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Friday, October 10, 2014

Dreamy Days of 1st Impressions

Monday was my first Rotary Presentation. 5 minutes of talking sounded close to nothing for a motor mouth like me. Then again this was my second language and the day of the presentation I hadn't a clue of how I'd like to present myself to the people giving me the year of a lifetime. Good thing I had a day of class to prepare, if only my brain could focus on one thing!

This is that notebook everyone. No I do not know why it is upside-down.


Some days (ok most days) my brain is on hyper active "Let's explore every daunting question of life or at least draw pinterest stuff" mode. So focusing on my first impression took some work. And now I'll take you through the up down and all around path I take to get something written, including this post! Surprisingly all my teachers have responded nicely to my lack of studying. They find me to be "Una chica muy maja y con ganas de aprender" > A very nice girl with motivation to learn. (exchange student perks, but a smile always helps!)


Bio notes to Zentangle drawings with the snap of my fingers.
I seriously don't know why they're upside-down.

So about this presentation, Hola me llamo Tanika.... blah blah boring blah. I have to make myself sound exciting, funny, I have to be the most Tanika I can be! Oh but that sun feels so nice. I sit right next to the window, which doesn't help with my fluttering thoughts. Amidst school bells, children screaming and the wind blowing my hair around making me feel like a super model (quick cute Spanish boys look I'm being attractive!) it's a surprise I even read in class. Now as the sun is warming my left ear I just have to soak it all in and dream.

His coffee cup = My cereal bowl

Today I thought of trampolines. I haven't been very sad here yet, actually I don't think I've been sad at all.  But now as I let my mind bring me back to the days of jumping on my trampoline I felt this huge indescribable longing. Is it the freedom to be a bird "just cause I said so" or is it simply the need to feel something beneath my feet that will spring me back up, instead of tripping me up (Cobblestone streets and clumsy girls do not mix) Loving family, lifelong friends, my greatest love my hot-dog BoBo, all worth missing and I haven't cried once. (Am I heartless that the longing for trampolines makes me want to cry but for my family hasn't or am I just incredibly weird? Don't answer, I'm choosing the 2nd) So as the school bell rang I choked back my first almost sadness and let the sun be a sign, a sign from the universe that I today is my day, this year is my year. Each step in the sun brightened me a little and I looked the universe right in the eye. Yes I can universe, and yes I will.

That field, like playing on green clouds.
Will what? Gosh I just wasted the whole day doodling and was still empty on presentation ideas. (Oh hyperactive brain why must you skipper scamper all over the place!) Ok I still have a few hours still, I can manage that right? Well, wrong.


They don't have homeroom, study hall, free period whatever you'd like to call that class where you get to "study" aka. do nothing. But once a month the students the students celebrate all the birthdays for that month by bringing food for a "Merindola" like an in-class pot luck. Here's the catch, instead of bringing treats for the B'Day Boys and B'Day girls the ones being celebrated are the ones who bring food. Does this sound reverse to you? Me too. But in my overachieving "Let me spread some American sugar culture" way, I promised to make brownies. Did I know if I had the ingredients let alone the time to do this? Hmm nope! Once again in over my head and without baking powder to make chocolate goodies rise. It's off to the super market.

If when it looks like an icky gray day. There's always something to smile about.
I mounted my bike and zoom-zipped through the now familiar streets, stopping at Eroski supermarket. (My biking abilities have improved so much I'm seriously considering asking for a new bike rather than a car, oh how my parents would love me for that!) As I pondered the isles in search of all things chocolate. I reviewed all the things I could use in my presentation, well there are my families, school, soccer, my fatal shoe incident- maybe we'll leave that one out. I was stopped by the clock. Realizing I had 50 minutes to get home, get dressed and bake some brownies I nearly threw my Euro's at the cashier but not knowing how to say "Keep the change" and finding him fairly cute I took the extra 2 minutes to wait for my receipt to print. With a quick "Gracias" I was out the door and pedaling my way back to the house. Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go go go!


Fall is in the air and on the ground! Hot apple cider and Halloween!
 Wait do they do that here?


I'm not sure my mom knew what to do. I was a twister in the kitchen chopping, mixing, converting (why can't we all just use the metric system!) but once the brownies were in the oven I took a moment to breathe. With only 22 minutes to get beautified I looked down at my baggy sweat pants and flour covered Keep Calm t-shirt (oh the irony of life) and asked her "I can go like this, right?" She laughed as though I was a 100% kidding when I was only about 90% serious. What happened to this night needing to be my best first impression?

These were my 1st attepmts at Crunchy Banana-Nut Muffins.
 Without baking powder, they were more like cookies.

In 20 minutes the house smelled of chocolate and I of roses. Rotary Club de Pamplona here I come. Despite making the continuous mistake of offering my hand when hellooo we are in Spain where it's all about the kisses, I felt confident. It didn't matter that I had next to nothing prepared for my 5 minutes of fame, I'd been winging it half my life and done pretty well. We sat down and the room quieted. Presentation time. No volunteers? You guessed it. I was first!..

Taking pictures with yummy waiters because I'm an exchange student and we do these things shamelessly!

The Spanish girl inside me, blossomed. Though I don't remember all the things I said, I know exactly how I felt. I've always loved to speak in front of people. When I should be scared, I feel empowered. All eyes on me and if I can manage to make the crowd laugh with my jokes then any slip up is worth it. Luckily the slip ups were few and my overly bright smiling made up for them. After I attacked "dinner" (A table of appetizers does not constitute as dinner for a famished teenager) I continued talking with Rotarians and future exchange students, finding it easier and easier to just to be me. In another language I say that deserves brownie points.

The sun inside me won't stop shining even on the rainy days it keeps it's glow burning strong.
My biggest fear was that I'd lose myself in a new language but if anything I've discovered more of me. I take pride in each smile I can make shine and even if it's only one person a day I feel accomplished. I'll keep on shining for months to come because Spain, followers, anyone who feels the sun, this year is our year!

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