While thinking about what to write about as my final blog post, I decided that a reflection on my time here would be the most appropriate. First, let me say that this experience was definitely worth it. I think that I was able to learn so much not only about linguistics but also just about life in general. I was able to meet new and interesting people and truly experience something new and outside of my comfort zone.
When I started out in Granada I was not really sure what to think. I initially questioned whether or not studying abroad would be as great as everyone has always made it out to be. Quickly I realized that it is in fact exactly that- one of the best experiences of my life. I also was not entirely sure what to think about working in a new lab with new people. How would I be received? Would I just be viewed as the major inconvenience in their lives? However, after going to the university that first day, I saw that that was the exact opposite of what was happening. Everyone at the University of Granada made me feel way more than welcome. Not once did I feel as though I was thought of as the American that was in the way or super inconvenient (even at the times when it was probably well-deserved; there were many weeks in which Lauren and I took a lot of space for a long time in order to run participants). I am so grateful for how accommodating everyone was and honestly the overall air of cordialness that I experienced when I arrived. It really made the transition to working here a lot easier.
I think most importantly, though, was that I learned a lot more about my individual project and the general process of running participants. I had no idea what to expect when setting out to recruit participants. Would we be able to get any to come in? Would they have trouble with the experiment itself? Would I be able to adequately and correctly explain everything in Spanish? I was very pleased when we were able to get the amount of participants that we did. On one day in particular (it was a Friday too) we had four people show up on their own accord, bringing our total for that day alone to nine! And really, most of the other days that ran participants, we had a pretty good amount. However, there were those days when we had a lot of no-shows (mainly when it rained), but I feel as though all of the other days really made up for it. And most of all, we made our end goal of 56 participants plus an additional four, bringing our total to 60. I am so glad that I was able to work with Lauren on this part because we definitely managed to create a pretty smooth system when running participants.
In the end, I am honestly really sad to be leaving Granada in less than a week. I have a hard time remembering where all that time went. It feels like I just arrived and already, I am heading back to the States. For any current PIRE students still at their host sites, I hope that the rest of your time is as great as mine has been. And for any future PIRE-Granada students, I am sure that you will have an amazing time here. It is one of the best places that I have been to and I am truly grateful for this amazing opportunity.