martes, 22 de mayo de 2012

First post

Leaving and Going Back Home?

This is my first post and I need to tell you a bit about myself. A bit, just the important parts.

I'm orignally from Oak Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. I moved to Spain in 1990 right after I finished my Master's degree to marry my husband who is Spanish. We now have three children, 16, 15 and 8. My eldest son, Quique, is already living in the States with my sister to study because  the secondary schools here are basically impossible to deal with for him. He is finishing up his first semester there and will come home for summer. He is our advance guard scouting out the terrain where we may end up living.

My sister moved to Dallas in the early 90's so now when I go home, I go to Dallas and Dallas is what my children know as their "home" in the USA. Everytime I go to Dallas, I can go a bit further on my own but it doesn't feel like home to me but obviously I would prefer to live near my family and I really don't think I could last out a Chicago winter after having lived on the Mediterranean for 20+ years.

I am sure you have heard about the economic situation in Spain recently as, I guess, they have been mentioning it in the news all over the world for about the last month but it has been bad for the last four years. Personally, I fear for my job and if I lose my job I don't think I will find anything else around here and so I am looking worriedly to the future and thinking that I will have to leave Spain and go back home.

I am going to use this blog as a diary of worries, fears and to show the evolution of my journey either back to the States or the evolution of how things change here allowing me to stay.

For me going home is a frightful thought. All of my adult life has been lived in Spain, in our town of around 30.000 people. The normal things I have gone about doing here, I have never done in the States. I have never bought a car, rented or purchased a home, had a "real" job, gone to the doctor or dealt with the health insurance stuff that I hear about, had a child, registered one of my children in school and hundreds of other things that belong to normal life and these things are very different here. Sometimes they are easier and sometimes more difficult.

Right now, here one of the talked about things is the cutbacks in education. Teacher's salaries have been frozen and their bonuses eliminated. The government wants to change the September exams to the end of July. September exams are exams for the classes the student's have failed. Student failure here is very high and over 37% of the students do not get the diplomas they should get when they are sixteen. Now at the end of May, we still do not know what is going to happen. The government has asked the teachers to provide classes to failing students during July (school is out around the 20th of June) but I have read that the schools are not accepting this. The situation is uncertain in education just as it feels everywhere. No answers seem to be available.