Thursday, October 13, 2016

On Language Learning (and Cookies)

Forever my love
For those of you that don't know, in addition to my psychology degree (and 85% of a biochemistry, I'm working on a Spanish minor. Learning a language, especially in school, especially as an introvert who doesn't like talking in big groups, especially classes, is weird. There are moments every day where I feel pretty fluent. Moments when my Hispanic residents are on the phone with their parents and I actually comprehend the conversation. Moments when I'm writing an essay and thinking in Spanish and it just flows.

But. There are also moments where I just feel (for lack of a better term) like such a freaking white girl. Which I am (mostly Swedish and German. that's about as white as it gets.). Moments where mi profesor asks me a question and all I can do is blush and mumble "qué?" Moments when I'm lost in class, or one of my group mates (who are all Hispanic and actually bilingual) speaks so fast that it just sounds like a blur to me. Or sometimes I fumble the present tense. It's great. My pronunciation gets weird sometimes, and as someone who has spent my entire life in the south, the fast, staccato rhythm is hard for me.

Language learning is weird, and it gets weirder when you transition into classes that trust that you're competent in the language, and focus on just teaching you literatura y cultura. Your ideas and thoughts actually matter more than the proficiency with which you communicate them. This is intimidating. Learning how to BS an essay about literature in a second language is weird and funny and makes me feel a lot more fluent than I probably am.

So why learn Spanish? It started because I was dead set on med school at U of Miami, and in Miami, you'd better be able to habla. At some point, I actually did fall in love with the language, and more than anything, I'm honestly in love with the idea of being bilingual. The idea of being able to communicate effectively and relate with more than one group of people is so appealing to me, which is why I love culture classes so much. Maybe that's and idealized version of things, but I like it, so I'm sticking with it.

También: I thought about writing this post in Spanish, but I have a little bit (okay a lot) of fear of judgment when it comes to my proficiency. So instead you get a post in English with awkward uses of Spanish vocab. Sorry.

S'more Stuffed Giant Cookie
2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
3 milk chocolate bars
3 graham crackers
1/4 cup mini marshmallows

  1. Stir together the butter and sugars.
  2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, soda, and salt. Mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in flour.
  4. Gently fold in the chips.
  5. Press about half the dough into a 9-inch round pan.
  6. Add a layer of graham crackers, then another layer of chocolate bars. Top with the marshmallows.
  7. Carefully spread the rest of the dough on top.
  8. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Top will be dark golden, middle will be gooey. Enjoy!

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