Dawn has long since finished her study abroad program in Costa Rica, but wanted to send in her remaining journal entries and share them with the GGC community.
There was a chance to go to a coffee plantation (Café Britt) and observe the set-up, but this would have made the eleventh day in a row of getting up and “rushing” around, so I decided not to go. But I have hopes of catching up with the tour later in the month. So, what did I do today? For the most part I just relaxed around the house, reviewed some of the work from my textbook and notes, and tinkered on the computer.
Our “Tica Mama” has several books in her library for students to borrow. I’ve tried out one of these, but got discouraged because there are so many words that I have to look up. It’s especially irritating if I look it up, remember it for five minutes—then promptly forget it! One way around this is a tip I was given by a fellow student. She takes a notebook and folds the page in “half.” Then she writes down the Spanish word or phrase she doesn’t know and takes a guess at the meaning—putting it on the second half of the page. If it’s right or once she’s learned it after finding the correct meaning (she reviews these pages daily), she puts a check mark by it.
I’ve tried it, but either I’m using the wrong size notebook (probably the top reason) or I am getting irritated because it’s not in alphabetical order (very OCD outlook, but . . .) so I am considering trying it in Word or Excel. Especially if I use Excel, I can constantly reorganize the list—but that also means that I have to have my computer with me at all times! Not necessarily a preferred plan of action. I like to read on the go, so I might retry the notebook in the proper size!
Well, we got our first results from our exams (written and oral) that we took last week and some people are very disheartened. This course is extremely difficult for someone who does not have any experience in Spanish or a reasonable knowledge of sentence structure—nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, etc.—to actively contribute to and learn from this course.
While participating in all of the first week activities that were scheduled, can place an enormous amount of stress on a person trying to do well in their studies. I’ve heard similar complaints from the other students in higher levels—they wished they were in different classes, for different reasons! All of the students had until the 4th of July to change the class or stick it out the rest of the month. (We are all used to the Drop/Add lecture at the start of a new semester!)
Even though I thought I could do well in the next class up, I decided not to make any changes. I’m not sure if anyone changed classes, but I think with over 200 of us, I’m sure someone has. I would not have wanted to wait past one day, if I was going to make the change!
Overall, my class has figured out what needs to be studied and what can wait until later—for our own personal gain. Our Tico Families are helping us a great deal too—especially if they insist on Spanish being the primary language spoken.