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Journals from Seville, Spain

2012-09-30 Learning - In and Out of the Classroom

As September comes to an end, so does the extreme summer heat. On September 27th, Seville got its first rain in 6 months and although I enjoyed it, my 25-minute walk to class seemed much longer than usual. Nonetheless, I am enjoying the change in classes this time of year brings at the Spanish Studies Center. Last week we began the continuation period of classes which takes up the majority of the semester. For the first 3 weeks, all students have an intensive period which includes a grammar class and either a listening, speaking, writing or reading module of 1 credit. It’s a great way to jump start your Spanish skills after a summer off from school and give you some useful vocabulary, as I mentioned before.

However, the continuation period has really made this school year sink in and feel more normal. Although I am still studying grammar, I now have a history and sociology class as well where I get to focus more on culture than language. These classes have been very interesting, and I am excited to be able to visit some of the places we will talk about in class.

For example, during the intensive period, we had a day where we talked about Spanish art and spoke of Velazquez, El Greco, and Goya and got to see some photos of their work. It was interesting, but didn’t strike me as extraordinary because I’ve seen famous paintings on power-point presentations before.

In the U.S., I couldn’t easily go see these paintings in their original form. However, this past weekend, some friends from the center and I went to Madrid. Of course, we visited The Prado and saw the museum’s most famous painting: Diego Velazquez’s The Meninas from 1656. It was an amazing painting and I enjoyed it so much more since we had spoken of and seen it in class a few weeks before. I can’t wait to visit other places in Spain and have similar stories to tell.

Jessica Calderon

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