It's been a busy 6 days! No wonder I'm completely exhausted!
Today was full of, yet again, many new experiences. This morning for my Great Spanish Painters class, we left halfway through for a surprise field trip to an architecture museum! It was actually incredibly fun. I have pictures to share, but don't have time to upload them now. Maybe later! It was exciting because we were able to see examples of what we are currently studying in class, so it really complemented our lectures. In fact, we studied many works of art in class, and then saw the real versions of them at the museum! Also, my professor wore a fedora and called himself "Indy" as in Indiana Jones, which was pretty hilarious.
We got back to the University just in time for our next classes. I really don't like my second one, Traditions of Spain: Oral Communication. I figured it would be interesting and that I would learn about...well, traditions of Spain! It's actually nothing like that. At all. The past two days we have learned vocab, worked on distinguishing between adverbs, adjectives, etc., and done a lot of busy work. It almost feels like a middle school class! Not to mention we have a lot to do for it. 3 presentations, 2 compositions, one final essay, 2 exams, and a final oral. Wow. All in 4 weeks! Tomorrow I give my first presentation about Valencia's climate, flora and fauna, and attractions. Not sure how this relates to the topic....
I bought my books today! They're not really "books" though. More like spiral notebooks of exercises. I went during a break in class, and was about 2 minutes late coming back. I had told my professor that I was going to go get the manual, since I needed it for class and hadn't had time to get it before then. Apparently she didn't remember that, because she took attendance in those 2 minutes I wasn't there and marked me absent. Or at least that's what the people I know in the class said. They apparently told her otherwise, but I guess I'll find out later if that's something I should worry about.
After class, I came back to the apartment for lunch, which was some sort of...you guessed it, chicken. And french fries, since those come with everything. Also, here, fruit is dessert. They look at you weird if you eat that first.
I had to hurry back to school to work on the presentation with a few other students. It took a lot longer than I had planned, and the program was taking us on a tour of Alcala at 5. So I didn't have time to take my ginormous backpack back to my room, and had to carry it around (laptop included). This doesn't sound so bad, but it had been a long day, I was tired, the backpack was heavy, it was incredibly hot outside, and the tour was long. Near the end, I was so ready to be done!
As a part of the tour, we stopped by this convent that makes a lot of food. I'm not sure about all the details, but to my understanding, the nuns are cloistered and nobody can see their faces. So in order to sell their food stuffs, they have this bell that you ring to let them know you are there, and then they have a shelf that you put your money on. They then swivel it around and exchange your money for the food. In the past, apparently there was a password you had to use, though I'm not sure why. Basically, they greeted you with something like "Ave Maria, full of purity" and then you had to respond with something like "and conceived without sin" though I would be surprised if those words were right. Today, they still greet you with that, though it's not necessary to respond with the correct response. Still, many people do. Our director Cristina took us all inside to show us, and bought us all this treat of sweet almonds. They were delicious!
Afterwards, a few of us decided to go look inside one of their huge supermarkets. As we went in, a security guard (who has security guards at a supermarket? Spain.) told me I couldn't bring my backpack into the store. As a result, one girl and I just walked back. We parted ways at the Plaza de Cervantes, which is the center of the town. I decided to go out of my way a bit and stop in the cathedral I had seen yesterday, since I wanted to look at it more.
Did I mention that? I can't remember if I did...Anyway, this huge cathedral is called something something los ninos. I don't know anything about the story, but apparently there were some little kids who were killed and are now saints. I think. Anyway, they are actually buried at the church. Like, their tombs are in this underground area. Which is pretty awesome. So I spent some time in the tomb area. I was the only one there, which was surprising since the cathedral was filled with tourists. As I was leaving, I saw a confessional with a priest sitting outside of it. After many moments of hesitation, I went up to him and asked if I could go to confession. Except I must not have said it right since he just looked at me quizzically. Anyway, I got the point across, and he gestured for me to go into the confessional, since he didn't speak English. That's when I accidentally walked into the priest's side, and he had to pull me out and show me the right door.
And then, I started the hardest confession of my life.
I realized I knew practically no Spanish words that would help me out. I probably could have figured out a way to get around what I couldn't say, but since the priest couldn't see my face, I needed to talk or else he probably would have thought I had died or fallen asleep or something. I stumbled over many words, and I guess he realized that a normal confession wouldn't work. So he told me he was going to ask me a serious of questions (I think they followed the 10 commandments) and I had to answer yes or no. Except he didn't tell me the last part so he would ask me questions and I would try to explain myself and he would kinda hush me and confusion would ensue. So eventually I just shut up and let him ask the questions. But even that got a bit confusing. He spoke so fast and used words I didn't know, so I ended up saying I had killed someone. That got an interesting reaction. Disclaimer: I haven't.
He didn't even ask me to say an Act of Contrition. I guess he thought that wouldn't be a good idea. Anyway, he blessed me and finished the confession, and I practically ran out of there as fast as I could. It was close to being a horrific experience, but I guess I got absolved from my sins so everything is okay.
I walked back and spent the next hour or so trying to figure out what to do this weekend. I wanted to travel somewhere, but I don't know where to go! Also, tickets are actually pretty expensive.
Now, it's time to finish up some homework and go to bed.