22 January 2010

So...why was I in Cali?

This is a question very few (and by few, I mean none) of you have asked.  I moved to California in May of 2000 (yes I'm old, get over it).  Well, moved is probably the wrong word, permanent change of station is more appropriate in this instance.  Before I continue, I must tell you about a guy who no longer exists:
"College Griffin"

Yes, I went to college (actually University), Towson University to be more precise. I was only enrolled for 3 semesters, at the time I wanted to study Computer Science, but the thought of sitting behind a desk staring at code for 12+ hours a day wasn't exactly appealing (yeah, that's total bullshit, I was partying too much and was failing all my classes that I hadn't already dropped), so instead of changing my major, I dropped out and joined the Army. (Cue the Ben Folds Five)...*the rest of this will be divulged in another blog post*

So, Basic Training went by without much incident (lots of: running, push-ups, yelling, cleaning, folding, and shining boots).  Then I PCS'd to Monetery California (yes, I know I already told you this).  Let's get to the crux of the story.  Why Monterey? The answer isn't one you'd expect, the Army sent me to school (yes, I get the irony), to learn...dun dun dun, a new language (well, new to me anyway).

What language?  That I'm gonna keep in my back pocket for the time being, there might be a time when I tell you, but today is not your lucky day.  So, I lived was stationed in Monterey for a year and a half.  My daily schedule was like this:

0600 Wake-up/pee
0605 smoke
0610 shower
0620 get dressed
0630 get breakfast
0700 go to formation
0715 smoke
0725 head to class
0730 class starts
1130 Lunch
1300 class resumes
1530 class ends
1600 PT (Physical Training for the uninitiated)
1700 PT ends
1705 Smoke
1710 shower
1720 get dressed
1730 get dinner
1800 pretend to do homework/study/flirt with ladies
1900 actually do homework/study
2100 finish homework/study
2101 turn on the TV and veg out
2300 go to sleep

Actually, there was quite a bit more smoking invovled, but you get the idea.  That might seem like a very easy schedule, and looking back on it, it was; however, at the time it was not.  That 6 hour block of instruction was done almost entirely in the target language.  From Day 1 until the day I graduated, the teachers predominantly spoke in their native tounge to us, using English to helps us understand abstract concepts/verb conjugations/grammar etc.  Usually, we had about two hours worth of homework every evening or two hours of mandatory study hall (we were in the military after all...)

During our time off we were allowed to explore.  I spent the majority of my time in and around Monterey. (more on this in another blog post)

So, a year and a half later, after finishing my class, I graduated (oh Mai Gawd) and to top it off, I graduate... with Honors.  (I'm sooo not kidding about this)

So now, nine years later I still speak the language that I learned in Cali, and look back fondly on those times.  Sometimes, I miss it...


  1. This post is so vague it left me wanting more. Tease.

  2. Meghan :) I am fully aware at how vague this blog post is. I will eventually fill in all the gaps.