I kind of moved to Spain on a whim — I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college, but I didn’t think I’d be successful in grad school, since I had barely made it out of undergrad alive!
I went through college unmedicated and undiagnosed, since narcolepsy was still killing my brain cells, and it was difficult! No matter how closely I paid attention to the professor, I couldn’t retain the lecture. My notes began to be filled with increasingly large gaps in information — blank space, abrupt, jarring sentence fragments, and nonsensical phrases, evidence of time I hadn’t even realized that I’d lost.
I managed alright, but I knew this was not going to be a successful strategy for grad school, and the thought of struggling to keep up for another four years… No thank you! I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do less.
As it turns out, my mama knew someone who knew someone who had gone to Spain to teach English for a year or so, and suggested that I apply to the same program. I figured, why not — It was something to do, and it was different, and it would be a good opportunity to develop my Spanish language skills. Plus, I wouldn’t have to explain to people why I wasn’t continuing with my education — it’s not because my brain won’t work, it’s because I’m going on an exciting adventure!
And so here we are.
I applied to the programa auxiliar de conversación norteamericano (North American Culture and Language Assistants Program), overseen by the Spanish Ministry of Education, and after what seemed like half a lifetime of waiting — I had no contingency plan for if I didn’t get in — I was accepted!
They placed me in a bilingual secondary school in Alcorcón, which is a municipality in the metropolis of Madrid, 20 minutes from Madrid’s city center. I will be working as an ‘English language auxiliary’. which as far as I can tell means ‘cool native-English-speaker teacher’s assistant’.
I flew to Spain on September 15th, 2015, and it was awesome. Now I’m back in the States, and things are still awesome, just slightly less Spanish.