Let’s unroll the red carpet because Visa de España is here!

In an extraordinary turn of events, my visa actually arrived and not denied! Woo-hoo. Now, granted, it took five weeks, I missed two flights (and I’ve no money for a new one), and have caused considerable amounts of anxiety and stress, but it arrived..but I’m still broke, did I mention that already? I had a look at some flights as I’ve absolutely to leave by tomorrow or I won’t make it for the training with Esther on Monday nor will I be able to enroll in my MA which, by the way, I’ve received an e-mail about. Luckily for me, though, the flights are just under 780 now so that’s not too bad but if I haven’t already said already, I’m broke! My mother, the sweet angel, has offered to pay for it but she’s at work right now and I’m not going to burden her with that right now. Although I must say that I’ve mixed feelings about Spain now as it’s been a rocky road getting to this point and the overdrawn visa process was certainly no help. So, at the moment, I’m quivering between really wanting to capitalize on this opportunity and throwing my hands up and saying meh, maybe next time, Spain.

I’ve decided against going for several reasons. As to why I began to feel this way, It was really quite peculiar actually. I realized that the MA doesn’t seem that great. In fact, it was looking rather basic. What I mean by that is that the courses weren’t the ones I had originally wanted and applied for and in fact, they discontinued them. Also, there were several online courses and I’m just not diligent enough to take online classes. Never have been. I also realized today that one of the classes I was most excited about is being offered in a way that was bizarre and quite unhelpful for me. Classroom management and motivation is the class and it is being offered in either primary or secondary sections…both of which I didn’t want and I couldn’t understand why they were split in two like that. So that class was out and I had to choose between other courses that I didn’t particularly want and sure as hell didn’t want to pay for. Also, I received an e-mail from the coordinator telling us that if you’re an in service teacher, it’s wise to do the program part time..great..Now I’d have to maybe spend another year in Spain and I don’t even know if I’ll like this place? hmm.That got me thinking, is this really what you want or are willing to do? No. No it wasn’t and I updated all parties involved about it.

BEDA, on the other hand, was marvelous throughout all of this and I highly recommend them. However, I’ve been abroad enough times to spot a massive struggle when I see one and this was surely to be one as I’m arriving late, broke, jet-lagged, and no shortage of PMS was not going to cut it. I also had doubts about the salary I’d be receiving which was of course low and I’d have to do private lessons, which I hate, to make ends meet. Well, the problem with that is that I just wouldn’t have the time to do so between teaching, classes, studying, hours required from my scholarship, and just having some free time; shit wasn’t going to happen. It literally couldn’t. It also occurred to me that I might just really hate the BEDA program as I already dislike children. I’ve just never enjoyed them and I enjoy them even less if I have to teach them. Turkey taught me several things and one is that not only is there a classroom culture, but the students’ own culture in the classroom can be a hazard if you’re not well versed in it, which I’m not nor have ever been. Although the teachers aren’t supposed to leave you alone in the classroom, it happens and I don’t want to struggle with discipline abroad when no one gives you the rundown on how things are supposed to go but expect you to know it already.

Last week I was doing some research about racism in Spain because as a black female traveling alone, I need to know what I’m getting myself into. Well as it would turn out, I was getting into something I had no business being in. The city, Alcalá de Henares, is known around Madrid province for their discriminative and fascist ways. There is no lack of neo-nazi’s there which is quite alarming. Of course it is possible that I wouldn’t ever see these types of people but that’s just not how my life works. I would run into this people because I’m lucky like that. I talked to Daddy about this and he was not trying to have it. He told me he’d hate to have to go over there and get crazy because they’re dragging their asses to find out what happened to (the authorities I mean) and probably will sweep it under the rug. He also said that they wouldn’t give him a visa because of it. I explained he didn’t need a visa if he was gonna be there for less than 90 days but he refuted that and said if something were to happen to me he’d make it his business to be there more than 90 days. Alright then. Duly noted. Besides that though, I just wasn’t up for this struggle against Spanish culture. As a black person and as a female I will get looked down upon. Not by everyone of course, but it is in their society that blacks and black females especially are less than they themselves. Can’t handle it. I wasn’t in the mood for the catcalling and the down-right sexual harassment by the men there. I’m over it.

As they took five weeks to return my passport to me, I missed my flight and throughly flushed my little dreams and money down the toilet. As I’ve been abroad several times not without much money in my pocket, I know this is not ideal and I just downright don’t want to F*cking do it again. I didn’t want to ask my parents to help me out as they had already done so much for me. I didn’t play my cards well this summer and couldn’t find a job that would help me out. As the visa came just yesterday morning, I’d have to fly out Saturday morning which I also didn’t want to do on such short notice and of course the tickets weren’t the cheapest. They were about $780 when I looked yesterday afternoon. That’s a cheap last minute flight, granted, but I’ve not even a speck of dust to rub together in my name let alone some cold hard cash. Mother had offered to pay for it but why should she? I’m 25. My mother shouldn’t pay for it and keep paying off her balance while I’m abroad suffering. Twas a no go for me.

After much contemplation I had to take the rose colored glasses off. I realized that after all of the struggling I’d do in Spain, I was guaranteed nothing back home. In Daddy’s’ words “the way I see it you’re damned if you, damned if you don’t.” Indeed, Daddy. Indeed. He spoke with me candidly about the situation at hand and ultimately that he didn’t think it was a good decision right now based on all that I had told him, as they’re all valid points, but that ultimately it wasn’t his decision..but he’d be worried about me if I did. He also stated that I’m more a rebellious free-spirit type person that doesn’t take lightly to being told what to do and that because of this, I’d never really be happy working for someone because I’m the type of person who needs to work for myself. He said, ” I don’t need someone to tell me how to do something or criticize me, I’m already my own worst critic.” Again, well said Daddy. Daddy thinks it’s better that I focus on what I want to do and start a business. He said that what I’m in search of most is knowledge and that basically I’d be in search of that for life and what I need now is not more knowledge, but to apply that knowledge and find a job/ create one that is going to be what I want to do right now and start building upon that.

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