Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I have to share this with you, because it is just funny.

I just noticed while putting away my laundry detergent (at least that is what I thought I bought 5 weeks ago) that I have been "washing" my clothes with liquid fabric softener. That explains the odd (not bad, just different) scent of my "clean" clothes...Oh, language barriers.

Well, this isn't my first mistake with the language. Once, I accidentally told my host mother that I don't have any nieces or nephews-when she seemed surprised, I figured I must have been mistaken. Thinking on my feet, and deciding she must have asked if I have cousins, I said yes, but they are all much older than I am...after that statement she changed the subject.

Another time, I told my Spanish friend that I have romantic feelings for all the internationals (men and women) that live in my building...luckily, he is used to my mistakes, and kindly (though laughingly) corrected me.

I am sure I have many more instances to come, and hopefully I will keep laughing.

Arco Iris

I know I talk a lot about the weather here (I think I get that from Mom and Dad!) but this week has been quite unusual, and today there was a pleasant surprise.

Monday, when I left my room, the sun was trying to shine, but the clouds looked threatening. I went back to my room to get my umbrella, which was a smart decision because as soon as I left the building the rain started.

Too bad my umbrella broke in the middle of the downpour a few minutes later...

It has been raining off and on all week, it will be sunny but suddenly start to rain. I always look for a rainbow when this happens, but never had the luck to find one.

This afternoon (after my siesta, of course) I went for a jog and thankfully remembered to wear my rain jacket, because though it was sunny, the rain started a few minutes into my run. Grumbling to myself about the weather, I stopped to stretch. As I started to run again, I looked up and saw a beautiful, small, rainbow! I wanted to tell everyone I met on the street to look, but I didn't know the word (I have since looked it up: "arco iris").

I continued to run, with a goofy smile on my face, I'm sure, while looking at the sky and trying not to fall or get hit by a car. After a few minutes another small arc appeared. I was so excited, of course I decided to run in their direction. (It really is the small things in life that put a smile on my face!) As I continued, quite literally, chasing the rainbow, I ran into the Plaza Mayor. The second arc disappeared, but the first arc turned into an entire rainbow. You have no idea how upset I was that I didn't have my camera-it looked like a postcard: the rainbow stretching perfectly over the beautiful Plaza...

Well, I ran for a bit longer in the same direction, stopping every few minutes to see where it was, but it disappeared. On the plus side, because I ran after a rainbow instead of paying attention to my route, I ran farther than I usually do!

I promise the next time I write I will have more interesting things to discuss: I am going to Barcelona on Friday!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

La facultad de filología inglesa

I have certainly been blessed with having wonderful professors to work with in the Department of English Philology.

The director of the department, Ana, whom I met first, is very thoughtful. She offered me her home and cell phone numbers and encouraged me to ask her for any help I might need. I do not work directly with her, but she emailed me yesterday to see how I was adjusting.

Elvira, the first professor I worked with (every other Tuesday evening, conversation classes) invited me for coffee between classes. She is very amiable and warm.

Rosa and I clicked right away-I feel very comfortable conversing with her, and she is eager for my input. I work with her Friday mornings to help with her lesson plans, and work with her students on the alternate Tuesday evenings.

Tonight I worked with Alberto, a part time professor at USAL. He lives in Zamora (about 40 minutes from Salamanca) where he teaches high school English. His school has an exchange program with a high school in Buffalo, NY and he spends time there every two years. He invited me to go to Zamora one day to observe and meet his American assistants there. We didn't share coffee in between classes, but we did stand outside while he smoked his pipe! I will have more of an instructing role in his classes; he teaches three hours in a row, of the same lesson. So, he said I can listen to the first hour, and gradually take over the last two hours. After classes he invited me to have coffee with him (he needed a dose of caffeine for his drive home). We talked for about 45 minutes, all in Spanish, and he was very patient with me. He has two daughters who study at USAL, and took my phone number down to give to his older daughter. He said he would ask her to call me sometime. Again, very warm and thoughtful.

On top of working with wonderful professors, meeting students from all over the world, and gaining valuable experience, I am compensated very well for my time. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Plus, I work and go to class in buildings that used to be palaces...can't complain!


