Classes are still going ok. My Spanish language class has really been helping me with the finer points of Spanish that prevent me from advancing to a high level (mostly picky little grammar stuff and some vocab). I did really well on my Spanish politics take home exam, especially considering I wrote the whole thing the night before I left for London. I’ve learned a lot in that class and I probably know as much about the Spanish political system as I do about our system (I’ll hold off my judgment as to which one I think is better). As for my Barcelona history class I’m learning a lot about the history of Catalunya. In my Spanish 3 class in high school we did talk a lot about the history of Spain, but it mainly focused on the history of Castilian Spain and not the history of the crown of Argon-Catalunya. So basically I’m getting a different perspective of Spain as a whole, from the eyes of Catalunya, which I find really interesting. Again, it definitely reiterates that Catalunya is not Spain…
Speaking of which, Catalan has actually turned out to be my least favorite class. I love the language and I hope to be fluent in it some day but this class has been somewhat of a disappointment. The teacher isn’t the greatest and she really doesn’t conduct the best learning environment. However, I think between learning it on my own and getting help from my host mom I’ll have a solid foundation to continue on with my studies when I get back to the States (there’s a good website for teach yourself Catalan, sponsored by the Generalitat, the Catalonian gov’t).
Now, although I absolutely love Barcelona I’ve been battling a spell of homesickness this past week. This is of course normal and to be expected but I think there are two reasons for this sudden spell:
- 3 months: Thursday (the 18th) was my three-month anniversary of being in Spain. Don’t get me wrong, I love Barcelona and I would love to live here for the rest of my life but you eventually come to miss the people that made up your life back in the States; this is the longest I’ve ever been away from them. Although I talk to my family over skype and my friends over facebook it still isn’t the same as talking to them face to face. I miss my dog, I miss my pow-wows with Kristen, I miss lunches with Aunt Jean, I miss all my friends from Maumee 18/Fallen Timbers 14/Band, I miss joking around with Erica in A-band and above all I miss bantering with my sister. I knew I would eventually come to miss all these things but I didn’t know that it would hit me that hard.
- Holidays: This week starts the holiday season. While you all have Thanksgiving this week it's just an ordinary week for me. Although I despise turkey (cold turkey being the worst offender) I wouldn’t mind having a big Thanksgiving feast with my family right now.
Whew, I’m glad that I got that out of the way. So what do I have planned for my last month in Barcelona so that I can go out with a bang? Well…
- El Clásico: The football game between FC Barcelona and their bitter rivals, Real Madrid. The game is next Monday and let's just say that it's WAY more intense than the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry (and this is coming from an OSU student).
- Barça game: I tickets for the FCB v. Real Sociedad game on December 12th. It’ll be my third and last Barça game so it should be a lot of fun.
- Ireland: I’m taking my last weekend trip to the Emerald Isle during the first weekend of December. I’m really excited because I’ve heard nothing but great things about Ireland although I am going when it’s probably going to be very cold. I’m going to spend 2 days in Dublin and one day in Cork, which is near the Blarney Castle.
- Cataloging the city: This week, I’m going to be going around the city and take a million pictures, like I was a tourist. This is so that when I feel nostalgic I can open iPhoto and go through all my pictures and so that I can show you guys how beautiful Barcelona is. This is why I’m holding off on posting my “Neighborhoods of Barcelona” post b/c I think it would be much better with pictures, right?
As far as blog posts here's what you have to look forward to for the next month
- Another Spanish slang post
- El Clásico
- Ireland trip
- Advice for students coming over to Spain (pay attention Brooke!)
- Thoughts about what I'm going to miss about Catalunya/Spain/Europe
- My favorite memories, stories from my trip
- Probably one about Reverse Culture shock when I get back to the States (I already know I'm going to have it, there's no doubt in my mind)
Pretty ambitious eh?