I had to open week number 3 today (Wednesday). I do believe that Jon thinks I’m superwoman or something – he gave me 3 sets of challenges to do, and they’re all longer than the lists last week!!! One list, however, is for Madrid, and one is for Dublin, neither of which I think I’m going to make it to, so I think I can manage 1 extra long list :). So, this week’s assignments are: 1) Go to the market in Plaza del Museo and look at all the beautiful artwork; 2) Take a bus to Italica, right outside of Seville. Make sure to visit the Museum of Archaeology or the Palacio de Lebrija; 3) get some ice cream at Rayas; 4) Work a line about the Spanish Inquisition into a conversation with a random person; 5) Convince a couple of friends to do the Macarena with you in a public area; and 6) Draw a picture on a napkin for your waiter at a restaurant you happen to visit.
I’m rather proud of myself about this week. I’m planning on going to Italica next week, and I’ve already been to the Palace of Lebrija (it’s actually in Seville, not Italica). I had to discuss the Spanish Inquisition in class this week, and I convinced some of my friends from flamenco class to practice in the streets on the way home. I say that a couple of gawky Americans trying to dance flamenco is a fair substitute for the Macarena :). So all I’m missing is ice cream and the Plaza del Museo…
Speaking of cool things to do, what about this palace that I mentioned!! El Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija is a 16th century palace-house that sits in the center of Seville. The woman who owned it was a passionate lover of Roman art, and also fabulously wealthy. She financed dozens of archeological digs to look for ancient artifacts – Roman, Greek, Arab, Persian, you name it – and put the results of those digs into her house. Even the floors are made of original tiles and mosaics from those time periods! So yesterday (Tuesday), I got to go on a tour of here house with a few of the other students. It was wicked cool. Check out the pictures here (they´re at the end of the album).
The reason why I haven’t been able to go exploring like Jon would want me to is that I’m in the middle of the “intensive period” at school. We all have at least 2 classes; I have 3, because I’m also taking the flamenco class. One class meets every day for 4 hours a day, with daily homework, weekly tests, and more than weekly writing assignments. The other 2 classes add an additional 3 hours of classes a week, and 1 class (Cultural Realities of Spain) also has a weekly journal, writing assignments, and news articles that we have to find a comment on in class for homework. Geez, I just realized that I have 23 hours of class a week!! I guess I hadn’t really thought about it before now….no wonder I’m so tired! On top of all of that, I have applications to 3 different graduate programs due by the end of the month that I’ve been trying to finish. So, needless to say, I’ve been staying pretty busy. But anyway, I said all that just to mention that I got several grades back today – my first test, my first writing assignment, my participation grade for the first have of the grammar class, and my first week’s diary from my Culture class. I was quite excited that I had gotten an A in all of them! I got a 92 on the diary, a 93 on the writing assignment, and a 95 on the test and participation grade! My teacher wrote as a sidenote when she gave me my participation grade, “I’m delighted with your work in class. You are a serious and responsible student, and that is reflected in your work. Excellent participation.” It’s nice to see my hard work pay off :). My grammar teacher also gave me a point back because she had marked off a word that she shouldn’t have. Apparently it’s a real word, she just didn’t know it…as my dad would say, I read too much. My vocabulary’s going to get me in trouble one of these days :D. But anyway, I only have 1 more week of the intensive period, and then I’ll settle into my schedule for the rest of the semester. I’ll have more classes then, but they will be much shorter than the one I’m taking now, so hopefully I’ll have more time. Plus, I won’t have classes most Fridays. I’m excited about that.
Apparently I am doing a good job fitting in here – it must be the fancy Spanish sandals I bought last week :). I have been asked 3 times in the past week for directions – all in Spanish. The first time I couldn’t help, because I had no idea where I was…the second time he just wanted to know where the Park of Maris Luisa was (thanks, Jon!)…and the third time I was actually able to give pretty detailed directions! I was doubly excited about that – it showed that both my Spanish and my knowledge of the city is improving.
Well, I get the feeling that this blog is quite random and stream-of-conscious (although I am too tired to actually read it over and confirm this suspicion). It’s been a super long day – I was at school for 12 hours straight – and I need some sleep now. Sooooo…..goodnight! Or good morning, or good afternoon, depending on when I post this and/or when you get around to reading it…. 🙂