Snowy Salamanca

Don't be envious, but the snow in Salamanca doesn't last long. The second picture is from the snowfall my first day here, and it all melted the next day. It was actually snowing Tuesday when I took the first picture, though you cannot see the snow. Really, it was more like a rain, which it turned into later that day. A small part of me misses the snow back home...a small part. We have had a lot of rain here, and really I am ready for Spring! To my family and friends in Louisville and Indiana, please know I do understand that it could be worse!

I have finished the second round of my job, and tonight I will tackle the third (I work with three different professors, so in my head I have divide my job into three sections). On Tuesday the professor, Rosa, asked me to lead the class on my own. Actually, she sent me an email on Sunday telling me where the class meets and just to use a lesson I had already developed. What? I panicked for a moment and then emailed her asking for more direction. She obliged, and left worksheets in her mailbox. I arrived on Tuesday and found for students: two young women from Germany, and two from Romania. I have taught Sunday school and substituted in elementary and middle schools, but it was a bit difficult to take the teacher role with essentially my peers.

However, I introduced myself and started the lesson, improvising where I thought necessary. We read an article about the art of lying (I learned something: the average person tells one lie a day, but the average college student admitted to telling two lies per day!). I was worried that the work was too easy and I was insulting their intelligence-I didn't want to appear to be babying them, and I didn't want to waste their time. But they seemed willing to do a few exercises. With fifteen minutes left I offered them a deal: we put away the worksheets with the understanding we would practice speaking English for the rest of class. (Rosa asked that I pay special attention to speaking-that this session was for practice). We just talked about ourselves. English is actually their second/third foreign language (I cannot imagine learning a foreign language, in a foreign language...The class went well. I love being able to meet people from all over the world every day.

Speaking of international students, this week I met several other exchange students in my building. German, Italian, Mexican, Portuguese, Australian, Russian-very diverse! Last night at dinner they were discussing foreign languages (yes, plural) they have studied. Most know at least 2 if not 3 languages in addition to their mother language...amazing. Now it is my goal to learn other languages, too.

I wasn't expecting to see many pets here, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Cats are everywhere, just wandering around. And people walk their dogs, but rarely are the dogs leashed-the dogs stay close enough to their owners. On city streets! I am trying to imagine our dogs unleashed, in the just isn't a pleasant image!

I am planning a trip to Barcelona for next weekend! I am going to meet a good friend who is studying in Milan this semester...very excited! Now, if only the banks would start cooperating with me; I am very frustrated with both the Spanish and American banks, right now! But, things could certainly be much, much worse. Nearly everyday I wonder at all the blessings I have received; such a wonderful opportunity I have to be here...God is good.

Blessings from Spain,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Carnaval de Toro

Saturday I traveled to Ciudad Rodrigo to partake in Carnaval festivities. The city has a traditional running of the bulls and bull fight (I didn't watch the bull fight, just the run in the street). It was different than I expected: I was anticipating a rush of bulls chasing a mass of brave (or foolish?) people down the street and it all ending in a few minutes. That isn't exactly what I witnessed.

I took a bus (there were over 800 students from Salamanca traveling to Ciudad Rodrigo!) at 10:30 and arrived around 11:45. It was FREEZING. Smart tourist that I am, I forgot to bring my gloves. By the time the bull run finished around 2:00, I couldn't press the button on my camera to take a picture, my fingers were so cold.

In traditional "carnaval" fashion, almost everyone was wearing a costume. Here they dress up for carnaval like we dress up for Halloween. I saw many families (parents included) in matching costumes.

Anyway, the bulls commenced running at 1:00 so I had time to wander the city (wandering is what I do best) for awhile, before staking out my spot on the street. I secured a place on the fence, and just before 1:00 climbed up to get a good view. The crowds were intense.

Finally, I heard a bell ringing, the crowds closed in, and the bulls appeared. Many people chose to stand behind the guardrails. Other people chose to be in the street, until the bulls came, at which point they would throw themselves against the fence, trying to climb away from the angry beasts.

It was different from my expectations because first one bull went by, then two more, then another, then a group of three, etc. And there weren't a lot of people "running" with the bulls, just instigating them. And then, the crowd would get excited because a bull, or two, came from the opposite direction. I do not know if they were confused or what. For awhile there were two bulls just standing in the middle of the street right in front of my section. They were probably thinking: "Really, people? This hasn't gotten old for you yet?" Eventually, though, all the bulls reached the arena. The whole process lasted about an hour.

