Exam Time

HOLA A TODOS!

Last time I posted, I told you I went to Malaga it was a great beach vacation. But in all honesty, I didn’t really get to explore the city. I look forward to seeing more with my family.

Right now in Sevilla there is a protest over the rising cost of tuition and the cut to education resources from the Government. (Did you know the occupy wallstreet campaign started in Madrid?) Well recently, Sevillanas celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the event. The entire school system is on strike and so the last 2 weeks of classes have been cancelled … but we still have classes. I understand that the students are trying to prove a point, but it is not beneficial to their studies. I feel bad for them though. I’m glad to be going back to American University soon. As much ad the cost of tuition kills me, at least it is more organized. 

Sorry for the short post, but I very busy with my upcoming exams. After next week (my hell week), I will have plenty of time to write. I keep taking hiatuses because I feel like I don’t really have a lot to say and I don’t want to bore all of you. My life is a routine right now of Studying, trying to avoid the heat, and sleeping. REALLY EXCITING I KNOW! I miss you all! 

un beso!

Roses: 

  • No class
  • More time to study
  • The weather has cooled down

Thorns: 

  • Libraries not being open on Saturday nights or Sundays
  • No class = more time to procrastinate
  • Not accomplishing as much as I want to 
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Red Walls, Cat in Christmas Tree, and Chicken Noodle Soup

I was debating writing this post or not, in fear that it would cause my mom to worry. I’ve decided that I need to write it for myself, in hopes that tonight I will sleep better. For the past 2 nights I have had terrible nightmares. I had 5 Sunday night and 3 on Monday night. Each time I have a bad dream, I wake up and I can’ t fall back asleep.

I’m hoping that they are due to:

  1. Lack of tiredness before bed
  2. Lack of Spanish in my life (we’re on vacation)

I hope they aren’t due to:

  1. Stress about my classes
  2. Stress about my future

But I think the leading cause of nightmares is missing home. In all honesty, I haven’t really missed home since I’ve been here. I feel so comfortable here, but I think the distance is starting to get to me. I miss talking/texting my friends and my family all of the time. I miss the familiarity and the routines in my life. While Spain is amazing, I think I would be feeling the same way if I was this isolated in Ann Arbor. I feel like I’m constantly missing out, and I hate the thought that no matter where I am I will always be missing something.

The things I miss most about home:

  • my room with it’s red walls
  • my mom’s chicken noodle soup
  • watching netflix/sportscenter with Nick
  • only being able to watch Criminal Minds when Nick is home because I get to scared
  • watching trailers and youtube videos with Alex
  • eating takeout in front of the tv
  • sitting in front of the fireplace, watching tv with Gracyn
  • Gracyn sleeping on the pillow next to me
  • Gracyn sitting in odd places
  • family get together’s (I’m sad I’ll be missing out on March birthdays, maybe we can skype?)
  • a routine and set study schedule

I’ve always said I can be flexible, but I think sometimes I like a routine. I always welcome a challenge, but I like to know some of the final details or the end-all goal. For example, I don’t know how to do any of my homework or when it is due. I feel like I’m slacking in my work, but I don’t know what work needs to be accomplished. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time. I should probably take up yoga, or something that will help me relax. For now, lets just hope that I can get some sleep tonight.

Hopefully this doesn’t worry any of you. And if you have any tips for better sleeping let me know! So far my one friend has told me to count kittens before I fall asleep.

Un beso

Roses:

  1. New sheets that aren’t fleece
  2. My host mom giving me hot chocolate
  3. Watching trailers for upcoming movies in 2012

Thorns:

  1. Not being able to sleep
  2. Nightmares
  3. Missing home

 

First Week of Classes

Ok so I did try to post about my classes earlier on in the week, but the internet went out and I was too lazy to re-post, so I’ll just give you a recap of the week!

Monday:

I was super nervous to go to class. Usually it isn’t that bad when I’m at  home I’m more excited but here I was straight about to poop my pants in fear. My best friend Caroline and I made a similar schedule so we decided to leave an hour early for our first class. Let me just take this time to say that the building we are in has no maps and does not make any sense, so it really was a miracle that we found the correct class. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves until we are sitting in the middle of class and everyone is typing “Arte Borroco” instead of “Historia de Fotografia”. We didn’t want to get up and leave because here that is extremely odd to leave during the middle of class. So we just sat there, for an hour … It was extremely stressful at the time but looking back on it, it was quite comical. My other classes went smoothly, pretty much there are no Sevillanos in them. I guess it’s because I picked the easy ones. I had Paisaje y Medio Ambiente Urbano (pretty much like an urban planning class/ the environment in a city), and Historia de los Estados Unidos, and two other classes that I plan on dropping. It was a long day but worth it.

