Well I have a little more time now and I can tell you guys some more about classes here in Spain!
I have four classes:
*Art History of Spain
I like them all, and all of them are hard! I mean, I guess they’re just like normal classes, but in Spanish. So if you are having a bad brain day (see previous post), then basically, you can’t understand what the professor is saying and you can’t get anything out of the lecture. So then you might as well just get on facebook and twitter, because you finally are in a building with WIFI and you can’t understand anyway right… ?
But that NEVER happens to me…
Anyways, most days are normal brain days (I say normal and not good because GOOD brain days are those days where you feel like you took the Felix Felicis potion from Harry Potter… you know…. and nothing can go wrong? You can order food at a cafe and miraculously use the right lingo. You understand and speak to your host family with ease. You completely understand everything in class and can even contribute to discussion, maybe ask a few insightful questions. It’s beautiful. At the end of the day you sigh with contentment and think to yourself that you might as well be a local. BUT those days rarely come along. In fact… I’m exaggerating, I don’t think I’ve had THAT good of a brain day yet. But I will let y’all know when it happens.)
But as I was saying, most days are normal brain days. It’s a good mix of awkward moments, teeny triumphs, blank stares, and sucessful exchanges.
Art history class is a good class to have in the morning, because in the morning your brain isn’t quite turned on yet. And being an art history major, I usually know the general idea of what she’s saying. Right now we’re going through prehistoric and medieval art in general, which I mostly remember from freshman year. I’m getting to learn all the lingo in Spanish though, which might be useful someday? Never know. If I ever work in a museum and have to give a tour of Spanish art or something, maybe it’ll be useful to know that “aceite” is oil or that “lienzo” is canvas.
Writing is kinda crazy. The lady who teaches it can only be compared to a bird in the way she moves and talks. She’s so cute, but my brain isn’t comprehending when she talks. Instead it remains shockes and amazed at her energy, and keeps flashing a neon sign inside my head that reads, “MAS DESPACIO POR FAVOR, MAS DESPACIO POR FAVOR.” And those are the days when you wish you had taken some Felix Felicis. BUT I believe one day will come when I sit down in class, and understand every word she says. Until then, I’ll just keep marveling at her hummingbird-esque tendancies. When she’s not talking to us, that class is the bomb. I love when she gives us a prompt and lets us write for 25 minutes. During this time I learn a lot more vocabulary, and usually we get to go around in a circle and read our work afterwards. On the normal brain days, you write something and everyone understands and reacts. On the bad brain days, you try to be funny and no one laughs. But anyways, here are a few of my little writings that I’ve done for the class. I’m working on my grammar, I know it’s still not the best, but I guess that’s what this class is for! For you English speakers, I know you’ll plug them into google translate…. through which you might lose some meaning, but I guess la vida es así.
For this one she showed us a bunch of postcards with the images of paintings that told stories and then asked us to write something based on what we saw. She’s very big on just going with whatever inspiration you feel first, which I like.
Arte es una lengua que habla en una manera distinta por cada persona.
Arte es una mujer misteriosa. Sigale y nadie conoce donde irá.
Arte es una ventana bonita. No siempre una buena estética, pero es una luz trémula, una ojeada en la vida de una otra persona. Y la vida verdad es hermosa, no?
Arte es un reflejo de Dios, lo mostra el poder y plan de El. El puede cambiar algo malo en algo bueno y hermoso.
Arte ha cambiado guerras en celebraciónes de herencia, paredes blancos en algo vibrante, y da sentido a esta vida loca por siglos y siglos.
Wednesday she asked us to pick a location and create two characters and write a dialogue.
Personajes: Un mono, un hombre, y una guardiana zoológica.
Mono: Ay. Tío.
Hombre: Ah! Qué es este?? Un mono, hablando!?
Mono: Ya, hombre. No hay razon por miedo. Estoy en una jaula.
Hombre: Ay, estoy loco.
Mono: No estás loco. Puedo hablar. No te preocupes, no pasa nada. Todos los animales en el zoológico puede hablar español.
Mono: Pues. Qué quieres más en el mundo?
Hombre: Más en el mundo? Por qué te importa, Mono?
Mono: Porque, si me pones en libertad, estoy seguro que recibirlo.
Hombre: Cómo sabes?
Mono: Tengo conneciónes.
Hombre: Qué….? No te creo.
Mono: Escucha, hombre. Qué quieres más en el mundo?