After the run, I wandered through the rest of the city: imagine any state fair or festival in the states. There were small rides, games to win stuffed animals (some to wine bottles of alcohol!), numerous booths where you could buy any sort of cheap souvenir, vendors selling all kinds of food-some traditional Spanish dishes and other traditional fair foods.

Despite the cold weather, it was quite an interesting spectacle. I certainly saw an important part of Spanish culture.

Pictures are on Picasa. I'm sorry, they aren't great-most are out of focus and off center, but my skills were impeded by the crowds and frozen fingers. Hopefully you will get an idea of the excited atmosphere.

I hope your Lenten season started well today!


Friday, February 12, 2010

La moda, los croissants y otras cosas

I love European fashion. There are fantastic stores near the Plaza Mayor. Unfortunately, my bank account doesn't share the love. Therefore, I try very hard to limit my shopping excursions, because if I go into one store...well, you all have read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..."

I like to think I know how to dress like Europeans, but most days I feel like a poser. I watch diligently to pick up on fashion trends. I now tie my scarves (which are sold everywhere and are a huge temptation for me) in the European style. Even the children wear great clothes and cute boots. I often see children of different ages dressed alike-it's adorable.

My biggest problem is forgetting to convert from euros to dollars. I see a dress for 20 euros and think, "Wow, only $20..." This makes for a rude awakening when I check my bank transactions later. I am getting better, though!

Luckily, the euro/dollar exchange rate is lowering. It was 1.57 (meaning one euro is 1.57 dollars) when I left the states, and now it is 1.35! This is great for foreigners, but reflects serious depression in some European countries. Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain are suffering the worst economic conditions.

I have found a solution to my morning hunger, caused by a lack of a "proper" breakfast. Unfortunately, it may be the death of me. Or at least my next fifty pounds. I discovered a lovely little "crossantería" very close to the Philology department. Chocolate croissant. Need I say more? How could it not be delicious: they have taken a pastry (laden with butter) and filled it with amazing chocolate. Genius. Dangerous. Delicious.

Today I bought coffee from a vending machine. For 40 centimos I enjoyed a small cup, half full of cafe con leche. Well, I pushed the button for cafe con leche, but I think my drink was just hot chocolate. Either way, it was a warm treat on a chilly day.

I worked this morning with a professor in the English department, helping her plan her lessons for next week. First, she asked me about my classes here at USAL and how they are going. Then, she asked me what I am studying in the United States. Like most people, she was surprised when I said Health Sciences (this translates better than Exercise Science). When I tried to qualify my semester abroad by saying I was also studying Spanish, she was more confounded. I get that response often. Spanish and Health Sciences? An odd combination, I know. However, she was excited because her she was going to discuss an article with her students about obesity problems in England. Apparently, the English are facing an issue similar to our situation in the United States. Processed, packaged foods are over taking natural, homemade meals. It is predicted that in the next 25 years one half of the population will be obese. That is significant. And very different than the rest of Europe.

One day, I was discussing my possible career paths with a Spanish friend, and he said I should certainly become a teacher, because I will always have a job. I explained that because of the health situation in the States, I will probably always have a job in the health sciences field, which is not the case in Spain, at least.

I have now been in Spain just over one month. Yet, I still have moments when I cannot believe I am here, studying, traveling, exploring, living. It is wonderful.

Much love,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Salamanca: La ciudad de arte, saber y toros

I learned this week that Salamanca is commonly described as a city of "arte, saber y toros." Art, because of the architecture of the old buildings; knowledge, due to the presence of two notable universities (USAL is one of the world's oldest universities, along with Oxford and Cambridge; Christopher Columbus used the library here before he left of his voyage to the Americas-luckily, the university has updated its maps since then, haha); and bulls because...well, it is Spain, after all.

I began working in the English department on Tuesday. I worked with English II students during their conversation hour. My role is to speak, in English (maybe one of the easiest jobs I will ever have, no?). The department wants the students to be able to hear a native speaker. We discussed living in a city versus living in a village. Only one of the professors in the entire department is a native English speaker. Thursdays I will work with the writing section.
I will also help a professor of English I plan her lessons and grade papers (unfortunately, our class schedules are the same, so I am unable to help in the classroom).