Tuesday:

Tuesday was better. Caroline and I found the right class, it was just extremely boring. It was the first day of real lecture, and the professor decided to talk about light and how we view it on the spectrum/how fast it travels etc. Pretty much the stuff you learn in an intro Physics class during high school. However, instead of a bunch of students falling asleep they were taking copious notes. It was crazy! Here students literally write down everything the professor says. Maybe it’s because professors don’t use powerpoints, but I mean I even knew what the prof was talking about and I don’t understand a lot of Spanish. I also had my first Center class, which was yet again boring … not so shocking. Oh well I have to take that class, and it isn’t too early which is nice. At least afterwards I got to go on a field trip. I walked to the museum of modern art/architectural stuff by myself which was a bit sketchy, but all in all it seemed like a nice change of pace. I also received Valentines day Cards from my mom!  THANKS MOM! Tuesday night was stressful because I tried to finish my ensayo. My grammar prof returned my first ensayo, I got a 6/10. Which means I passed and it was sufficient but not that great. I felt pretty crappy after that but a majority of people got 6’s, a few got 7’s, some got 8’s, and only 2 got 9’s. So that made me feel a little better, but now that I typed it out it still makes me pissed.

Wednesday:

Wednesday I was just tired. I don’t even want to write about it because I can barely remember it. I did have my first geografia del mar class. That should be simple, and it has about 11 kids (out of 27) from my program in it! So he seems to be kind of catering the class to us. Also it’s funny in my Historia de los EEUU (aka US) class, we are talking about Reconstruction and because of my awesome teachers in high school I know pretty much all the questions that the professor asks. It’s funny too because he always looks at me wanting me to give him the answer but it’s difficult because I can’t explain the ideas really well in Spanish, and sometimes he doesn’t understand my English. For example:

  • Prof: Who was the President after Lincoln? (obviously he was saying this in Spanish)
  • Me: Andrew Johnson
  • Prof: What?
  • Me: Andrew Johnson
  • Prof: I can’t understand you.
  • Me: Never mind (laugh)
  • Prof: (Smiles) No try.
  • Me: Andrew Johnson
  • Prof: (slighty shakes his head) Anyway, the next president was Johnson.

I SAID THAT! It’s pretty comical because the same thing happens Thursday. I guess he can’t understand my midwestern accent. Wednesday Night I worked my butt off trying to finish my second ensayo. I chose a rather difficult subject, because of course only strange things interest me. I decided to write about the relationship between F.C. Barcelona, Catalonia, and Franco. This is really specific so I had pretty much no research and it was just caca toro. Oh well at least I turned it in on time.

Thursday:

I woke up early and finished the second ensayo, edited the first, and read my US historia articles. I went to class and felt sick the entire time (my roommate is sick and we share a small space, thus it seems to be inevitable). Luckily some of my history articles were in English. It was interesting because we were discussing Booker T. Washington’s speech at the Atlanta Expo and W.E.B. DuBois response to this speech. As we were dissecting the arguments, we got a little off topic. First one of the (I assume) grad students asked for the Spanish word for Negro. (They use the word negra or black for African Americans). I tried to explain to him that Negro was offensive (not as bad as the other N word), but it was used in a time were African Americans were blatantly treated like second class citizens. We went on to discuss what African Americans liked to be called. And in all honestly I struggled with answering this. I told them it just depended on the person. Thoughts? I feel like no one wants a blanketed term for their race, but maybe that is just me.

SORRY FOR THIS LONG POST! I just thought you guys would be proud I survived my first week!

Roses:

  1.  I survived
  2. Seeing history from another perspective
  3. Feeling like I know/understand more Spanish

Thorns:

  1. Getting lost
  2. Not being able to be understood
  3. Having a constant headache

Hiatus …

I made a promise to myself to keep up with my blogging … clearly I was not able to handle the stress of school and writing. Every time I returned home from class, I was too tired to focus. It’s a lame excuse but es la verdad. Like my last post said I’ve spent the majority of last week working on a paper. And even though I only spent 4-6 hours working on it, it was draining and I was left in a grumpy mood with a splitting head ache. Here’s to hoping that this state improves!

Ok so you may be wondering, what I’ve been doing other than writing a paper … I’ve been looking at a lot of churches/art. A part of my grade is to go on excursions with the program. We’ve been traveling around Sevilla visiting different locations. Here are some photos I’ve taken!

Catedral in Sevilla

Real Alcazar en Sevilla (More pics to come on this when I can visit it on a nicer day)

Letras (Arabic letters) are integrated into the design of the Real Alcazar

 

Caroline and I in Cadiz!

Ok so I’ve also visited Cadiz and Cordoba. They were both nice cities to visit but I’m so glad to be living in Seville. As stressful as life can get here, I love it so much. I have an amazing host mom who has done a great job taking care of me, and I’ve made some really nice friends who let me complain to them. I know this seems to be a really anti-climatic post … but I honestly have not been up to that much. I’ve picked out my classes (post on that tomorrow after my first day!), written an essay, taken a grammar quiz, and have been forced to visit cultural activities around the city.

Much Love to those still reading! And I promise I’ll try and do a better job at blogging!

Roses:

  1. Having Family/friends from all over supporting me
  2. Having a place to put my thoughts
  3. Surviving my first hell week in Sevilla
  4. Having a better grasp on the language

Thorns:

  1. Being lazy and not writing
  2. Forgetting all the cool stuff I’ve done here (ok well maybe it’s not cool if I forget it)
  3. Long posts
  4. Running out of thoughts