Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 5 in Spain

June 15, 2008

Well, I’ve been traveling for almost a week now, and this is the first opportunity I have had to spend some time on the internet other than using the international blackberry for email. Not that I’m complaining! Although I think internet is a wonderful way to keep in touch and feel closer to family and friends, I also feel that it sometimes can hinder a traveling experience. Like when you spend two hours walking around Madrid, not to enjoy the city and experience all it has to offer, but to search for a cafĂ© that houses wifi, to take the metro to where you’ve been instructed will have wireless and be open until 1am only to arrive and find out that it closes in 20 minutes.

So this was the beginning of my trip- Getting over jet lag and searching, unsuccessfully, for cheap wireless in order to sit and do some work.

I am surprised at how hard the jetlag has been for me this time. I woke up both Thursday and Friday morning with a terrible, what I have started to call “lack of sleep hangover”. My head was pounding, the lights were too bright and I had no desire to eat. Me, who is used to international travel, having a hard time adjusting? I don’t get it!

So the kids arrived safely Friday morning. 45 aged 15-17 yr old students, tired from travel but eager to see Spain. One immediately had his backpack stolen, in front of the hotel! So, I spent the first 2 hours of their arrival taking the kid to the police station and the US Embassy. It was an experience that I hope to not repeat with the next group.

Saturday morning, the groups all went their separate ways. One down to Cadiz, via Sevilla, and the rest of us to Segovia, but as two separate groups. I’m with 13 kids, who so far seem to be pretty harmless. This afternoon I gave my lecture about no drinking and breaking rules, so we’ll see how far that goes.

I have chosen to live with a host family this year, which is kind of scary! I am not at all confident with my Spanish, so living with natives makes me nervous! But, I’ve made it through the first day. My Senora, Esther, is so great! She LOVES to talk, and apart from the Castellan accent, I can understand most of everything she says and get my point across to her pretty well. Living with her will be good practice for me. We’ve already discovered a mutual love for Helado’s and Gelatos, so I know we will get a long great :) Oh, and did I mention she has a piano?! So I can continue practicing throughout the summer! My piano teacher will be so excited to hear this!

Time to rest up, tomorrow is the first day of school!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My First Piano Lesson

I think I'm off to a pretty good start working towards my 2008 goals. Today I had my first Piano Lesson!

Seeing how I hadn't had a piano lesson since the year 1992, I was pretty nervous! Mostly nervous about feeling completely dumb...not my favorite feeling. But I kept telling myself that everyone has to start somewhere.

When I first sat down, I felt so awkward and my whole body was tense. We looked through my old piano books (books I used in 1989! Almost 20 years ago! Last night my mom and I went crawling around the attic and found all my old piano books.) And one piece jumped out at me, triggered my memory, and before I knew it, I was playing the piece and reading the music!

My brain hurt by the end of the many memories were catching up, but it was really fun to feel like I was learning something new and my teacher was so encouraging the whole time! I'll be going to lessons weekly, and I'm so excited!

I just have to get up early tomorrow morning to practice...I wonder if my parents will still give me prizes when I complete pieces with no mistakes!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 Goals/Resolutions/To-Do List

It's finally New Year's Resolutions...or as I like to think of it, my TO-DO LIST for 2008. I'm sure I'll be adding more to it as I think of it, but here is a good start:

2008 Wish List/ TO-DO LIST

Read a book per week (52)
Take Piano Lessons (Suzuki Method) -DOING
Finish teaching certification -DONE 4/21/08
Take GRE
Take dance lessons
Take a Photography class
Take Rowing lessons on Town Lake
Take Surfing lessons -DONE 6/23/08

Run a 5K race -DONE: Bluebell 5K
Run a 10K race - TRAINING
Lose 30 pounds
Do Cardio 3 days a week, Lift weights 2 days a week

Organize my room
Make cork-board
Hang pictures and decorations

Buy a headboard
Buy an HD TV
Buy a new car -DONE

Pay $10K off of student loans
Put 10% of each paycheck directly to savings
Increase monthly donations -DONE

EYC Mission Trip -(postponed 2009)
Camp Allen Summer Camp
Go to South Africa -(postponed)
Scuba Dive this summer
Scuba Dive in South Africa
Go surfing this summer (Spain or Costa Rica)
Go wind surfing in South Africa
Safari in South Africa