Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Almost March!

This week has been fairly relaxed. I have been mainly focused on my classes and scheduling trips. I am very excited for my parents to get here in less than a month and to show them around Barcelona. It will be nice to be with people from home for awhile. I really can't believe how quickly time is going by. This week, Lauren told me that we only have seven free weekends to travel left. Each week seems to go by in a flash, and it often feels like I barely have time to catch my breath.

This week was no different. I woke up early on Monday to get to my 8:30 class. Although that class' final is fairly early, waking up on Monday mornings is generally a struggle. I got to class late, and listened to the professor talk for an hour and a half about Spanish literature, a topic that I does not interest me very much. That class is going to be fairly difficult. We have to write a 10-14 page paper by the end of the semester which is worth 40% of our entire grade. The good news is that there are three tests and only two count towards our final grade.

My next class on Monday and Wednesdays is Realism and Naturalism in Spain: The Novel. That class is a little more interesting, but I find myself lost quite frequently. The professor often references Spanish writers that I have never heard of, but everyone else in the class always seems to completely understand. Needless to say, I am not expecting to do very well in my UB classes.

On a brighter note, to say that I really enjoy my Don Quijote class would be an understatement. This week, we talked a lot about the Renaissance and Baroque periods, two of my favorite topics in Spanish literature. We learned a lot about the philosophies of both times. The Renaissance was a time of celebration and extreme optimism, while the Baroque period was a time of pessimism. In the Renaissance, people believed that human beings were naturally good, but when religious wars and famine struck at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the philosophy changed and people began to believe that man was naturally bad.

Renaissance- Man does not have greater limits than the intensity of his desire.
Baroque- Man is a being born to die

Fun fact: the clock was invented in the seventeenth century and is an invention of the Baroque period. Instead of coo-coo clocks, there were skeleton head clocks. If it were four o'clock, for example, four little skulls would come out from the clock and dance around. I thought this was interesting.

Catalan is going well. It is a little difficult to have the same class Monday-Thursday for two hours a night, but I will be relieved once it is over. I am not sure how much I am actually learning, but I'm sure I will do well on the exam if I spend some time studying.

Tomorrow, we are going on a CIEE excursion to Tarragona. It is a small town, about an hour away from Barcelona. We are taking the train and spending most of the day exploring. The town is apparently a very interesting mix of different cultures, but other than that, I don't know much about it. I am excited to visit another part of Catalunya and spend the day with friends.

Lauren Swanson and I booked our trips to Sevilla and London. We are going to Sevilla on March 1st, which is less than a week away! Our London trip is on May 4, and I have made plans to meet up with my good friend Rachel, "Whales".

Tonight, I am going out with friends. It is Lauren Benne's 21st Birthday weekend, so we will spend the night celebrating. It should be a really great weekend.

That's all for now, have a great day!

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