Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Midterms ALREADY?!

Yup. It's that time again. Study time. Well, actually, now it's blog time as I don't think my mind can handle any more cramming. But since midterms are tomorrow, I've been spending most of today reviewing what I've learned the last two weeks and hoping I do well.

Don't get me wrong- I really love my classes. Boy does that sound weird to say. But I do. I love them more than I do the ones back home. They're interesting, go at a great pace, and are even a bit challenging. And my professors are both awesome, which makes class even better. But in 40 hours of school, we have managed to learn a TON! We fly through a century each day, so there's a lot to remember. Wish me luck!

For once, I really haven't been the only one stressing over midterms. Everyone I have talked to is at least a bit worried, especially those who don't have much Spanish experience. We've all been going to cafes to study together, so at least we get to be social while we work!

I've got to take a minute and be a bit sappy and emotional right now, especially since I haven't really addressed my time here overall, yet. But as my 14th day away comes to a close, I have to say how much of an amazing experience this has already been. I'm glad I have two weeks left, because I absolutely love it here! It hit me the other day as I was walking down the street. I just suddenly realized Wow, I'm actually walking down the street in Spain! I don't count my blessings as much as I should, but this would definitely top the list right now. I am having the time of my life! I love my classes, the program, and my friends. I really am friends with everyone here, including those from other schools. We always greet each other with excitement, as if we're old friends. Everyone is just so excited to be here and help each other out. And it's just so cool hearing everyone speak Spanish and be able to understand it! And communicate with them. I have also fallen into a rhythm here that I love. The walks to and from the school, studying and shopping in the Plaza, hanging out at the cathedral, travelling all over, all these opportunities, and the general atmosphere are all perfect. For once, I'm at a loss for words because I can't adequately express how happy I am here. I feel at home! So Mom and Dad- don't worry about me. Also, can I not come home? ;)

Okay, moving on!

Since I've been making a lot of observations lately, I decided to go ahead and share some things I've noticed:

1. There are a ton of "stray" dogs here. Aka ones on leashes that I want to adopt. In fact, everyone takes their dog everywhere, even into stores and restaurants. It's good for me, because I get to pet all of them. But it still seems a little strange in my opinion.

2. All the dogs I've seen (which is a LOT) are all well-behaved. Some times, when they're too big to go in stores, their owners just drop their leashes and the dogs wait for them outside. Nobody tries to take the dogs. And I've seen this happen many, many times.

3. Dogs hacen pis in the streets. I guess because there isn't any grass in the city, but it's still a bit startling when you're walking behind a person and their dog, and then they let their pet just stop and pop a squat in the middle of the sidewalk. Now I'm never sure if those wet spots I typically walk right over are actually water or not...

4. These people are AWESOME at parallel parking. I don't know if I've posted any pictures in which it's obvious, but I have only ever seen parking along the street. I'm sure they have parking lots somewhere, but every parked car I have seen has been parallel parked. This would be a nightmare for me. Plus, they have no concept of personal space, so the gap in between cars is around 6 inches. Good luck pulling away when that's the distance you have to work with. I've seen them do it before. It takes forever.

5. All Spaniards wear their wedding rings on their right ring finger. Interesting.

6. Everyone is nice. Everyone. I have yet to meet someone on the street who hasn't said hello to me in some way. Plus, they actually hold doors open for you.

7. I have definitely become the snack girl/translator in my second class, Traditions of Spain. Today during a break two people turned to me and asked, "Did your family give you too much food for you to eat by yourself again today?"

For your enjoyment, here are some photos from today!
Saw this "car" on the way to the Plaza. It's only a one seater...and I thought it looked interesting.

Studying in the Plaza :)

The back side of the school.

Back of the school

Coffee with studying!

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