings to catch all of the little details and symbolism in the video.

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Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae
This was my favorite album of this year. She had me hooked with her music videos for "Make Me Feel" and "Pynk." I love the aethetic for both videos. "Make Me Feel" is so Prince-y. "Pynk" has some great visuals, including vulva pants. This was actually one of the only albums I played this year on repeat. I also saw her in concert this summer and it was awesome.


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Queer Eye
My friend Sarah flew in for the weekend to see me when I was back in Minnesota this summer. We stayed at the apartment she would soon move into in Saint Paul. We spent the weekend hanging out, walking around her neighborhood, and trying different restaurants. She also introduced me to Queer Eye and my fav of the Fab 5, Jonathan. I've learned a lot from watching the show. I also love introducing others to the show and watching it with them for the first time.


Things out of context
Leah introduced me to the Twitter handle Queer Eye Out of Context. It is exactly what it sounds like. They take screenshots of the Fab 5 saying things out of context. Similarly, my favorite song of all time is "A Better Son/Daughter" by Rilo Kiley. I enjoy following the Rilo Kiley bot on Twitter, which just tweets random Rilo Kiley lyrics.


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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
This is a "cookbook," but I use that term very loosely. It has recipes, but they are at the end of the book and serve more as exercises to learn a skill rather than cooking the actual recipe. The author straight up says that following a recipe doesn't teach you how to cook. Instead, she teaches you the science behind what she considers the four elements of cooking--salt, fat, acid, and heat--and how to use each of them to make your food taste better. It's changed the way I cook. If I want to make food taste better, I know can think to myself which element it needs more of and what form of that element I could add.

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
In this romance, Stella is on the spectrum and hires an escort to teach her about physical intimacy. It features diverse leads and is really steamy and real cute simultaneously.
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Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
This YA book is adorable and also features diverse leads. Alice is asexual and falls for a fellow library employee. "She has to decide if she's willing to risk her friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated or understood." I enjoyed reading about an asexual protagonist because it is not one that is seen very often.


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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
This was the first book I read in 2018 and after reading it I knew it was going to be a good reading year. This book won the National Book Award for 2017 and topped a lot of best books lists of 2017. It is very well-deserved. This book is beautifully crafted. The sentences are gorgeous. I tried to get everyone to read it all year.


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Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli
It was important for me to learn more about how immigration worked in the United States, especially this year. The author worked as a translator at the border to process entries. The book is formatted around the forty questions that people are asked at the border. At times I wish this dug a little bit deeper, but it served as a good primer for me especially on immigration in Central America.


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Lizzo
The singer Lizzo has continued to be a favorite of mine. As Tina Fey said this year, "How did Lizzo not even get a nomination for best female artist? She plays the flute while she twerks." She is also the body positivity icon we deserve.


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Ariana Grande
I enjoyed following Ariana Grande's year from her album release to her relationship to Pete Davidson to the music video for "Thank U, Next." The one taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain was probably my favorite meme of the year.


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Jonathan van Ness
My second favorite person I've never met of 2018 is Jonathan. He is my favorite of the Fab 5. I enjoy using his catchphrases. He also has a podcast. He's the gift that keeps on giving. Who gave him permission?


Two Goats in a Boat
Leah showed me this video and it brings me so much joy everytime I watch it.


Newsletters
I subscribe to probably too many newsletters. Two that I really enjoy are the Ann Friedman Weekly from Ann of Call Your Girlfriend and Laura Olin's newsletter. Both link to different articles that they found meaningful in the week. 


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Vegas Golden Knights

While I enjoy watching sports in person, I've never really been one to watch televised sports. I started watching hockey games with my friend Jacob. It started out as a I-don't-know-if-I-will-enjoy-watching-this, but I-will-enjoy-watching-you-watch-this-thing/social thing. The Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year as a first year team. It continues to be a social activity, but I actually really enjoy watching the Golden Knights play hockey now.


Undersummers
They were a sponsor of the podcast She's All Fat for a couple of episodes. I thought I would give them a try. They sell shortlettes to wear underneath dresses and skirts to prevent chafing. I bought two pairs and found them really comfortable.


Reunions
While my 10-year high school reunion fell through, I was fortunate enough to have many unofficial reunions. This started when I Rio-nited with my friends Tyler and Jacob from Taiwan in Brazil. I wrote a whole blog post about it! This summer I got to go to Washington/Oregon to visit my extended family for the first time in several years. In the summer my friend Josilin came to visit me in Minnesota. I met up with some friends in El Salvador with the #MichelleTakestheMidwest tour. I also got to spend a week with my friends Jess and Kristen in Pennsylvania for Kristen's wedding. 


Deeper getting to know you questions
Last year when  I was visiting my Guatemala with some friends, my friend Jacob told us about the New York Times' 36 Questions. We took turns asking each other these questions. It helped break the ice and get to know each other. This year, these questions got brought out again a couple of times. It helps to talk about something other than school/work and goes deeper than small talk. Here's a list that I used: https://conversationstartersworld.com/questions-to-get-to-know-someone/


Going to the Lake
Even though I grew up in Minnesota, I spent more time at the ocean than at the lake. I went to Lake Coatepeque in El Salvador and it helped me reappreciate lakes. I just enjoy being around water. Lakes in some ways are more peaceful than oceans. There's just something about jumping off a dock and swimming to a floating platform. 


