Even at age 28, the first day of school still raises the same questions. Will I get along with my classmates? With my teachers? Will I be able to keep up with the material? But first things first: I have to take a placement test as soon as I arrive. There are written and orals test, which are both straight-forward except for one question in the written section: it shows a few pictures, and you have to make up a story to interpret them. It’s not that I’m concerned about writing a story in Spanish… it’s that I’m a stereotypical engineer… I don’t have that type of creative ability.
Anyway, I get placed in a class with three other people (2 Aussies and a Pole). We have an hour and a half of grammar, then an hour and a half of conversation. I keep my head above water for the most part, but struggle when they ask me what Thanksgiving is all about. Telling the Pilgrims’ story in Spanish was not something I anticipated, but I manage to get the idea across… eventually.