As of today, I have officially completed 75% of my Spanish schooling! That sounds so weird to say, mostly because it's been flying by. And I'm definitely NOT counting down to when I have to return. Alcala now really feels like home, and I'm already wondering how hard it will be to leave! But, unfortunately, plans have to be made to get to the airport next week, and we've already started wrapping up our courses; both of which remind me that 7 days from now I will be back in Colorado. Crazyyyyyy.
In the meantime, I'm still learning so much about Spain. For example, "pechuga de pollo" means "chicken breast." My Spanish host mom made it for lunch the other day, and unfortunately I had no idea what "pechuga" meant. What ensued was a pretty awkward situation in which she had to explain to me that it meant breasts.
Also, there are soccer fields everywhere. I mean, I always knew Spaniards love their soccer. But now I know they REALLY love it. Instead of playgrounds and basketball courts, they have soccer fields outside of their schools. Because why not.
What's really annoying is that my internal body compass is always wrong. I usually pride myself on having a general sense of direction and knowledge of which way I'm facing. But here, I'm always so turned around! It drives me nuts. Because we'll be following a map that tells us to go North, but we'll end up having to walk in the complete opposite direction that I thought it was. So yeah, can't wait to get back to Colorado where the mountains always tell me where West is.
In other news, school today was mostly normal, which means awesome since, you know, it's Spain. And we had another field trip today! My art class went down to Madrid to visit el Museo de Sorolla, which is the artist Joaquin Sorolla's old house that has been converted into a museum that displays his works. It was all really interesting to see, but it wasn't my favorite style, though most of the other students claimed it was the best we'd seen so far. I guess we just have really different opinions... I like art with a lot of detail and meaning, like at the Museo del Prado yesterday. Sorolla's style is notable for visible, rapid brush strokes and a combination of random colors, which is pretty much the opposite. And almost all of his paintings were variations of the ocean, often with similar women walking in front of it. Nevertheless, he is an awesome painter and I'm glad we saw the museum!
I guess this is field trip week because I'm going on ANOTHER one tomorrow! A few classes are combining to take a trip up to El Escorial, which is north of Madrid. You should look it up! Wikipedia has a great article on it, so I've included the link here:
It sounds like it's basically a famous palace equipped with a monastery, basilica, and remains of past kings (dead people-awesome). We're also going to head over to the Valley of the Fallen, which apparently is a monument built to honor the fallen of the Spanish Civil War. I heard Franco is also buried there, which is pretty interesting, I think.
In between all of the fun, I've got to find a bit of time to write 3 papers and prepare a presentation before Monday. Sometimes I forget there's a school/work component here! :)