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Love, Simon
This movie was just 😍😍😍. After Leah, Michelle, and I saw this movie we wanted to keep the good mood going, so we went to Chili's and got tableside guac. 


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Lin-Manuel Miranda
For the third year in a row, Lin is my favorite person I've never met. What a year Lin had! He got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was in Mary Poppins Returns. He also retweeted one of my tweets causing it to go viral. I'll be kicking off 2019 by going to see Lin in Hamilton in Puerto Rico. 

I'll be posting my things I'm looking forward to in 2019 post soon.
Have a happy New Year!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Learning Spanish, As Explained by GIFs



Related Video: My friend Carrie shared this in our Spanish class. I can relate. It is a SNL sketch of "the Mexican soap opera for people who only had three weeks of Spanish in the fourth grade." 

Before I came to El Salvador, my Spanish education was limited. I went to Spanish day camps in elementary school. However, at camp we mostly ate chips and salsa and made piñatas.  In a more formal setting, I had one semester of Spanish in the seventh grade. The two things I remember from that class are the alphabet song and playing Bingo.  So to suffice to to say, I knew very little Spanish. I knew basic phrases, but that was about it. 

Moving to a country in Central America, I really want to take advantage and try to learn as much Spanish as I can. I take Spanish classes two times a week. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the only time I speak Spanish in a week. I teach in English, and I live with other teachers who speak English. Learning Spanish has been a slow, frequently frustrating process. Here are some GIFs to explain what the process has been like. 

life taking GIF
The People are Talking Really Fast, And I Have No Idea What They Are Saying

When I first moved to El Salvador, I did not understand the majority of what people said to me. I relied on others to translate or had to make inferences about what was being said to me. It's isolating, not being able to communicate with others. 

will ferrell anchorman GIF
I've Told You I Don't Speak Spanish, and You Still Talk to Me In Spanish

My students at the beginning of the year would speak to me in Spanish. It took a long time for them to get out of this habit, because they found out I couldn't understand them. There are still adults who speak to me in Spanish, even thought they know I don't understand it. Also, coming physically closer to me and making incessant eye contact will not help me understand you.
bored music video GIF
The I Don't Know What's Being Said, So I'm Going To Zone Out

Many of our meetings at school are in Spanish. I frequently zone out, because they are talking to fast for me to understand what they are saying. I hope that if they say something important, they will tell me later in English. 
good burger reading GIF
The I Recognize About 1/5 Of The Words You Are Saying
It feels like a small success to recognize even some of the words that are being said. 

Sassy Spanish GIF
The I Don't Know This Word, So I'm Going To Try Just Saying It With An Accent And/Or Add An A Or O to the End Of The Word

 I know this is not a good practice, but it does work some of the time.

como se dice spanish GIF by truTV
The I'm Going To Ask You How To Say Everything

In Spanish class we are only supposed to speak in Spanish, so it is a lot of "como se dice _______?" How do you say behind? How do you say easy going? I know I just asked you five seconds ago, but I already forgot. How do you say _______?

speak GIF
The I Now Speak/Think In A Weird Mix of Spanish and English

Que Mas? Es muy dificil constantly translating back and forth. Mi brain hurts.  

millie bobby brown ugh GIF by Converse
The I Can't Speak Spanish, And My English Is Getting Worse
There's four of us?  There are four of us? Is that right? That doesn't sound right

schitts creek comedy GIF by CBC
The My Mind Just When Blank With What I Was Trying To Say

What is this word? I know I know it. I can't think of it, because my mind has gone completely blank. I can't even think of the word I'm trying to say in English now. 

lindsay lohan facepalm GIF
The I Just Had a Conversation and Used The Wrong Word And/Or Conjugation

I just said that I like to touch my friends. That was not the word I wanted to say. 

Latina GIF
The Buckle-Up Because It's Going To Take A Long Time To Figure Out How To Say What I Want To Say

First, I have to think about what I want to say. Then, I have to translate those words in Spanish. Then, I usually have to change what I wanted to say, because I don't know the words I want to say. I also have to figure out how to string them together in a sentence.  It takes a long time. Be prepared to wait as I tilt my head and stare up. 

ftw win GIF
The I Just Had A Conversation With Someone And Didn't Completely Mess Up

I just understood what that person said to me. They seemed to understand what I was saying. Success! Okay, this feels good. 

better GIF
The Okay, Okay, Even Though It Doesn't Seem Like It My Spanish Actually Has Gotten Better

According to Duolingo, I am 35% fluent in Spanish. That's not true. They're lying. Or, more so, it's very hard to measure progress in a language. The progress is very slow, if it even seems like you are making progress. This can be very frustrating. Still, I have gotten better, even though it doesn't always seem like it. 

So, that's where I am right now with Spanish. Next post I will be talking about the privilege that comes with speaking English.