I have a long post in process about some exciting things going on with school (University of Washington.) A portion of that story involves a great conversation with a previous teacher who helped me settle on the other language I’ll focus on this year. As part of requirements at UW, you need to have a year of a foreign language. I’ve been studying and speaking Spanish for well over a decade – I could test out of Spanish 103 and then just be done with my language requirement but what I WANT is to learn another language or two. It’s really been one of my main goals for as long as I can remember. I can speak Spanish, enough Czech to have simple conversations, and then a smattering of politeness in many other languages. (I can be nice and get around in Italian, French, and Portuguese.) But I acknowledge that I really need to buckle down and focus on a language – ONE language at a time – for a bit to really get where I want to be.
Since I also plan on taking & studying Latin (something I’ve wanted to do for at least a decade), I was told that German would be a great complement. So that’s what I’m doing.
But it gets even better…
As part of my major (a long post coming on that), I need to do a “global engagement” requirement which offers three different options. One of the options is to study abroad for a quarter. At my age and with a family, I thought I was well past being able to study abroad… but it turns out I’m not! I applied to a program in Berlin for Fall quarter and was accepted. Thanks to an extraordinarily supportive husband and an awesome kid, I’m going to Berlin for 10 weeks this Fall!! Berlin! Ten weeks! The program offers housing but, being older, I asked if I could find my own housing because let’s face it – I remember being in my 20s in Europe. Hell, I just remember my 20s even not in Europe. I can’t keep those hours, nor can I keep the hours of someone who goes to bed early but gets woken by 20 somethings tromping in at 2 am, ya know? So I’ve found a great option via AirBnb staying with a German family in an amazing neighborhood – I’ll have the option of my own space AND being able to hang out and converse (hopefully practicing my German) while wandering & learning in Berlin. The program sounds amazing, but more on that later.