Hi readers! Please forgive me for not having posted in over two weeks! There is so much I need to tell you about even though I am doing a million other things like messaging people over WhatsApp about our weekend trip to Salamanca AND uploading a million pictures to Facebook.
In the time since I last posted, I started my classes, “enjoyed” the nightlife, went to Segovia and got an internship! ¡Qué guay!
I am taking Public Speaking in Spanish, a women’s studies class, the required seminar class (the one through which we do most of our travelling in Spain) and my internship including the class that goes with it. Public speaking has been really interesting because I am learning the tips and techniques that will (hopefully) transfer over to my English public speaking. Also, formally learning how to speak in in front of an audience in Spanish really highlights mistakes that you make in English – for example, saying “like” all the time and “um”. I think that once I return to the states, I will be more cognoscente of how I speak casually and formally. It has also been nice getting even more practice using the “Spain” Spanish accent. While there are numerous different accents across the peninsula, the one using the “ceceo” is the most common. Also, people understand you better when you use it. My women’s studies class is great too. I have never taken a women’s studies/gender class before and it is really interesting learning about differences and similarities in how women are treated in Spain and the U.S. I never really paid much attention to it before but the Spanish language is very “male” oriented. All plurals have masculine endings even if it is referring to a mixed group (los ciudadanos – male and female citizens). We also had a really interesting field trip to the National Archaeological Museum which has great exhibits about the prehistory of Spain and much more. My seminar class with Paco is obviously amazing. Even though one of the two classes we have per week is FOUR HOURS LONG, Paco makes it seem so short and he is so full of energy and passion for the subject matter. I have no idea how he doesn’t collapse after every class or get EXTREME dry mouth.
Also, I got an internship! My internship is with Hibooboo – a marketing agency that specializes in creating and managing marketing campaigns. Their goal is to ensure that their campaigns secure brand loyalty and boost sales of the companies and other groups they partner with. Their services and strategies include web and app design, SEO, graphic design and social media. (For more information: http://hibooboo.net/ and http://www.goone.es/unidad-marketing-hibooboo/). For this internship, I take the Cercanías train to Fuente de la Mora. Even though this is on the edge of the city, it took no time at all to get there and the Abono covers the cost of the commuter trains. Just one of the infinite reasons why Madrid’s public transportation system is unparalleled anywhere in the world. I have never had to wait more then five minutes for any train (unlike the Red Line which is NOTORIOUSLY slow).
Ok, now about the nightlife. I needed to do some training before I came to Spain because I was severely under prepared for the nightlife. I stayed out until 7:30 a.m. – WHICH IS CONSIDERED NORMAL. Not just on Fridays either. Yet, I was very proud of myself and still had energy after dancing the night away at Gabana in the Salamanca neighborhood. Tips & Tricks this week will have more info about fun places to go out to on weeknights and on the weekends. It’s not just about clubs and bars, there are plenty of places to go before and after you go dancing.
Finally, our program took a day trip to Segovia! These field trips make me feel like I am in elementary school again: finding a bus buddy, packed lunch from our (host) moms, and the cherished free time! This city is an hour away from Madrid in the mid-northern province of Castilla y León. Segovia is known for its Romanesque and Gothic churches and the stunning Roman Aqueduct which is over 2,000 years old. Visiting more and more of these cities has truly made me understand the rich cultural heritage of Spain and how the peninsula has changed hands so many times over thousands of years. For example, in this small city alone, there are influences from its Roman residents, then the Muslims, then the Christians who called this place home. Then, seeing the austerity of the most powerful Hapsburg king, Phillip II, demonstrated in the Alcázar de Segovia was truly remarkable. While we did not partake in any cuchinillo asado (GRAPHIC PIG COOKING), I am looking forward to going on many different and “flavorful” gastronomic adventures during my time in Spain.
Word of the week: There are three words this week! I needed to make up for not posting last week.
1) The title of this blog post: “Cada día trae su propio afán”. This refran (saying) is what my host mom told me when I was feeling anxious about applying for internships for the summer (D.C. problems). Again, another concept that is very American/American University/D.C. focused. Basically, it means “every day brings something new and exciting”. Seize the day, each day is yours and you make the most of each day you have so be positive!
2) Tupperware = Tupper (too-per). I think you can pretty much guess what this means.
3) Majo/a = to describe someone who is really nice, makes you smile AND can also describe someone who is handsome/pretty AND someone who has a kind face/kind heart/kind soul