I had one of those experiences of which parents dream, a moment where I could say, "you were right, I was wrong." But this time it is my Spanish professors from the States who will appreciate this lesson I learned. The professor and I discussed after classes a common problem in any class: there are students who like to talk, and students who do everything in their might to avoid talking. It was clear that there are 2-3 students in every class that are comfortable speaking, and therefore dominate the conversation, almost out of necessity. I did confess that I have always been the timid student who avoided speaking in class in order to avoid embarrassing myself. It wasn't that I was uninterested or was trying to prove something, I am just introverted and therefore shy at the opportunity to speak in a large group, in a foreign language. However, I also admitted that if I could change that about my past, I would. I needed that practice, thinking quickly, participating in conversation. Now, living in Spain, it is a bit painful when I am in conversation. I desperately want to participate (knowledgeably), but haven't exercised that ability. I am paying for it now; it is a bit more difficult to avoid speaking Spanish here, though!

The Philology Department is in buildings that used to be a palace. The "cafeteria" (more like a restaurant/bar) of the department is located in a dark, narrow, brick-walled room that used to be the stables of the palace. My professor and I had a cup of coffee in between classes; well, actually, we were twenty minutes late to the next class. It is strange getting used to the different concept of time!

It is snowing here tonight, and though it is a wet snow with little chance of accumulation, it is making me think of home. I hope you all are safe and warm.


Monday, February 8, 2010


Saturday I traveled to Ávila, Spain, a small city about 1.5 hours south of Salamanca, on the way to Madrid.

I arrived famished (I have yet to adjust to the Spanish notion that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day; it is barely a meal here!). I set off looking for a place to eat lunch. I wandered around for entirely too long (I don't know why I was being so difficult, there are multiple restaurants on every street), and finally settled on a restaurant-a bit pricey-but the hostess lured me in off the street. All restaurants have "Menu of the Day" where there are several options for the Primera Plata, other options for the Segunda Plata, and then dessert and drink choices, all for a fixed price. I challenged myself to step out of my "mixed salad and grilled chicken" comfort zone, so I tried judías con chorizo (beans and sausage, it was really more like bean soup) and filete de bistec de Ávila (fillet of steak from Ávila). My drink choices were wine or water; I still cannot get used to the idea of paying for water. So I chose the wine, a red table wine, served in a small pitcher. It was delicious. I observed people around me pouring just a bit of wine into the glass at a time, maybe 1/3 of a glass full. I did the same, but failed to keep track of how much wine I consumed. I probably had about two glasses unknowingly. After sitting for over an hour, when I finally stood to leave, only then did the wine hit me! Mom and Dad: don't worry, I was fine, perfectly able to function. Climbing the wall immediately after probably was not my brightest idea, however. My slight fear of heights was certainly not assuaged...but I walked so much the wine quickly went right through me. Next time, I will know!

Speaking of the famous wall: Ávila has the oldest and most complete, well-preserved wall surrounding the city. It is quite impressive! I paid a small fee and was able to climb on top of the wall and walk much of the distance around the city. I took many, many pictures-the views were quite stunning! It was a very bright day, and the sun made it a bit difficult to capture great pictures, but it didn't stop me from trying! (The pictures are all on Picasa-I'm sorry for the repetitive nature of the album...I took many pictures, many of the same view...)

The birthplace of Santa Teresa, Ávila also boasts the convent she began, as well as a church in her honor, a room of relics, including her ring finger and bones from San Juan de la Cruz (Saint John of the Cross, her contemporary and mentor). I considered taking a picture (which is prohibited) but did not want to pay the consequences. I spent so much time on the wall that by the time I found Plaza Santa Teresa, the convent and church were closed (and didn't have much time before the bus left), so I had to settle for the relics room, intending to return another day. I still feel a little foolish that I, somehow, managed to miss the biggest attraction of the city. I did tour the Cathedral (I liked the outside better-renovations have the interior disjointed and disorganized) and the Basilica.

There was a neat room in the Cathedral's museum called "Dolor y muerte" (Pain and death). I know, it sounds terribly morbid. The walls were covered in red fabric and adorned with depictions of Jesus' death, and those who witnessed his crucifixion. I cannot forget his dark, pleading eyes on a face cut by thorns. Or the red, tearful eyes of his blessed mother, who just watcher her beloved son suffer a horrible death. If only I could remember the pain endured for my sins, perhaps I would be less inclined to sin. It was moving.

