The Day In The Life Of Katie

Well I wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy … (bromas! Hopefully you all caught on to the song reference)

Lately I’ve been waking up at 8:30am for no reason. I blame it on Pablo the bird who likes to sit on my window and whose family lives in the air conditioning box thing in my wall. After that I tend to sit on the comp at the kitchen table, proceed to get ready and then head out to study at a library or at my program’s center.

Once there I end up getting hungry around 1 or 2pm so I eat a bocadillo or go downstairs and buy a Kebob (chicken sandwich in pita bread = God’s gift to mankind). After this I move to a different library.

Around 7pm I want to eat my brains out I’ve been working too hard so then I get an adult beverage with friends and hang out until around 9pm or so and return home for dinner. After dinner which is anywhere from 9:30pm – 10:30pm, I take an ice cold shower so that I can cool off. For the rest fo my night I either: get on fb, do work, read harry potter, or go out.

I pretty much lead the worlds most exciting life.

Un beso,

Roses:

  • no class
  • hanging with friends in plazas
  • planning vacations

Thorns:

  • friends not having money on their pay phones
  • hostel’s already being booked
  • forgetting my highlighters at home so I’m stuck writing this very boring blog post
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I’m Melting, I’m Melting!

The weather here is already getting ridiculously HOT here! Without any warning or gradual change this is my life from here on out.

What have I gotten myself into??

Un beso!

Roses:

  • Making people at home jealous
  • Finished with Classes for the week
  • Going to Malaga for the weekend!

Thorns:

  • Sweating while sitting in class
  • Sweating while walking slowly
  • Spending money on the tram because it has air conditioning
  • Smelling bad

Reunited in Barcelona, Marbella & Gibraltar

My mom won a work trip to come to Spain, so I tagged along. I was so excited to finally be able to see her. The road to Barcelona was a little bumpy. I hadn’t realized that I had a field trip the day I was supposed to meet her, so I was forced to change my ticket which cost an extra 50 euros. I have no idea why I did this because the field trip was a complete bust and a waste of my time.

The actual flight was a lot nicer. Since I only had 2 hours the night before, I forced myself to stay awake (for the field trip) and I went to be at 9pm. I woke up super early 5am and headed to the bus stop. You know you’re in Spain when …

  1. The disco across the street from you is still bumping music
  2. People are just starting to walk home in their club clothes
  3. A couple is making out in front of the police, as their friend gets a ticket
  4. You get hit on by drunk men

Word of the wise be careful when flying with Ryanair. The tickets are cheap but they overcharge you on everything, which is obviously where they make their money. For example if you forget to print your boarding pass, for them to print it for you it cost’s 50 euro! Also make sure you measure your suitcase (if it’s a hard suitcase) before you travel. They have this contraption where they make your place your suitcase if it’s a hard suitcase and or looks like it is overstuffed and will not fit in the overhead bin. I watched this poor guy not be able to fit his suitcase because the wheels did not fit. It cost him 50-60 euro to check his bag! (they will not turn your suitcase sideways … because most people do not check bags). If you have a backpack or other bag that fits under your seat you’re fine. But remember ladies do not bring a purse! They only let you have one bag, no matter how small your purse is they will count it, so make sure it fits into your purse. Vera Bradley large duffel bags will fit, as long as they aren’t filled completely! Ok sorry, I just thought that may be helpful to someone someday.

Back to my actual trip! Instead of typing out a long essay (like the Ryanair rules part) I’m just going to list my favorite and least favorite parts of the trip, and of course show you some of my pictures.

Favorites:

  • In Barcelona
  1. The Gaudi buildings
  2. The metro system
  3. The beds at the hotel
  4. The culture
  5. Seeing old friends (from Sevilla and Portage!)
  6. People thinking I was fluent and complimenting my Spanish
  • In Marbella
  1. Seeing monkeys in Gibraltar
  2. Eating takeout
  3. The pool
  4. Tomando sol!
  5. People thinking I was fluent and complimenting my Spanish

Funny story about takeout in both Marbella and Barcelona: The waiters were all Chinese and since it is strange to see someone else with Asian heritage they just assume you speak their language. I certainly do not. The waiter greeted me with Ni hao, which I responded with hola. I think they were just happy that I spoke Spanish instead of English, and when I said thank you in Chinese they were very pleased.

