My name is Tyler Stoddard. I’m a junior at the University of Idaho and I’m majoring in English with a minor in history. I went to Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene where I learned Spanish from Senora Everson. This semester my studies are taking me to Granada, Spain and to thank Sra. Everson for all she has done for me, I’m going to be writing a blog documenting my experience abroad.
I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to experience a different culture. I want to eat different foods, listen to foreign music, and dance the salsa. I feel like I’ve never really left my comfort zone. I’ve always had family and friends close. I’m trying to force myself to make the uncomfortable comfortable. I chose Spain because I have a background in Spanish and because I want to meet a girl that looks like Penelope Cruz. I chose Granada because a friend of mine visited Granada on his trip abroad and only had glowing things to say about the city and the people.
A major goal for my time abroad is to be fluent in Spanish. As of now, I would describe myself as a conversational speaker. I hear the transition from conversational to fluent is difficult but by completely immersing myself in the language, I think this is a reasonable goal to set for myself. Another goal is to expand my worldly view. Through my interactions with Spaniards I want to know how and why they think the way they do. I want to understand what being a Spaniard is.
I’m going to be taking two Spanish classes (language and literature) and two classes in English about Spanish culture. I’ll be sure to update you guys as soon as I know what my final schedule looks like.
A couple things you might like to know about me… Yes, I am JJ’s older brother. And yes, I do have embarrassing stories about him. I love sports and follow them closely. I’m a two-time Stoddard Brothers fantasy football league champion (Jay has not won a championship). I’m also a huge Lakers, Mariners, and Bill Simmons fan. I like the music of Dave Matthews, Interpol, Ben Harper, and Modest Mouse. I also am completely addicted to the show Lost. So much so that I have already decided my first son is going to be named Jack. Sadly, the sixth and final season will be starting a week after my arrival in Spain. I guess I’ll have to watch them online. I’m going to be living with a Spanish host family along with another American student named Murphy.
A little more about the blog… What I want out of this blog is for you guys to be able to see, hear, and experience along with me. Through the blog, I want us to have a dialogue about Spanish culture, religion, etc. and the similarities and differences with America. I want to hear all your questions and concerns so we make sure this blog is working efficiently. As the semester rolls along and my Spanish improves I hope to make some blog entries in Spanish. I also hope to post many pictures on the blog. This is my first time blogging so bear with me as I’m still just learning.
Right now, I’m sitting on the couch in my living room watching Jersey Shore. My mom is cooking hamburgers and my brothers are playing Nintendo. My next blog entry will be from Spain. No more Super Mario, no more American food, no more Mike “The Situation.”