This is supposed to be a semester of studying abroad, STUDYING. Yeah, that’s a key word. Have I been studying? Of course. What I mean to initiate, is the thought that I haven’t yet shared anything (in English) about my academic ventures. I will also add that although academics are part of studying abroad, the actual process of living in another country is an education entirely on its own, provided that the individual pursues and receives it.
My first class of the day is with José María. We are studying Don Quijote, which is a critique of old Spanish Hidalgo stories and makes fun of them. The book uses very old Castellano vocabulary which makes it difficult to read, but after we discuss it in class everything becomes more understandable and enjoyable.
After studying intense archaic words, I am thrust into ancient architecture and what seems to be thousands of new words that I can’t even translate to English, in Carmen’s clase de Arte. She has a very pleasant voice (which is good because I have two classes with her) and we have thus far learned about the Mosque in Córdoba, and traveled there to see it, and la Torre de Oro and la Torre de Plata and walked out the school doors to see them as well. IT’s still overwhelming and amazing how old, yet beautiful and intricate some of the remaining original architecture is here, and how awesome it is that we get to see it!
Salva teachers Gramatica. Por favorrr! Let’s just say this is an exciting and active classroom. Sometimes if our grammar examples are interesting to him, he puts us on the spot and has us share more about what we mentioned. He uses the most English in class, which comes to a total of about five carefull selected words per day, in a Spanish-Californian accent.
Then I get to go back to Carmen to study Spanish Literature. We began by overviewing a background of romanticism and then dove into poetry by Espronceda, and now Becquer. Becquer’s Rimas are exquisite and Carmen’s voice is almost like caramel when she reads and explains them. While analyzing one of his Rimas with a partner for homework, we couldn’t resist meeting for coffee. Spaniards go out for coffee all of the time, I must do it frequently or miss out on some genuine Spanish education. As a general rule, Europeans drink a lot of different hot beverages out of glass cups, most without handles, and everything comes with an extra pack of sugar.