I remember feeling disoriented. The two day, 38 hour marathon from Hawaii to Madrid might have had something to do with it. Mechanically, I followed the disembarking hordes to passport control and beyond, where a friend and his dad were waiting to introduce me to the rejuvenating power of churros con chocolate*. It was January 1, 2013.

Then I blinked.

And suddenly it was 2018.

And I was still in Madrid. Five years older and only slightly wiser. In the span of that blink I somehow managed to go from study abroad college junior to first year PhD student, like a low budget academic remake of 13 Going on 30.

Five years, three cities, one study abroad, six teaching jobs, one completed Master’s degree, and one PhD acceptance later, you could say that Spain and I are in it for the long haul. Of course, that figure does not include collateral damage from paperwork headaches, the bouts of homesickness, or the linguistic and cultural faux pas that plague foreigners daily.

We have had our honeymoon period(s) and our lovers’ spats but after all this time, I am proud to say I’m a local.

Scholar Escolar is a space for me to ruminate, vent, and ultimately help and connect with others while I fumble my way through a doctorate program in a foreign country.

*Nowadays I’m of the opinion that they’re overrated, but that day those churros con thick, creamy melted chocolate were some of the best things I’ve ever tasted.



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