Friday, February 11, 2011

"I skipped a nap to make this map, so we better do something with it!" First week of classes

I love that the biggest problem that I have is that I had to go on a tour of a castle hungover.
My life is so hard right now.
As I was taking the long way home with two of my friends, I mentioned that my first week of classes in Sevilla reminded me of my first day of highschool. If you're reading this blog, hopefully you know me, if you don't I'm very short. Little 14 year old Emily was so excited to finally get to highschool, but once I walked into the school, I realized there should be a height requirement. There I was, standing at a little under 5 feet tall, with gigantic senior boys, I was lost, a little confused but exhilarated at the same time to be in a new place. Now here I am, 6 and a half years later and feeling similar emotions (granted, it's much better now, because I'm in Spain, and not the purgatory masked as an educational system that was highschool.) I've only been in Spain for 2 weeks, I speak conversational Spanish fairly well, but I am completely disoriented living in this city, but I don't want to be anywhere else.

I'm taking four classes here along with 2 additional classes for my program, adding up to 15 credits. My classes at the University are:
Political and Democratic Transition of Spain: This is basically a 400 level history class about Spain post Franco. It's really interesting, and my professor makes a large effort to speak at a pace us extranjeros can understand. The only issue is: I'm a psych major, and I've never taken a history class in college before, and my only knowledge of Franco is what I saw of the Spanish Civil war in Pan's Labyrinth. So I have to do some research, but I think it will be worth it. The first day of class, my professor was talking about Spain and America are culturally different, for example, Americans have pictures of their pets in their wallets along with their children. Wait...that's weird?
Cervantes, a study of Quijote: I was eager to take this class because if I'm going to learn about the man of La Mancha anywhere, it should be here. This class discusses the life of Miguel Cervantes, and compares it with his most famous book, then discusses the impact both had on literature. Thus far, we've watched a movie on Cervantes and I had no clue what was going on, but we shall see how that goes.
Literature and Sevilla: This is turning out to be my most favorite class. We are going through each time period of Spanish literature, and talking about the books and poems that were written in/inspired by Sevilla. We're going to read, then go to the places in Seville that were discussed. My professor is knowledgeable, and very easy to understand, and this is something I can only take here.
History of Cooking in Ancient Mediterranean: I totally thought I was going to cook in this class. NOT! It's about the history of food, which is cool, because I love food, but I just get hungry, and my teachers make no effort to even try to have us understand them.

The other two classes I'm taking are just once a week, one is with Luís, our orientation tour guide (and professor at the school), who is helping us with our speaking and pronunciation, which will be very beneficial. We also love him, so it helps us get through the class.
The second one is with an art history professor, who takes us to famous places around Seville on Friday Mornings, so we basically get credit for touring our own city and getting a professional tour by someone who knows more than most normal tourguides. Today we saw the palace of Alcazar, which was the Sevillian home of Don Pedro 1. It's a beautiful Muslim inspired castle, with intricate ceilings and painted tiles. But as I said before, I was super hungover, so it made the tour much less enjoyable.

I was also assigned an "intercambio" who is a Spanish student, who wants to improve their English, so they help us with our Spanish. Mine is named Virgi (really Virginia, and pronounced Veerhee). I spent yesterday afternoon with her and her roommate, Laura. I spoke to them in broken Spanish, and they responded in broken English. Here is what I learned:
1) Apparently Spanish MTV still plays "pimp my ride" and "parental control", bot of which are popular.
2) Laura wants to marry a tall blonde American and be a cowgirl.
3) Neither Virgi nor I agree with this plan
4) "preservativios" is not preservatives, but are condoms in Spanish. They were very confused when I said that I didn't like that my bread didn't have any preservativos, because it molded quickly.
5)Apparently "American food" is cheese fries with bacon. And people wonder why obesity is an epidemic.

I'm very happy I met them both, and we're going to meet again, and bring our friends together soon, so we can all improve our language.

A bunch of us went out for the first time in Seville. We went out last weekend, but to a 30 + club, and it was not a real bar experience. We went bar hopping, and found a wonderful place with a bartender named Toba, who is a very strange mix of Russell Brand (of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, they are twins), Willy Wonka (Tim Burton version) and Borat. He told us a couple clubs where he DJs so we can get in for free, and gave some of the girls free drinks. He was a character, but he was totally worth meeting. We wandered around El Centro, and ended our night in Flaerty's, a bar with mostly American students, I met some people from Texas, and stumbled into a cab to go to sleep for the night.

Right now, I'm caffeinated, well fed, and about to watch the Office before I go to the river and drink wine with my friends. Not only is drinking outside legal, it's encouraged.

I think I can get used to this.

1 comment:

  1. Emily - you are making me very envious! Love AB