Hola! I keep meaning to write, but I've been really busy - this is the last month of classes, and since all of my classes have a major final paper, I have to really focus.
Also, now that I know I'm going to live in Spain for the summer, I've been trying to learn Spanish. I wanted to learn Spanish anyway, but this gives me a great reason to finally start making an effort. I found a website that has some really good lessons available for free online. The website is just studyspanish.com - pretty straightforward. They have written lessons, quizzes, and vocal lessons. Each day I try to one or two lessons.
They also have some podcasts, so I downloaded a few of those, as well as some other free "learn Spanish" podcasts, and I've been listening to them while I walk to school or ride the metro. They're all a bit different, but I've found that corny-ness is a common theme.
Actually, I don't have an iPod, so the first day I listed, I used Jeff's iPod. Then I thought maybe I should buy an Ipod. So I looked into the cheapest option. An iPod shuffle would be out of the question, since I wouldn't be able to really control the order in which I listened to the podcasts, which is pretty annoying if you're trying to follow a lesson plan. Next up was the 4 Gig iPod nano, which is pretty cool, and sells for about $150. However, I don't listen to music that often (which is probably why I didn't own one already), so I'd only be using it for podcasts. Also, I had only been doing that for one day, so what if I got sick of them after a week and then didn't use my new iPod? Another issue is that if I'm going to listen to something, I like to listen to radio - particularly NPR (yep, I'm pretty nerdy), and iPods don't have the radio. And then I remembered that a few years ago my parents had bought me an mp3 player for Christmas. It wasn't an iPod, but it did play the radio. I had lost all the cords, but it runs on on AA battery, and the memory is an external SD card (like I use for my camera). I pulled out the old electronics box, fished the mp3 player out of the bottom, grabbed my extra SD card from my camera case, and voila - I suddenly had exactly what I wanted - and I'd spend $0. Life works out pretty well sometimes.
Anyway, now I look like a crazy person, walking down the street, speaking in Spanish, saying things like "Where is the gift shop?" and "There is my ticket and passport." or repeating slowly "Where is the bathroom?" But I'm having fun - and with any luck, by the time I go to Spain, I'll have at least a basic ability to speak Spanish.