On-hold: Peace Corps & Spanish

My last Spanish class is this Saturday. I'm so glad that it is almost over as it's been such a stressful, time-suck.

I started the classes back in March in order to meet the language requirement of my Peace Corps nomination. At first, I really enjoyed the challenge of the classes and the idea that I was working toward something—an eventual two-year stint in a Latin American country. But my interest and level of effort has waned in the last two months. First, I decided to postpone my Peace Corps dreams in order to see what sort of opportunities I can find on the Hill or within the Obama Administration in 2009. I don't yet feel ready to leave DC as I sense that there is still much more for me to learn professionally. Added to that, my current teacher is very disorganized, and I feel so out of place in my current class of assertive, advanced speakers.

Although the classes were an investment that I wouldn't make again, I am happy that I took them. I am disappointed that I haven't achieved the intermediate/advanced intermediate level that the classes should have prepared me for. Yet, I'm much better at grammar and speaking than I was back in the spring.  I can read most Spanish newspapers, but I only rarely follow Spanish telenovelas without the subtitles. I still lack ease in comprehension and confidence in speaking, but I am sure that given more time and real immersion (as a PCV!), I would improve.

I hope to continue watching shows and movies in Spanish and picking up El Pregonero for light-reading on the metro, but my big push to learn Spanish is over. I want to resume some of the things I put aside back in March in order to make time for Spanish. Things like working on my novel, volunteering regularly, and reading. They are the things that will make me happy and relaxed. So farewell, Spanish. I'll try again in a few years, but for now, I need a break.

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