Friday, March 19, 2010

And the tides change...

Last November a group at the University of Michigan’s campus presented an overview of what the typical student that studies abroad will go through. Emotionally, they told us that it would be like a roller coaster. There would be days when we maybe didn’t want to get out of bed, when we would be more emotional than normal and days when we just really wanted to go back to America.

I didn’t believe them. It wouldn’t happen to me, I thought. I’m ready for this adventure.

And then once I got here, my parents asked me, “Do you miss America?”

“No,” I responded. Cold? Perhaps. Honest? Always.

Because the truth of the matter is, I don’t really miss America. I miss my family and my friends, but doing this feels so right. There is no other place I would rather be right now, than exactly where I am.

Well, until this afternoon at 5:45pm.

Because in that moment, when I realized I would not be able to watch the NCAA opening-round battle between Minnesota and Xavier I wanted nothing to do with this unpalatable country.

Yes, I considered crawling back into my bed. Yes, I was far too emotional when I realized that the local Irish pub would not be televising this significant sporting event. And yes, all I wanted in that heartbreaking moment was to be back in America, on a couch, watching my beloved Gophers.

March is my favorite month. I hate to say it, but I think my grades drop a bit during March Madness. I mean, when you have 65 teams battling for a national championship on the hardwood, with most games televised somewhere, how could they not slip?

Why Spain, must you torture me with all your fútbol fandom? Why Spain, does everyone here care about sports like bullfighting, which is just stabbing a bull in the back with pointy sticks, when there’s that artistically perfect game I like to call baloncesto (Spanish translation, basketball)? Why Spain, can’t you appreciate the beauty of a 16-seed team valiantly taking on a national powerhouse?

And so, I sat at my computer and watched the game tracker. I know I’m being dramatic, I know I’m overreacting, you may say it’s JUST basketball, but hey, aren’t I entitled to my emotional rollercoaster? And if it’s because my March Madness has become my March Sadness, who are you to judge?

I knew I should’ve studied abroad in the fall.

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