Another funny story about translating, one time we were in front of the Sagrada Familia. A couple who I assume were Polish or German asked in “rough” English (or was it Spanish?) if I know how to work the public bathrooms. I explain in Spanish that they need to use smaller euros (as in 10 or 20 or 50 cents). As I was explaining this, a nice, old Spanish man tried to explain to them where to find free public bathrooms. Turns out this couple doesn’t really speak Spanish, so I had to translate for them where it was in English. I was happy to help them out (at least I hope!)

Least Favorite:

  • In Barcelona
  1. Too big of a city to really learn the language
  2. All the  signs were in Catalan
  3. Having to travel with old people (obviously not my mom!)
  4. NO FREE WIFI
  • In Marbella
  1. It was only a resort
  2. The beach wasn’t all that nice (the pool was a lot better)
  3. An old lady pee’d outside behind a bush
  4. Sleeping on a cot.

Despite the problems, it was 

I loved this market, you could buy anything from …

… meat to …

… candy to …

… fruit and …

… seafood!

Mom in front of the old catedral in Barcelona

Roger and Mom in front of the Sagrada Familia

Ceiling in the Sagrada Familia

The holy family by Gaudi – Christ growing up

My favorite house of Gaudi – Casa Batllo

Such a smart monkey! He’s using the wire to climb down the mountain and then …

… and then he uses the wire to swing to the podium!

“I’m so smart!”

I can’t wait until my brothers come to visit!

Un beso!

Roses:

  1. Wasting another class time
  2. Remembering the fun vacation
  3. Having nice weather

Thorns:

  1. 2.5 weeks until I start taking exams
  2. Only have fast internet at school
  3. Missing pets that I become obsessed with monkeys

My Life is in a Rut

I feel stuck in the same schedule and it’s suffocating. I’ve realized that I really do love school and learning. While I used to be improving my Spanish (I’ve hit a major wall here too), now I feel like my brain is turning to mush in class.

I try to do things out of the normal but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Hopefully my vacation during Feria will turn this feeling around!

Roses:

  1. Finally appreciating my very expensive education
  2. Trying new things (whether they are successful or not)
  3. Eating Ben&Jerry’s (thanks for the extra cash Grandma!!)

Thorns:

  1. Being bored in class
  2. Not speaking Spanish enough
  3. Feeling bleh

Killing People with Kindness

I like to think that I act my age, that I am a somewhat mature individual. However, other days I feel like I act like a 5 year old. When this happens I just feel like kicking myself. Sometimes here in Spain, I feel like I’m back in high school. Honestly, high school was not the best time in my life and not  the best Katie. She’s too:

  1. Judgmental
  2. Rude
  3. Annoying
  4. Whiny
  5. Argumentative (ok, I’m still this way … but I’m working on it!)

And every time she’s around I feel like I’m losing all the progress I have made.

Mind you, she mostly comes out during times of great stress and sleep deprivation. But I feel like all sleep deprived people act that way. Anyway, the point is I don’t like her. I also feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of her because the program I’m in is small and I can’t please everyone. This is difficult for me. I want to be a part of every group, but when I don’t feel a part of really any of them it makes Spain all that more isolating. I mean I don’t think anyone likes to feel disliked and not included, but for some reason especially here it just really irks me. But instead of being the bigger person and treating people with respect and kindness, I treat them how they treat me, cold and indifferent. Seriously, am I still in elementary school? Relationships aren’t about revenge or an eye for an eye mentality of retaliation.  I absolutely hate this about myself. I need to be more like my mom and my best friends, who are so warm and receptive. It’s something I’m really going to start striving for.

I can be brash and frigid at times and I think that really shuts me off from a lot of different people and experiences. Hopefully this is just age and not a personality trait. I think sometimes it comes from the deep insecurities of not being liked. Yes that’s right I still worry about making friends, like the first day of Kindergarten. I guess for me it’s rough because I met some of my best friends in Kindergarten; where you made friends because you either sat next to each other or had matching lunchboxes. I will never be liked by everyone and I need to do a better job at taking that in stride and not getting so flustered.

Not everyone needs to be my best friend. I need to work harder at making friends for the sake of both networking and companionship. Close your mouth and open your ears and listen to those around you. Treat people with the kindness that everyone deserves. You never know what people may teach you.

