Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Una Semana Sevillana

My blog posts have been almost exclusively travel based lately. I don’t want you to think that travelling is all that I do, I’m still a student who has to do student-y things! I thought it would be fun to show you what a typical week for me looks like. I will note, this is pretty different from last semester, mostly due to my class schedule.

Con Ester
All of my mornings pretty much start off the same. My alarm goes off a bunch of times between 7:30 and 8, when I actually get up varies (today I didn’t get out of bed until 8:15). I leave the house by 8:30 to walk to the university. If I’m feeling particularly motivated I’ll eat breakfast at home before I leave but the kitchen is small and everyone is trying to leave around the same time so it’s usually not worth the hassle. I have my Contemporary History (French Revolution to WWI) class from 9-10. It’s a regular class with normal Spanish university students so it’s a bit difficult to follow at times. The professor usually gets there around 9:08am. After that I have an hour break during which I either eat at the university cafeteria and journal (Monday, Wednesday) or go out for breakfast at 100 Montaditos with Alejandra (Tuesday, Thursday). My class at 11 is another “regular” class called Modern “American” History (16th Century, give or take). My professor shows up between 10 and 15 minutes late and spends a solid 10 minutes getting ready before she actually starts lecturing. I’ve gotten to know another American student from Mount Holyoke very well thanks to all the waiting around we do. It’s actually pretty frustrating, waiting 20-30 minutes for only 30-40 minutes of lecturing.

On Mondays and Wednesdays I usually head to the gym when I get out of class at noon (unless I’m really tired like today, then I’ll go in the evening), go home and shower, grab my bocadillo, and head to the Parque de Maria Luisa to eat before I have class from 3 to 5. That class is a "curso concertado" which means it has a Spanish professor and all American students. It means an interesting topic but a boring class. My issue is that these classes are too easy but the regular ones are too hard! Well...harder than I want them to be. My Monday/Wednesday class and called "Anthropology of Latin America". Since I'm super interested in that part of the world it isn't as painful as some of my classes last semester which is good. On Monday “afternoons” I tutor from 6-8:30/9 and on Wednesdays from 6-7. Since I finish early on Wednesdays I either stop for a glass of wine on the way home or go to the gym if I didn’t earlier in the day.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I hang out at the university or the public library until my class at one, Slavery in Latin America which is also a curso concertado and when that ends at 3 I power walk home for lunch with the family. I love having lunch at home and miss eating it there every day, but I’m glad that I don’t have any afternoon classes this semester! I try and go to the gym after lunch, but I’ve been really tired lately so it hasn’t been happening. I’ll spend my afternoon lying in bed with Netflix, reading at the park, or paseando con amigos.

We eat dinner around 10, it’s much smaller than the other meals which works out because I don’t like going to bed too full. A lot of days I’ll just have a yogurt and fruit, Sundays and Wednesdays are usually an exceptions (we have tortilla española and croquetas). I’m pretty tired by this point so I go back to my room after we eat (unless the family is watching something interesting on TV) and play around on my computer/phone, skype, or read a bit before I go to bed.

In 1992
Weekends vary. If I’m traveling, I’m obviously traveling, but if I stay in Seville I usually spend the morning at a café and then make plans for after lunch with friends or occasionally plans to salir por la noche. On Fridays I also like to go to Zumba at the gym in the morning. This weekend I stayed in Sevilla. On Friday, I ate breakfast at home, went to the gym and spent the rest of the morning at a café with a strawberry milkshake. After lunch/siesta I went to walk around el centro with Caroline. I got home around 9 and then got ready and went out to my friend Ester’s flat for pizza and wine with her boyfriend and his friend. On Saturday, I spent the morning in a café working on a trabajo for one of my classes and got home just before lunch. Caroline and I met that night around 8 and stopped at a bar for some wine before heading out for dinner. The bar was having a special on a Sevillan made wine, it was fantastic. We ate at this cute burger place that I walk by all the time on my way home from tutoring. They had a huge selection of veggie burgers and I’ve been dying to try them. I got one made of seitan and it was pretty amazing. We hashed out a plan for all the things we wanted to do working in Admission next year when we get back to SBC and then stopped at McDonald’s for some McFlurries (they don’t seem to have shamrock hakes here L)

I had been planning to go to the Sevillanas dance class that I go to on Sunday mornings when I’m in the city but it’s inconveniently at noon and I had a lot of work to do so I sat myself down at Café de Indias again and worked on my papers until lunch time. After lunch I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and pasear por Triana and La Cartuja. Triana is my favorite neighborhood and is definitely where I would live if I lived on my own in Sevilla. It used to be its own city and was also a barrio de navegantes in the era of “discoveries” when all of the ships headed to the new world left from Sevilla. It’s also famous for its ceramics and I finally bought a coffee mug to bring back home. It was hand made in Triana! La Cartuja is past Triana and is home to an old monastery/contemporary art museum. It was closed because it was a Sunday but I walked through the park anyway. I’m not sure if I was supposed to because all the gates were locked but there was this one spot where one of the poles in the fence was missing so I could walk right through. There was a bunch of other people there sunbathing and picnicking. Past the monastery is the old site of the 1992 Expo. I had heard a lot about how amazing it was but was sad to find the area desolate and run-down. The city really prospered and gained recognition during the Expo but they don’t seem to utilize that area anymore. The gardens were fun to walk through though, lots of flowers.
That night I came home to our typical Sunday night dinner of tortilla española. Normally we have soup with it but this week we (well I, the kids were tired and went to be early) had tomatoes soaked in olive oil instead, which I much prefer. After dinner I went to bed and got ready to do it all over again!

I’ve come to love my schedule this semester though sometimes I feel like I have too much to do and sometimes I’m too tired to do anything. It’s also frustrating that I only have two months left to enjoy it. I was making my class schedule for fall semester at Sweet Briar and tried to make it so that I could conserve little bits of my schedule here. I think it will be interesting to see what things I hold onto and what things I’ll go back to doing the “American way”. 

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