January 26

I woke up reenergized and ready to start day two of classes. After all, I got more sleep than any other night so far. Diego, Joe and I decided to walk to class and left in plenty of time to get there. Traffic was normal as usual and the sky was overcast. It was noticeably cold, and I zipped my jacket all the way up as we crossed over el Rio. Because all three of us weren’t completely familiar with the most direct route, we ended up showing up a little late.

By the time we got there we were still missing five people. Our teacher Celia (because professors prefer us use their first names here) said not to worry she just wanted to make sure that no one was lost. After about ten minutes the five that were missing arrived in one piece, but not after being lost for an hour. The class seems like it will be really challenging but still very informative. We are required to read all different types of literature and analyze it. We went through introductions like we had in our class the day before and ran through our syllabus. She released us about forty minutes early.

I didn’t get a chance to get any breakfast and we had some time to kill before our culture class started. Mary Claire and I found a little coffee shop and had a cup of coffee. We walked back to our building and had about five minutes before our next class started.

Our next class looked so interesting; it’s a culture class that covers just about everything. For example today we talked about differences between common practices in the U.S. and Spain. Only a few that I can remember that we listed are in Spain you don’t leave a tip, its not considered impolite to not hold the door for a woman, and you don’t need to say thank you for simple things like passing the salt. I can’t wait to keep taking this class because I feel like it will be a “manners class” for lack of a better term with some other helpful information tossed in the mix too. We have been assigned a three person assignment that has different things we need to find out by asking other Spanish people such as like 5 things that Spanish people think will bring you bad luck and plenty of others. Our group figured we would just bring it out with us on the weekend and give us a way to start conversation with some of the students here.

On our way back from class a few of us stopped in to a small little store that sold school supplies and I picked up some notebooks and an agenda. When we got back, we went straight to lunch because all of us were starving. It reminded me of home, penne pasta with marinara sauce and loaded with Parmesan cheese. It’s exactly what I needed. Sean, Joe and I left more than satisfied. I came back, got on the computer and called Laura.

After I talked to the lady friend, I updated the blog and then headed down to the lobby at 5:00 to head to the Joaquin Sorrolla exhibit. Sorrolla was a famous painter that did most of his work in the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century. Bancaja, a pretty big bank chain here, hosted the Sorrolla’s exhibit, which came all the way from the Hispanic Society of America in New York. For this society he was asked to paint huge wall sized pictures of different cities all around Spain to be placed in the museum. Words or pictures can’t justify how awesome it was (plus we couldn’t take photography). I have never really appreciated art like I did when I visited this exhibit. My favorite painting he did was either la pesca del atun (Tuna Fishing) or Los Bolos.

I left feeling pretty worldly and good about myself. We went back to the dorm, had dinner and hung out in our room for a while before we went to O’haras. This small owner operated bar about two doors down from our dorm. About twenty of us went which was so much fun. I like going out because after a few beers everyone tries a lot harder to only speak in Spanish. We have all been having a great time.

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