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Journals from Sevilla, Spain - Center for Cross-Cultural Studies

2010-10-26 A Typical Wednesday in Sevilla

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Some of the most incredible sunrises I've seen from the Triana bridge so far

8:00am – Wake up, dress, eat a magdalena (mini-muffin) and a glass of juice and head out the door.

8:40am – Meet friends at the Triana bridge to walk the rest of the way to CC-CS. Check out the typically beautiful sun rising behind the silhouette of the buildings and cathedral while crossing the bridge.

9:00am – First class of the day. My Spanish language class where we practice speaking, learn a ton of useful vocabulary, and learn about completely random aspects of Spain from politics to cinema to how to get yourself un-lost.

10:20am – Second class: Great Works of Spanish Literature. It basically covers medieval literature, which is interesting but very difficult to read because it is in Castellano Antiguo (old Spanish, essentially the equivalent of Shakespearean English). What’s most interesting to me about this class is the history and culture that these pieces of literature represent.

11:15am – a half hour break between classes to go get a pastry at the pasteleria down the street, a coffee at the bar nearby, or to catch up on homework that you procrastinated on last night.

11:45am – My third and final class of the day: Spanish Civilization I, which covers everything from prehistory (as the first humans arrived in the Iberian Peninsula) to 1492. This class is absolutely fascinating, and the professor is hilarious. It’s amazing to be learning about all this history that happened 3,000 years ago right where we are now. In the United States we are so separated from even our own history, where as in Sevilla we can be discussing the Roman conquest of the peninsula and visit the Itálica just outside the city which was founded at the time.

1:00pm – Head home to Triana. On the way do a few errands, because this is the most convenient time considering everything will be closed for the siesta.

2:00pm – Eat lunch with my señora and sometimes señor if he isn’t working. Usually we eat some sort of soup, a salad consisting of just lettuce with olive oil and vinegar, fresh bread (which appears at every single meal), some other side dish (chicken, ham, fish, etc), and dessert (a piece of fruit or yogurt). And if that sounds like a lot, it is! There’s always more than I can eat, and even after two months of telling her I don’t need to eat this much, the quantity of food hasn’t really diminished. We’ll usually watch the news or an old Spanish movie while we eat.

3:00pm – Go to my room and do a bit of homework, catching up on emails, or read a good book.

4:00pm – Take a siesta, because by now the massive amount of food I ate for lunch has made me very sleepy, not to mention the fact that I had to get up early (I am NOT a morning person).

6:45pm – Head out to the house of the 15-year-old girl I tutor in English. Besides being a wonderful source of a little income while in Spain, it is helping me learn Spanish a bit better. It’s really interesting seeing how they teach English. It sometimes takes me a few minutes to figure out what she’s studying because I’ve never had to look at English this way – as separate verb tenses and so on. She’s also really fun to talk to and find out how many things we have in common or ways we are different.

8:00pm – Return home and finish homework.

9:00pm – Eat dinner with my host mom and dad. This meal is smaller than lunch – thank goodness! – and doesn’t follow the same pattern. Sometimes we have a fried egg and two hotdogs (without buns), or tortilla (which is egg, potato, and sometimes onion), or ham pizza, or something else entirely. I’ve only disliked a couple things since I’ve been here, and let me tell you, I would have expected to dislike a much larger number of dishes by just looking at them!

10:30pm – A quick shower and then go to sleep. My host parents probably think I sleep too much since they don’t go to bed until about midnight and take a much shorter siesta than me. Oh well… that’s one habit I’m not likely to lose while in Spain.

While this is what a typical week day looks like, it can also vary a lot, especially in the afternoons/evenings. There are always a couple different optional activities each week organized by CC-CS such as cultural visits, Spanish movies, etc. A lot of people also have classes in the evenings, get-togethers with their intercambios (Spaniards who are learning English – we spend half the time speaking English and the other half Spanish so we can both practice), or hanging out with friends from CC-CS. There is rarely a lack of things to be doing!

-Rachelle Agosti

October 26, 2010

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