One quarter done!!

I can´t believe I´ve already been in Spain for another whole quarter, already. It seems like this quarter went super super fast – although thats also true for the one before. In anycase, I´m done with school for a couple weeks. In case anybody´s wondering, I got a C in Spanish Grammar (its grammar. its hard.), and B´s in Spanish Literature, Communation and Oral Skills. So I´m pretty happy overall. In anycase I have another 6 or so odd weeks to perfect my spanish, so tis all good.

In anycase I´m looking forward to these couple weeks off I have before April. I´m gonna travel around Spain, though I think I´ll just “play it by ear” as such – not really have any plans. I want to visit Granada, Sevilla & Cordoba, but aside from them, I really don´t know. Ask around and see what little cities are cool to visit.

Spanish Stuff

Just thought I´d let everyone know that I finally got around to creating a little site where I´m uploading all the random little essays, reports, speeches, etc, that I´ve written for my classes here in Spain.

There´s a perma-link on the right (“Essays and Reports in Spanish”), or else you can just click: http://emilyyrose.googlepages.com

MySpace nomore!

Well, I am officially changing my blog over from myspace.com to blogger for one simple reason: it turns out that myspace is little more than farce of a site setup so that they can collect demographic info and such like. So yeah. As a result, I am no longer posting on myspace, nor having Any of my biographical info for them to see. Bastards.

ANYHOW, I´m still having a blast over here in Spain. Barcelona was awesome, and if you like you can checkout pics (at http://emilyrose.smugmug.com, as always). I could still go back and hang out there for hours on end, its just such an amazing city, especially with all the Gaudi and other modernist architecture… Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batállo, La Piedra, La Palacua Musica, etc. They´re all amazing works of art.

Classes are going overall pretty well, like my teachers (2 out of the 4 I´ve had before;), so that always helps.

Meh, thats about it. I´ll post more when/if something interesting happens=)

Crazyness

Well, its a crazy feeling right now – I have less than 2 weeks before I come home for christmas. I can`t in all honestly quite believe it. But its true. I`m still having a blast here in Spain, and am absolutely amazed at how much I`ve already learned.

Lately I`ve been hanging out with a couple of guys from Morocco (sp?), who are all very cool – Omar, Sidi & Alli. They all speak 3 languages – Arabic, French and Spanish. Crazyness. But its a blast to hang out with them, since they`ve lived here in Salamanca for 6 years now and so know it better than I ever will… Going to bars with thems great, since they know just about everybody=) But, whats probably best of all is that since they don`t speak english, I *have* to speak spanish… which is super good for me (though occasionly it makes for difficulties…). Still, generally its a blast.

Whats most crazy at the moment though is that I now only have 1 or 2 more days of class left before my exams (today and friday for Art History, Communications and Culture, and today, friday and monday for grammar!!). We`ve gone over SOO much stuff, as my grammar teacher says, we`ve apparently covered basicly every part of the spanish language… crazyness.

But… yeah, I can`t wait to get home and see everyone again.

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Tapas

Well, friday night was quite fun. Went out for tapas (apetizers), with my entire grammar class. Was quite fun… we went to two different places, both of which are very close to where I live… the first one (El Lechón), I have been to before, but the other one (Mares del Van Dyck), I had not… and it is both very good and cheap (just 1.50€ for a tapa and small beer or sidra (cider). I personally opted for sidra, as I love it… and its very good there. Also, its tapas are apparently typical of Galacia which means that they´re almost all seafood related (mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, etc)… quite yummy.

After tapas, we ended up going to a Salsa bar. Which was tons of fun. I ended up dancing with some guy from Argentina who was very good, which made it quite a lot of fun as I just kind of had to “follow” as it were… got tired after awhile.

Also I finally found a book to read. Imagéns en Accion (Moving Pictures), by Terry Pratchet. Its pretty good, and I am happy to say that I understand it well enough to understand at least some of the humour=)

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class, class and more class

Well, this week was back to normal (almost) here in spain… Except of course that monday was Halloween and Tuesday was well, I´m not honestly sure what the holiday was, the day of the dead, or something. Which meant that we didn´t have school… which was nice. But, whats not been so nice is that today, and yesterday I have/had 8 hours of class. Ugh. 4 hours in the morning, and 4 hours in the afternoon. And after class? Tae Kwon Do=) Makes for long days…

On the bright side, apparently, as long as the music is in spanish, you can listen to music in at least one of my classes. Which is super cool. So, now I´m on the hunt for good rock music in spanish. Should be interesting… Whats cool though, is that one of the little shops that sells music will let you listen to different CDs before you buy them, so that you can decide if you actually like them or not. Tis quite nice (so, yeah, I broke down and bought one CD, Jarabe de Palo “Depende.” Now I just have to get it on my iPod ).

Anyhow.. thats about all thats new/exciting around here. Mostly just lots of class atm. But yeah. We have/are starting Subjuntive conjugations… which are actually, thankfully, pretty easy.

Venice, Paris…

Well, its been a pretty crazy couple of weeks. Thats for sure. Nearly two weeks ago now, I left for Venice, and had an absolute blast. Venice was/is a beautiful city. All the little tiny streets – many, if not most are no more than 4 or 5 feet wide, along with a ton of bridges, just makes for an absolutely beautiful city. San Marcos Square (or Piazzele I should say…) is absolutely beautiful. All light up at night, with the Basilica and Tower looming over everything… Music from 3 or 4 different little bands playing. Its just amazing.

