Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Wish...

I've been sitting here (and by here I mean in my room) reading an article for a one credit on-line class called "Getting the most of your Abroad experience." The article is all about culture shock (which apparently I should be experiencing right now)... and I wonder if I am really getting the most out of my experience so far? According to this article I should be having huge ups and downs, having a hard time relating to the people here, and I'm concerned because I feel like I'm not even that far from home! Is that just ignorant of me to feel that the differences that do exist are not catastrophic? Am I not examining the culture enough, am I not opening myself up to the differences? Am I being too ethnocentric? I wish I could sit here and say, "Jeepers, everything is so different, I see everything in a different light, how could I have not thought this way before?!", but the truth is I am sitting here thinking, "This family is just like mine, tight, and sometimes slightly dysfunctional, and urban... the only difference is the fact that they speak Spanish, but even that is getting easier."

Am I doing this wrong? I feel that at home I am already really independent so this trip isn't super challenging that way for me. Spanish can be challenging, but not super awe-inspiring. What am I missing? Let me know what you guys think!


  1. Nope, you're lack of ups-n-downs is probably because you have experience outside of your own country already. Feel everything, savour every moment. No need to feel wickedly wierd about things! Glad your family is there to care for you when you're not feeling well. :)

  2. I think that you have been independant from the day we tried to tie your shoes for you and you said, "Dad stop, I can do it myself" Of course, what you didn't know at the time was that I was doing it for you because I could tie them faster and off we could go to where ever it was we were draging you and Jason back in the early years! I think you have been very well adjusted for a long time now. Much of that is just you, but some of that is us pushing you to do things on your own (remember weekly chores before you could have free time on Saturdays?)

    Anyway, I think you will get out of it what you put into this time in Spain. It sounds like you are doing it right so far.

    Don't worry; Have a weekly plan, manage your time, take care of business and get the grades but them make time to see the world and meet new people. I think you will be just fine and am so proud of you. You go girl!!!

  3. Don't get caught up in not feeling strange.
    Just enjoy it, and be happy that you're not experiencing that "shock." Although, I think maybe you did experience a little bit of it without realizing it... with how you posted on your frustrations with the language barrier and feeling left out of your family at times.
    Are you having any better luck bonding with them? Have you tried going out and spending time with your sisters or does most of your time get taken up with school and other study abroad students? Just enjoy your time! ~Megan

  4. It's because you sold books! What you are experiencing now is NOTHING compared to THAT! ;)

    Love you! Have a blast!

  5. Justin says... I agree with Teri about the selling books :) The culture shock is for those "normal people" and you are not normal. You were forced outside your comfort zone in michigan and through emotions that most can't handle or ever face. So don't compare yourself to average and enjoy yourself.....

  6. You are a very mature girl and your selling summer prepared you for most anything. Just enjoy the experience.

  7. You sold books! haha I'm so happy to see that a couple times! Girl I think you'll be able to get more out of your time because you don't have to do can just enjoy it and embrace it becaue you learned out to do that! That is a great skill! You so feel privledged!