Un beso

Roses:

  1. Shedding insecurities
  2. Making new friends
  3. STOP JUDGING

Thorns:

  1. Feeling like I’m in high school
  2. Beating myself up
  3. Acting immature

A few lists

This is a form of procrastination from my homework and as a reminder that my time here is very limited. You think 6 months is a lot of time when really it is flying right in front of my eyes. I can’t say that I really know myself all that better than before but I’m creating new dreams for myself and just seeing where they take me. As of now here are some random dream jobs I find interesting: 

  • Writer/researcher for ESPN’s Documentary Department. Seriously these are some of my favorite videos of all time. 
  • Own a bookstore with a cafe (like John Rollin’s … does anyone remember that place?), and have poetry slams and afterschool programs promoting literacy.  The store also needs to have two Burmese cats. 
  • Publisher for children’s books. 

Those are just some fun things I’ve been thinking about. But don’t worry, I’m not getting ahead of myself. I really want to try and focus more of my time here in Sevilla. So I am creating a list of all the things I want to accomplish before this semester is over. 

  1. Drink some agua de Sevilla
  2. Go to the animal market on Ave. Torneo
  3. Go to a local food market 
  4. Witness a Bull Fight in the Plaza de Toros
  5. Eat ice cream at Rayas
  6. Eat at Bar Ajo Blanco
  7. Check out Metropol Parasol
  8. Eat churros from the stand on Calle Arfe 
  9. Visit La fabrica de cerveza
  10. Find Velazquez’s house
  11. Visit Sevilla Cemetery 
  12. (when it’s warm) Play in the fountains at Alemeda de Hercules 
  13. Drink at Bar la Goleta
  14. Find the aqueducts
  15. Olive oil tasting (way cooler than wine tasting) 

Those are just a few on my list. 

Un Beso

Roses:

  1. 2 hamburgers in one day
  2. Getting used to my schedule here
  3. Getting excited to take classes at home

Thorns: 

  1. Time 
  2. Not doing work
  3. Not having a good study spot 

Sometimes Life Just Hits You … KONY 2012

*Disclaimer this post will have far too many themes/topics in it. I apologize in advance. I should write more than one post but I’m not in the mood. 

Today was one of those days where all of the frustration from the past months has built up and compounded. Like Atlas, I feeling like I’m holding the weight of the world on my shoulders and to be honest I don’t know where all of it is coming from. I assume it’s from:

  1. Language barriers. Sometimes (like today) I just don’t want to speak Spanish. No one understands me and I feel like I have lost a huge part of my personality.
  2. Not having  set schedules in my classes. I never know when we have exams or homework.
  3. Not being able to register for the classes I want because I need permission from an instructor/need to interview for it.
  4. Not being able to talk to the people I care about most on a regular basis. Spain can be extremely isolating. Let’s me honest, you will always need to talk to your mother.

While I still feel slightly frustrated, something helped put my life in prospective. I got on facebook (por supuesto), and I saw that one of my favorite organizations Invisible Children posted a new video about Joseph Kony. And this video helped me put my whole life in prospective, so I thought I would share it with you. It’s a 27 minute video, so give yourself time to watch it, but trust me it is worthwhile.  This video takes the time to explain the atrocious actions of Joseph Kony in Uganda, the fate of the children,  and what you can do to help.

I think this campaign is ingenious. Not only is the graphic design amazing (that bipartisan dove is so awesome!), but also they are using social media sites for publicity. I tried to lead a book drive for Invisible Children my senior year in high school and it was one of the biggest failures that has ever occurred in my life. But you would never know I didn’t have the support of my peers if you looked at their facebook walls today. Kony’s video is everywhere! This is an example of peer pressure being used for betterment of society.

Also, this video reminds me that one voice can make a difference. It revives my faith in the political system of the United States. Some may think their voice doesn’t matter to politicians, but this campaign is proving the opposite. Our Congressmen/women are our voices for policy, so we should be executing our rights as citizens to tell them what we find important. I urge you to not only vote but keep your representatives informed about what you find important. If we don’t speak up, they will never know.

This video inspires me in so many ways. It inspires me to:

  1. Be more thankful for my wonderful life
  2. Strive to improve the world
  3. Achieve my goals
  4. Find a career where I can help others

I hope you feel inspired as well!

Un Beso

Roses:

  1. Youtube
  2. Being inspired
  3. Remembering what is important

Thorns:

  1. Frustration
  2. Abuse, exploitation, and murdering of children
  3. Knowing the faces of celebrities better than mass murders (I’m guilty of this as well)
  4. The media controlling what we know