Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'll be like Greta

About 15 minutes ago I was enjoying the afternoon sun on our kitchen recliner. Greta, our family dog, was happily sleeping in the kitchen as well. Seeing as mom and her were about to go on a walk, I excitedly said, "Greta bear, are you ready to go!" She looked up at me inquisitively, tilted her head sideways, and then went back to sleeping. Just then, a stark realization came over me.

In Buenos Aires, people will talk to me and I'll react exactly as Greta did.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Farewell MPLS

After many happy and emotional farewells, I've finally made my departure. Minneapolis has been good to me. I remember my first day of college like yesterday. Mom, Dad, Tony, Flo, Nicholas, and Thomas dropped me off at Pioneer Hall. After the hugs and goodbyes, I was alone and ready for the unexpected.

You never really know what college is going to be like until you actually get there. How do classes work, are there really 300 people in your lectures, is dorm food good or bad? So many questions, but in the course of the first few weeks, you feel like a pro. I'm hoping this is how Buenos Aires will be. It'll take a couple of weeks to get acclimated, but I'm really hoping to get a firm grasp on the city quickly.

I've had some great times and made some amazing friends while in Minneapolis. Biking/sight-seeing/exploring/gawking at Lake Calhoun in the summer with Tim, drinking beer along the Mississippi with Nick and Eric, breaking my collar bone, hanging with Shonit after I broke my collar bone, going Canoeing down the St. Croix with Tim, Ruston, and Josef with a broken collar bone. Who knew the combination of absinthe and biking could lead to the creation of so many memories.

I'll definitely miss everyone at the Loring Pasta Bar. Seeing as I started working there about 6 weeks into freshman year, many of my best friends are also my coworkers. It's a known fact that the LPB takes over your life after awhile. Be it late-night bike rides, Halloween parties, bonfires or Christmas parties, LPBers always do it up. I'll miss you all very much and now I'll be that "oh, he used to work here a year ago" guy if/when I return.

Minneapolis, I bid you adieu.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Housing Assignment

I just got my housing assignment and...there isn't much to it.

It says I'm living with a women, Silvia, and that I'll be living in the Recoleta neighborhood. I don't know if she's young, old, single, married, divorced, with kids, without kids, or anything.

I'm really hoping that it's an entire family I'm living with, but I'm doubtful. I would make the assumption, hopefully incorrectly, that if it was a family I was living with, they would have told me the man of the house's name. This may, once again, be completely wrong, and I hope it is, but that's my train of thought.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Where Will I Be From?

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I will tell people I'm from when I'm in BA. Having talked to Holly and Lindsay and reading blogs/hearing stories, etc, I think I'm going to be from Canada. Right now, it's insanely difficult to be proud of being an American, which in all reality isn't even a correct statement. Mexicans are Americans, as are all the other peoples residing in North/South/Central America. However, as a resident of the United States, we've taken the liberty to consider ourselves "true" Americans, not United Statesians.

Going back to the issue, I think that until I'm comfortable speaking the language and conveying to Portenos that I don't condone any of the current government's actions, I'll be a Canadian. The last thing I want to get into with a group of Portenos is trying to convince them, in broken Spanish, that I'm not a pro-Bush, pro-war "American."

side note- I was trying to learn the present progressive conjugation today, which isn't that difficult, that is, until they threw in indirect object, direct object, and reflexive pronouns. I'm really hoping the whole "the language just clicks after a couple months" thing is true!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Too Tired To Sleep

It's 6:27AM and I just got home from work about an hour ago. I planned on coming home, activating my new phone(thanks Shonit), and going to bed. However, after a shower, I'm wide awake. I seem to find myself in this same predicament quite often lately; lying in bed, my head spinning with work and Buenos Aires. I put in a straight 15 hour day today. I started at 3PM cutting limes for salsa, served from 4 til 10:30, and then barbacked until 5 AM. I work too much! Even after getting that huge scholarship, I can't NOT work. I'm addicted to it. I think it'll be good for me to get away from working so much. For nine months, I don't plan on having a steady job, which is crazy to me, since I've been working at the pasta bar for over 2 years now.

I'm ready to go. I'm tired of Minneapolis, of work, of studying, of not studying, of waiting. I just want to get started. I want to be surrounded by spanish, I want to meet my host family(which I find out this week), I want a schedule. I can't handle sleeping in til 12 because I have no other reason to get up besides the fact that I feel like a lazy ass.

Ok, I'm actually getting tired again. I'm going to bed before I get lost in my nervousness.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


(O -> UE)

(E -> IE)

(E -> I)

Those, my friends, are the indicators of stem-changing verbs. I just completed the most grueling 7 pages of PMP ever!

I'm happy to say that I will not be touching on these verbs again until I'm forced to do so in BA.

Pages Completed: 7
Pages Remaining: 287

294 Pages!

I just did the calculations and I have 294 pages of Practice Makes Perfect left. That comes out to about 16 pages per day, right until I leave on the 1st. Therefore, I'll have to put in a couple big days. No worries!

Time to start!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What is this, male PMS?!?

I'm an emotional basketcase right now! Only two short hours ago I was angry that I didn't know enough spanish and super nervous about learning it the Castellano way. Now, after a good hour or two of verb studying and the successful translation of some large paragraphs, I feel great! Kick ass! I'm determined to finish both of my Practice Makes Perfect books before I leave. It'll take about 20-25 pages per day, but I will succeed. I'll note how many pages I got done that day in my nightly blog posts.


Spanish Love Songs

It's exactly three weeks from today when I will arrive in Buenos Aires. The excitement is still there, but the nervousness is also starting to kick in. I've been racking my brain lately trying to think of anything that I'm forgetting to do before I leave, but it seems like I've got it all covered. I guess I'm just getting pent up. I'm sick of studying, but angry because I feel I should know more, and I'm tired of cold, miserable Minneapolis. I need a change. Buenos Aires, it's time.

Anyways, I feel I've been overdoing Spanish rock. I'm starting to recognize the songs, and I need something new. I recently came upon some love songs on Pandora, and I really like them a lot. It's not that I'm a huge romantic, because I'm clearly not, but it's because they speak NICE AND SLOW! I can actually figure out what words they're saying, though by the time I translate them in my head, they're already started their second verse. If only everyone in BA spoke as clearly and slowly as Alejandro Fernandez.

Well, I should study.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I Won!!!

Hello Hello!!!

So, in my last post I talked about a surprise announcement that I may or may not have, well, I have it. Yesterday I got a call from the John T Petters Scholarship Foundation telling me that I won an $8,000 dollar scholarship! I'm still waiting for it to sink in, but DAMN!!! $8,000 dollars. That brings the total for scholarships up to $11,750 which means I'm basically living in Buenos Aires for free for the first semester.

Anyways, about the scholarship. I stumbled upon it one day when I was looking through study abroad materials. I decided to check it out and once I read the entry criteria, I knew I had a great chance. I was above and beyond most of the requirements and super excited. I wrote a fantastic essay, had a great interview, and two months later, I'm $8,000 ahead. Life is good.

On a sidenote, I just got Skype. It has to be the coolest thing I've encountered in a long time, right up there with Pandora. It's an free online telephone/videophone program that allows you to talk to anyone who's also online at the same time. Definitely look into getting it, it's super simple and really conveniet. If you're online and I happen to be sitting in a coffeeshop in BA, I'll give you a videotour!

Well, it's less than three weeks until I leave for Chilton, and March 1st is coming REALLY fast.