Well, I hope everybody’s summer is going well. If it is summer for you wherever you live or go to school. Because it’s not summer here yet. Technically, anyways. Sure, classes ended on the 12th of May, but here in Spain, following the end of classes, there is a 3 week long exam period during which time exams are scheduled. I still don’t really know how I feel about it. 

In some respects, the extra time to study in between exams is welcome; the 3 weeks devoted only to preparing and taking exams can really help out at the end of a long semester. But on the other hand, why do I want to drag out the end of the semester for 3 more weeks where I might only have one or two exams scheduled haphazardly during each week. Well, you know what they say about a gift horse. (Cue me shrugging while I write this.)

Classes seem to have all ended on a good note for me (just the actual classes, I am still currently finishing out the exams). Almost all classes in Spain are close to being 50/50 on continuous assessment (homework, classwork, quizzes, etc.) and final exam. No matter what, the final exam is worth a significant, if not the majority of the grade for the class. Some teachers also give out quizzes and midterms as well, but that has not been the case in any of the classes that I have take this semester (only my economics class from last semester had any other quizzes/exam-type assessments. I am mostly okay with this format, in that I like doing projects, presentations, and papers, maybe more than doing exams and quizzes, but at the end of the semester it puts a lot of pressure on the grade for just one exam in a class where you have never taken an test before. So I feel like that also gives me more stress for the exams than normal. Guess I just have to deal with it. 

Exam period and the end of classes can mean only one other thing: the school year is about wrapped up. The semester is over in a little over a week, and in a week I will be finished with my last exam here in Madrid, Spain. My year abroad is coming to an end, and I will soon be returning to New Mexico and the USA (at least for the time being). 

Let me assure you, to anyone that is wondering or who hasn’t ever gotten ready to leave somewhere for a while, it’s kind of difficult. And by that I don’t even mean taking into account saying goodbye to all the people that you have met and spent a year or even just a semester with. In a month or so, so many of the people I have met here in Madrid will have returned to their other homes, and we will be spread thin around the globe. It is hard to say who or when any of us will see each other again. 

I may be eager for exams to be over and to relax for (some of) the summer, but I’m not eager for exams to be over… because it signals the end of a an extremely interesting and fun period of my life. Something like that is hard to just give up, whether or not I am excited to see my friends and family in the USA or not. (I am excited to see everyone again.)

Hope everyone’s May is going swell, and that it’s a little less final than my final month here. 

Un saludo, 

Miguel Sabol