“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.” Brian Tracy

This past semester I took a Spanish class just for fun. I had taken four years of Spanish in high school, but didn’t take it at all during my undergraduate years. Partially because it wasn’t offered at my undergrad and partially because I didn’t make enough of an effort to take it through the college down the road. My interest in learning another language, specifically Spanish, was re-sparked over the summer when one of my really good friends and I went to visit my brother, Jeremy, in the Dominican Republic. (Shout out to Maria!!) Not being able to communicate very well with anyone and seeing him interact with everyone led me to talking to my supervisor about the possibility of enrolling in a Spanish course.

Since it had been 5 years since I had taken any Spanish, I originally signed-up for Spanish 101. Once my professor found out that I had taken Spanish in high school, though, she had me take a placement exam. I somehow tested out of Spanish 101 and landed a spot in Spanish 102. At first, I was really excited that I did well enough to be bumped up a level as I found the placement exam to be super hard. After the first day of Spanish 102, I was significantly less excited! We started on Chapter 6 and I didn’t remember as much from high school as I would have liked let alone what was covered in Chapters 1-5 in Spanish 101!!

Luckily, having class every day and with a little extra studying, what I once knew came back to me relatively quickly and I was able to keep up in class and not be too lost. I definitely learned a lot this past semester including a slew of new vocabulary and a couple of tenses. I even had the opportunity to take part in some outside of the classroom learning. In early December I volunteered at Santa’s Workshop, which was sponsored by a local church, and it gave low-income families an opportunity to pick out clothes and toys for their children for the holidays. They needed some volunteers to help translate for families that didn’t speak English. I was a little hesitant to sign-up at first as I was not confident in Spanish-speaking abilities. I was able to assist several families, though, which was a huge confidence booster. This experience also opened my eyes to ways that I can use the little Spanish knowledge that I do have to help others.

Although I wont be taking Spanish this next semester, due to taking an extra graduate level course, I do plan on continuing to study Spanish in the future! Since I didn’t have any pictures of my class or volunteer experience, I have included a few of my favorite pictures from my trip this past summer to the Dominican Republic as that is what led me to taking this Spanish class for fun!

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