I like to think my Spanish is improving, slowly but surely. I was a little discouraged when I asked in the tourist office for a map (I spoke in Spanish, of course) and he responded in English! I responded in Spanish to his questions asked in English, a bit wilted, however. A much nicer lady at the ticket window for the wall at least asked me if I preferred Spanish or English. I told her I speak better English, but am here to learn Spanish-she smiled and said she would help me learn, so gave me the information in Spanish. THEN, the old man at the ticket window for the Basilica (I hate paying to go into a church, which is sadly the situation in many churches here) handed me an informative pamphlet in Spanish with my ticket, and when I thanked him he said, "Oh, English? Let me give you this paper instead."

Gee, thanks.

All in time.

I did have a positive conversational experience. I was stopped at the same spot on the wall as a family with two children. The dad took a picture of the kids, and then they started to move along. I offered to take a picture of the whole family. They seemed a little confused at the offer, but said okay. After I took the picture I explained that in my family my Dad always takes the pictures, and we rarely have a picture of the whole family, and that is why I offered. I think they understood; they seemed grateful.

Then I set up my tripod and took a picture of myself. That's certainly humbling, hahaha...but, Nick and Alex: I do appreciate the tripod-it comes in handy when traveling by myself!

I had read about a well-known treat of the region-yemas. My book said they are soft-boiled egg yolks cooled and sweetened. I am not a fan of eggs, and this treat did not sound very sweet. But, determined to have an opened mind, I stopped in a "dulcería" and bought two. They have an odd consistency-like a mushy gum-drop, but they taste sweet. I am glad I tried them!

It was a tiring afternoon, but I always love exploring new places.

And Santa Teresa-I promise I will return one day.


Friday, February 5, 2010

"You Speak Spanish Very Well" (Do I?)

While I was taking this picture an older man started talking with me. We conversed for a few minutes, and then he asked if I was from Salamanca. I said, "No, I'm from the United States, actually."

He responded: "Oh, wow. You are far from home!"

We talked a bit more about the university and the city. Then he said:

"You speak Spanish very well."

I told him thank you, and that I hope to learn more. After we parted ways, I was thinking about the conversation (of course very excited that I had conversed successfully in Spanish, with a native speaker) and it occurred to me that I wasn't sure if he said I do speak Spanish very well, or if I will. Big difference, no? Judging by my confusion, perhaps I should assume he said the latter...Oh well, it was still a nice conversation!

When asking questions in Spanish, context is very important (they don't rely on voice inflection as much as we do, it seems) and so sometimes during a conversation I will mistake a question for a statement. After a few seconds of silence I will realize that my "Oh, sí" was not an appropriate answer to the question...I do my best to laugh it off, and then figure out what, exactly, I was asked.

I am sorry that I go days without writing, and then I cannot seem to stop posting. When it rains, it pours! I am going to try to write shorter posts, more often.

Thanks for reading.



"Tranquila" is a word I hear often. It means, calm or still. People use it to say "don't worry." I am always apologizing, generally when I do not understand something and need another explanation. Everyone I encounter is kind and forgiving. Really, I probably annoy people by apologizing so much, but I cannot help it! I have to remember that people in Salamanca are used to international students (USAL is known for drawing a large population of internationals, because it has a strong language department), and that I am not the first who had trouble adjusting and speaking Spanish. I am good at forgetting that fact, and instead getting down on myself. I like this word though, I like hearing it. And I have it written in large letters on my white board, reminding myself to relax and just breath.

I know this picture is silly and does not very well illustrate the city of Salamanca, but it does show one of my dearest belongings. So I thought I would share with you. Haha. (I try to laugh at myself as often as possible-it helps).

Much love,

Mi habitación

Colegio Mayor Hernán Cortés is where I call home. It is a university dormitory. Recently remodeled, my room is very nice. I have my own room with a bathroom. I am on the third floor, which here is really the fourth. What we consider the first floor is called the bottom floor, or zero. I've posted a few pictures at the bottom of this note.

It is different than living in Anniversary Hall (at Bellarmine), because Hernán Cortés is everything in one building. For example, the building has a cafeteria, gym (barely), library (not many books, though), etc. And, I don't have a refrigerator or microwave, which means I am forced to eat in the "comedor" (dining room).

I have cleaning service. I have never had a cleaning service before! (Mom, I know you will beg to differ-and you and Dad have certainly done your fair share of cleaning up after me, hehe). I discovered this face just this morning when two sweet ladies knocked on my door and asked if they could come in and clean. I had already made my bed for the day, but was still in my pajamas, looking like a mess. They were very kind; I kept apologizing for being in the way, but they told me to relax and keep studying. (I don't think she saw Facebook up on my computer, haha). Now, if only I could find someone to do my laundry...