Hombre: Una chica, pienso…..
Mono: Vale. Me pones en libertad, y obtenerás tu chica.
Hombre: No te creo, pero no me importa. Estoy loco. No estoy en realidad. Te pongo en libertad.
Mono: Ay, GRACIAS, hombre.
(el hombre abrió la jaula)
*Guardiana Zoológica: Ay!! Hombre! No abras esa jaula!
(el mono corre)
Hombre: Ay, lo siento… él estuve muy persuasivo. Y ahora estoy tarde al concierto de Lady Gaga…. ahhhgh. Mono estupido!
Guardiana: Te gusta Lady Gaga? Me también.
Hombre: La verdad?
Guardiana: Sí, no me encuentro muchos hombres quien le gusta ella.
Hombre: Pues… te gustaría ir al concierto esta noche conmigo?
Guardiana: … cómo no? Sí!
Hombre: Vales… pues aqui es mi numero… (entre dientes) … que loco mono!!
(An example of una broma ^.)
So that’s a taste of my writing class.
For culture class we talk a lot about the political history of Spain, and go on mini field trips. I love this class because the profesora talks really dramatically and slowly. She’s HILARIOUS. Her name is Marian, and she’s a dancer. She’s sassy. She has blonde hair and wears dark liptick, which accentuates the drama of her speech. She also tries to tell us things about the culture that no one else will. Yesterday she passed out a handout that explained all the Spanish cuss words, and their equivalents in English so we knew how to identify and NOT use them (she said). Hahah. That’s normal, right?? La vida en España….
Conversation is okay, but I think it’s harder because the class is at 7pm and at that point I’m seriously losing steam. The content isn’t tooooo hard because we just have to study a chapter per class and it’s mostly review grammar and vocabulary. We just talk during most of the class.
My favorite “class” that I’ve taken here is the pewter art workshop I signed up for. We go to an artisan’s studio once a week and get to make stuff! The dude, his name is Jesús, is sooo nice and fun. When I was there, I felt like I was in one of my studio classes at BSU (Except… Spanish…). It was the most at home I’ve felt since coming here. Jesús loves American music (as do most people here), and was blasting a mix of the BeeGees, Mumford, Bach, and other random stuff I’d never heard. Gosh, it was so fun. The project is very similar to printmaking, but I won’t go into detail about how it works. You basically use a rounded dry point to imprint an image into the metal of your choice. Next week, we get to make a box. I could spend all day, every day there. Here’s a couple pics:
My friend Kate. ^ Jesús brought us a chocolate snack while we were working.
My progress on imprinting a photo of me and Tay! Surprise! (didn’t get to Taylor’s face yet… sorry girl! <3)
Staring at the photo for two hours made me miss this woman soo much. She’s the greatest.
SO! That’s my life every day here! Go to class, do homework, and eat. Food is an entire event here. There is no “eat and run.” So it takes up some time.
ALSO. You know how I was all, “culture shock isn’t even AFFECTING me, I’m doing awesome!” during my first post? Well, turns out I’m pretty much a normal case of culture shock. And I even knew how it was supposed to go before I got here, but I suppose I thought my “high” was kind of even keel and thought I skipped it. I don’t know. It’s supposed to go kinda like this:
You start out pretty happy and excited to be in the new culture, then you slowly start to be annoyed by the different things in the new culture, and miss the old culture. Then you slowly adapt back. I can probably safely say I’m close to out of the “honeymoon” phase. HA. But I do have to say, my “low” is rather mild…. I liked this image because it says “humor.” I’m pretty sure I have only had short moments that could be described as “hostility” towards this culture, but mostly I’m sarcastic about it. Because that’s how I cope with life. Humor. So the good news is, I’m a normal functioning human being and have not dodged the throes of culture shock. I will say, however, that spending time with the Lord works wonders for culture shock. That’s probably how I can have a sense of humor already. 🙂
Speaking of God, a group of us have started a bible study. We’re gonna be studying 2 Corinthians. Last night, we went out for wine and tapas and heard each others’ testimonies/stories. Sooo good to hear some real life from these people, and get to know them better! I’m excited to see what God does. 🙂
Sorry this was a suuuuper long post but I kind of included three post ideas into one! Someday I’ll become a more sophisticated blogger.
I love you all, and clearly, miss you! I keep forgetting to post this, but here’s my address in case you would like to send anything!
Calle José Zorrilla 6
40002 Segovia Spain