A Rollercoaster of a Week

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Dec 21, 2010

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hey everyone!  So I know it's been a week since I last posted, but this will probably be the norm for the next four months.  This is definitely going to be an interesting experience, different from anything I've ever done before.  Already during just one week of being here I've had moments of wow I can't believe I'm here for four months... this is awesome! and also moments of four months?! how am I going to make it?? that's such a long time.  So the rollercoaster has already started, I just hope that it isn't up and down everyday and that it will eventually even out as the school year settles in.  Now for the updates of what I've done since Sunday:

Sunday Sept 5
Ana, Luis, and I went out around noon to walk around the Cathedral and La Giralda.  They are basically the same thing since La Giralda is the name of the weather vane that is on top of the tower of the Cathedral.  The cathedral is stunning... there is soo much detail and intricacy on every part of it.  I actually forgot to put my memory card back into my camera, but I went back on another day and took lots of pictures.  Around 2 once we were done walking we stopped by a park to sit in the shade for a bit since the temperature had once again gotten up to 40 C.  Lunch today has been my favorite so far (and this is considering the meals that I've eaten the rest of this week) which is paella.  I've had paella before at home, but this one was sooo much better!  There was chicken, squid, and mini clams.  After siesta Ana and Luis showed me some of their pictures from the vacation they had just come back from from Germany and Switzerland.  We had dinner around 9:30 and watched a movie. 

Monday Sept 6
Today I had to go to UPO for my placement test.  I decided to take the metro instead of working out the bus system.  I really like the metro... it's relatively new to Seville and the prices are comparable to buses.  The placement test was a little difficult.  There was alot of grammar including por/para, ser/estar, preterite/imperfect etc.  I haven't studied those things in over a year since my last spanish classes were literature classes.  After we finished the test they took us on a tour around campus.  It's not a very pretty campus to say the least.  I went home for lunch (we had gnocchi with a blue cheese sauce) and took a siesta, then went out for the evening.  A tourist group from the area called We Love Spain had invited us for a free tour around Sevilla.  We walked around and saw the Torre de Oro (the golden tower), La Plaza de Toros (the bullring), and went through Triana (the old gypsy quarter).  We also crossed over the Gualdalquivir River.  Some funfacts from the tour:  1. Guadalquivir is arabic and means Big River, it is the river that Colombus set out from for the Americas 2. Plaza de Toros is the oldest bull ring in Spain 3. Triana is where Flamenco originated  4. we passed by a used-to-be-castle-now-market which was the original location of the Spanish Inquistion.  After our tour they took us to a Morroccan Hookah bar for some free Morroccan tea.  We hung out here for a while then a group of us went to a tapas bar for dinner .  We tried the jamon iberico, which is iberian ham (comes from a pig native to the Iberian peninsula) that is cured not cooked, among many other tapas.  We also had tinto de verano which is red wine mixed with either orange juice, sprite, or fizzy water.  I walked home with a couple of friends whose bus stop was nearby.  I had alot of fun that night :)

Tues Sept 7
I planned to meet up with Kat and Kim (both are from New Mexico) and go shopping, but their metro was late so we ended up missing each other (since I have yet to get a cell phone).  I walked around the cathedral area again (which is also known as Santa Cruz) then went through the Plaza de Espana on my way home and bought a traditional Spanish fan.  After lunch I had to skip siesta because UPO had orientation at 5:30.  We got our placement results back as well as our schedules along with a lot of information about everything.  I was placed at Intermediate I (and I had signed up for Advanced II).  So when I got home I had a lot of schedule revising to do since below Intermediate II weren't really advised to take many or any other Spanish classes.  So I was a little stressed about trying to figure everything out before the next day.  PC people: you can't complain about signing up for classes online!

Wed Sept 8
Classes started today.  My first class, Intermediate I, was at 10:30.  We have to get teacher signatures to get into classes we haven't signed up for, so you just walk into the class and hope that there is still room.  This class was pretty easy, and it looks like the grammar is a bunch of stuff I've done for the past five years, so I think I'm going to switch into a Conversation class instead.  My next class I had to get into was Civilization and Culture of Spain (taught in spanish).  The teacher let me in and just said I might have to work harder than some of the other students.  It should be an interesting class, but we have to write a 3000 word essay (about 9 pages) on some cultural aspect of Spain... :/.  Each class is 1 hr 20 min long, so I finished my first two classes at 130 then had a break until 4.  I decided not to go home during this break since it takes about 45 min (walking included) and my host family doesn't get home for lunch until 3/3:30.  So I brought lunch to school with me and just hung around for a while.  At 4 I had Ecology (which I actually already had signed up for) which is in English.  Then I decided to add a class after this- History of Spain (in English as well).  So my day ended at 6:50 and I got back home at 8 (since I had to buy some books before leaving).  Such a long day!  But my schedule isn't too bad.  I have these four classes (and I'm hoping to switch from intermediate to conversation in the same time slot) on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Then I also have a Spanish cinema class (taught in Spanish) on Tuesday afternoons from 4 until 7.  So I don't have any classes on Thursdays and none of us have classes on Fridays, so I get a 4  day weekend every week.  I won't know how difficult my cinema class will be until next week, but the end of the add/drop period is next Friday, so hopefully it wont be too bad, because I don't want to have refigure out my schedule again. 

Thurs Sept 9
I didn't do too much today since I didn't have any classes.  I went out to try and get a cell phone, but then realized they would need my passport to get one, so I've postponed getting a cell phone yet again.  On Thursdays a lady comes to clean the house, so I didn't get too much of a siesta again.  I was a bit mopey all day and still a little stressed about how my spanish classes were going to work out. I ended up going to bed at 1030, which is the earliest I've gone to bed since I left the US. 

Fri Sept 10
Unlike most weeks, we had school today to make up for not having school on Monday.  I pretty much had the same schedule as I did on Wed.  I tried to get into the conversation class, but I was put on a waiting list and will find out for sure on Monday if there will be room.  If not I might have to switch to the 9 o'clock conversation class, which I don't really want to do, because that will just make my day alot longer.  But I liked the conversation class alot more that the intermediate class.  I ate lunch with one of my new friends from Mississippi.  After class I got home at 7:30, had dinner at 9:30, then met up with some friends at an Irish bar near the cathedral.  We Love Spain was welcoming some more international students there.  I met up with Kat and Kim and then we talked with some Germans that we had met on Monday.  We stayed out until about 1.  It was fun to hang out with students from another country, but they are only here for another week.

Well that's all for this week.  As always please comment, and if you haven't already and you want to receive an email whenever I update just become a fan of my blog page :).  Missing everyone!

paz y amor, alice
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lacynoel on

I'm glad you have 4 day weekends every week because that means you have no reason not to visit me! (sooner rather than later, I hope). :) Sad to hear about your scheduling troubles, but I'm sure everything will work out in the long run. Practice with your host family will be the best Spanish you get anyways. I've been staying with an Egyptian family for Eid and I've already picked up on a lot just being here. Also, from an English major to a Spanish/math major-- a lot, not alot. kthanks. :) Miss you too!

margeruite jepson on

It sounds like you will need a four day weekend if you are working until late into the night at college and then going out till all hours of the night, it certainly sounds as though you have fitted right in to the Spanish way of life! As your friend says though a four day weekend does give you scope for a little extra travel if the work allows. Take care and hope week two of college is more settling for you . xx

carolineparish on

Okay so I am finally writing a comment even though I have spoken to you lots. I can't believe that you will be there for 4 months either, I am glad your first few days were spent exploring Seville even though i know it was overwhelming at times.
Love you and miss you

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