The food is...cafeteria food. My ticket entitles me to a bottle of water, small baguette, dessert (fruit or yogurt), and two different plates. There are always two choices for the first(generally a vegetable, soup, appetizer of some sort), and two choices for the second (fish or meat). And potatoes are always offered, usually as "papas fritas" but occasionally they will be boiled or with vegetables, etc. I have woken up in time for breakfast a few times, but there aren't many offerings so it isn't too enticing. Except for "cafe con leche," which never sounds bad!

I am a five minute walk from the river, and there are various parks nearby, including the university's practice fields and track.

My building is about a fifteen minute walk to campus. The front of the building is on Paseo San Vicente, which is a busier, commercial street. Across the Paseo is the university hospital (where the immediate care center-which I have visited-is located).

The back of the building is on a much quieter, more residential street, with glimpses of the Cathedral towers (unlike the vacant lot I see from my window...). There is a geriatric hospital down the street from my dormitory, and a grade school across the street. I love walking home when the school has been dismissed. There is something so infectious about the smiles and laughter of children. And it is neat to see families walking home to eat lunch together.

My very first day in the dorm I ALMOST used the Emergency Exit (it is very poorly marked, in my opinion-green is not a great warning color, is it?). That would have been a great way to make friends here, waking people up early on a Sunday! But, considering my luck meeting people so far, maybe it isn't a bad idea...just kidding (mostly).

I have been trying to take more pictures each day, just of little things I see. However, I don't have the cord to connect my little Nikon to my computer, and I since I don't carry around my big Nikon, I haven't been able to upload my pictures. But, I want to make this more interesting, so with each post I'm going to upload a picture, too! I will still put all my pictures on Picasa. Speaking of pictures, I have added a few new photos to the album: "Salamanca: The Beginning." I don't have many, but check them out! (The web address is on the right hand side of this page).

Anyway, as promised, here are a few pictures of my room! It lacks decoration, but I am working on that.

Much love,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mis Clases

Well, I have officially finished two weeks of classes at the University of Salamanca. I have three hours of classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. My course load is much, much lighter than I am used to taking at Bellarmine, but I think I will be able to keep myself busy. I am taking an online course through BU, as well, which requires some time (as well as self-discipline, maybe not the best choice?). I will be working in the English department approximately six hours each week. And, I would love to take long weekends to travel! In the end I will have earned 15 credit hours total during this semester abroad.

My classes are interesting, and a bit overwhelming. It is quite a challenge to listen, comprehend (the hardest part, haha) and take notes, all while keeping up with the professors! I am hoping this will improve; I know it will, but I am rather impatient.

My favorite class in Methodology of Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. I wish it were taught in English only so that I knew I was understanding it entirely!

I am taking a Spanish-Arabic Culture course. I have enough trouble understanding and remembering Arabic words and names translated into English, but it is very different learning of them in Spanish! Oh well, I am here to embrace the challenge, right?

My third USAL class is Iconography, which is in the Art History department. This is the elusive class I missed twice the first week. It appears to be very interesting, but I feel very lost. I'm hoping to catch up, but I am most nervous about this class. I know a student who took the course last year and said it is challenging (and she's Spanish!). So, we'll see about this one!

An interesting difference here is the start time of classes. My Methodology class is scheduled 5:00-7:00 on Monday evenings, and 4:00-5:00 on Tuesdays. The professor asked us last week how we feel about starting at 5:15 and finishing at 6:45. What college student in the world would mind? On Tuesdays we start between 4:10 and 4:15.

The lax attitude is similar in my Iconography course, but different for Culture. The professor begins promptly at 1:05 (even though it is scheduled to start at 1:00). I told a friend about this, and he said that the classes that only last an hour (Culture) generally begin on time, but the longer classes start later, usually 15 minutes late.

Each of my classes is a different building, but the farthest is just a fifteen minute walk from my residence.

I have finally started to remember the way to walk to my dorm from classes. Last week I always walked a different way, and would end up looking at the map, confused. I'm learning!

I am very glad I have the opportunity to be directly enrolled at the university, though it is a bit challenging, well very challenging! But, I keep calm and carry on.

Blessings from Spain,