Day 34: Study Abroad is About Learning How to Communicate / by Sarah Kakusho

So, I found out today that while I’m at home in my room, thinking everyone is out doing something and too busy to pick up a phone call from me, that there are other people, like my friends, who are also at home in their rooms thinking the same thing.

And…where did the communication go awry?

Anyway, unlike Soka where you usually see everyone every day [and if you don’t there’s something terribly wrong], I fell back into the groove of seeing someone and not seeing them for a really, really long time, even with friends. So, today, I had dinner with my friend whom I hadn’t seen for 2 weeks now. So, we were catching up. How our host families are; what we’ve been up to; how classes were going; if there’s any big news that we needed to share.

We got into politics. You know, for me, it’s hard to keep up with politics here, especially during one of the most important seasons for United States citizens. So my friend and I were trying to discuss who would be the better candidate come November. It’s hard because we don’t get much of who stands where here, unless we look it up on the internet. We could find something in the daily papers, but there are 3 things that are very prominent here:
1) People are politically-geared, not just about Argentina, but elsewhere as well
2) No one likes Bush. And, and people are curious whether you do.
3) Everyone idolizes Obama.

That’s enough for me to kind of stray away from daily newspapers, as they could be muchly biased and extremely leftist/rightist, depending on which paper I buy. So, I’ve left the daily newspaper for Argentine news. The rest of the investigation-to-be for which president to elect will be done on the internet, with much thinking to be done afterwards.

Aside from that, I wasn’t much for getting out today. I wanted to make sure I got better, especially before my class routine kicked in because commute is definitely not a 5-minute walk like Soka. It’s a 30-minute walk to the station, 10-minute ride on the subway, and another 15-minute walk to the university. Though I enjoy the travel, I’m less up for it if I don’t feel well.

You know, you don’t realize just how much the world passes you by when you’re sitting in your room, sick with nothing to do. If my friend hadn’t called me, my day would’ve totally lacked Spanish communication [my internet was good enough that I was able to watch 3 episodes of Seigi no Mikata]. And, I realized today, my speaking flow was much more fluid. I had to stop to think about a few words, but in general, it was definitely flowing.

I totally gave myself an A in my head. 8]

I remembered a time when I first got to SUA and all I could say was “Nandeyanen!” in Japanese. My Japanese grammar sucked all of freshman year and I remember having to think of phrases way in advance, just to be able to use them when the time was right…and then saying it wrong in the end anyway.

It was kind of that same process of being able to speak in another language. I don’t quite remember what helped me improve, but I did. I guess it was because I constantly thought about it and was around people who spoke. So, hopefully just being around people and …not eavesdropping, but eavesdropping will help me try to understand what people are saying.

However…one thing I can say though is Japanese is more or less the first language I learned, so it might have something to do with me being able to relearn it so fast. But, now, I don’t have a mental block that stops me from really expressing myself in Spanish/Castellano. So, definitely. I will improve to communicate.

Or at least enough to be able to inspire others. 8]