For most of the time that I was in Venice, I was lost. Didn´t even have a map for the first couple days (they all cost at least 3 or 4 euros…), and then I finally found one, along with a guidebook. Made exploring a bit more interesting since I actually knew (or could at least figure out), what I was seeing/had seen. Also stumbled on a couple of nifty museums my last couple days. One was the Naval History Museum. It was very very cool… lots and lots of model ships from every time period – from the old Venetian vessels with oars all the way up to modern Italian ships. They even had one whole room dedicated to Oriental ships and such. Was just a very very cool museum.

Then of course, just this past weekend, I went to Paris. I was only back in Salamanca for barely 2 days, before leaving again. Insane. Paris too was quite cool, and very pretty. The Eifel Tower was cool, but I definetly liked Notre Dame the best. It was just soo amazing. Went up in the Towers my last morning there, and got to see all the chimeras (gargoyles) up-close, as well as an absolutely spectacular view of Paris. Its just such an incredible, beautiful building. Inside, all the rose windows, with stained glass… Its just incredible. Absolutely incredible.

So yeah. I´ve had a pretty crazy past couple of weeks. Can check out all my pictures of Paris/Venice online now (they´re all up… all 500-600 of them =). http://emilyrose.smugmug.com

Fun Stuff

Well, its been a kinda crazy past couple of weeks… I´m now (after some class and level changes/additions) taking 5 hours of school a day (25 a week)… including taking both Art History and Spanish Culture. They´re both great, and espcially nice after so much pure spanish communications/grammar for the past month (and don´t wory, I still have 3 hours of that every day too=). I´ve also managed to move up to C2 (the next to highest level of intermediate)… so I´m really learning a lot now. Next week we start on past imperfect and futuro and conditional tenses/conjugations. I´m really excited… and I absolutely love art and culture both… they´re both taught exclusively (or nearly exclusively, as occasional the teacher will use english so that you know what a new word is…) in spanish, and are very cool.

Whats honestly most exciting though (and a bit scary as well), is that tommorrow, I am leaving Salamanca for 5 days to travel – by foot, train and aeroplane to Venice, Italy. All by myself. I´m really excited about going. I´ll miss a day of school (and most upsettingly a two days of Tae Kwon Do.=(, but by doing so I save nearly 200 dollars. So I figure its probably worth it. So yeah. If anyone has any suggestions as were I should go in Venice, feel free to suggest away for the next couple of days (I come back on Monday).

And yeah, thats about it. Still taking Tae Kwon Do here, and I absolutely love it… take a total of 6 hours a week (2 hours monday, wednesday and thursday each). Helps me to practice my spanish, and also gives me something else to do in the evenings. Anyhow though, I´ll post again when I get back from Venice…

Santander

Santander. Wow. What a beautiful city. Beautiful beaches, with waves plenty big enough to surf on (proved by the fact that there were literally dozens of people out surfing on Saturday night, untill it truely got too dark to see!!).

I hung out on the beach for most of Saturday evening and night – ate a boccadillo (sub) sitting up on a rock overlooking the ocean, twas beautiful. Got up kinda early on Sunday and ate breakfast, which, quite happily was very good… all kinds of food for breakfast, including lots that we used to make sandwiches with for the ride home.

After breakfast I wandered around Santander a little bit, and then back down onto the beach again =) Around 12:30 we left the hotel and went to the ´down town´ section of Santander… wanderd around there for a while as well, and found a little market.

The markets here are kind of funny… Some of the stuff is blatantly obviously stolen. Like the table that seriously had nothing but VHS movies and DVD´s… which were obviusly from a movie rental place (as they were in the funky cases, complete with numbers…), or the other table that mostly had silverware and a remote control and other random stuff.

Then we went and visted some gardens and saw the royal palace/mansion which was pretty cool… They also have three ships that apparently crossed the Atlantic at some point on display, and they are absolutely TINY… maybe 30 feet long, at absolute most.

There was also a mini-zoo, which had penguins, sea lions and seals. It was kind of cool… penguins are awesome=)

Other than that… just the 5 hour busride back to Salamanca.

And then this morning… I had my second placement test to see which level I get to study in for the next 3 months… I really think I´ll be in Intermediate though I´m not entirely sure.. will find out here in a little bit.

Tae Kwon Do

Well, the past week sure has been pretty cool and exciting.

I started taking Tae Kwon Do classes on Wednsday and Thursday of last week, and they went very well… Everyone is both very nice and understanding.

On Friday night we all (everyone from Tae Kwon Do), went out together, first to dinner (we went to some nice place down the street where we ate tapas and drank wine for 3 hours… was very very good. Tapas are awesome!!), and then out to a couple different discotecas. The first place we went to I´d never been before, but it turned out to be very very nice. It was really cool too, cause everyone, including the instructor went out with us… I ended up going home around 4:30 or so, mostly cause´ I had to get up at 8:00 to go to Santander the next morning=)

On the way up to Santander the next morning, we stopped by the Museo de Altamira where we saw replicas of 15-18,000 year old cave paintings as well as some of the other stuff that they´ve since found in the cave (flint knives, bone tools, jewlery, etc). It was kinda cool… they also have a complete full-scale model of the cave that we got a tour through, so that was neat as well, though I wish that we could have seen the actual cave and cave paintings, but oh well. In anycase though, it was pretty cool…