Sunday, May 25, 2014

Schools Out

This week has been so stressful it is hard to believe!

I took the last of my finals and sadly I can not say I am confident about my results. These were some of the hardest classes I have taken.mi definitely took for granted the way the teachers in the state teach. There, we have homework assignments, quizzes, office hours to get help from the professors, we even get credit for just showing up to class sometimes however, here in Spain it is a very different story. The teachers are very cold; they do not particularly like international students. one professor told the class that we don't care about anything but traveling and that we don't car about school; he thought that we are all spoiled rich kids who don't want to learn anything. So naturally, he was one of the 7 teachers who were not a fan of us just based on where we are from. The teaching style is so different. They have us take notes on their 4 hour lectures everyday and that's it. We had homework once or twice the whole semester, no short quizzes to make sure we were understanding the material, and no office hours to ask questions. Long story short, when the final came around no one had a clue what to study, they just said everything; no study guide no nothing. I understand there are professors like this in the states, but The professors at Millikin have spoiled not just me but all the students by investing in our success rather than hanging us out to dry, so experiencing this kind of teaching method was a shock but NOW that's in he past. As Miley Cyrus said, "we're break out, let the party start. We're gonna stay out, gonna break some hearts. We're gonna dance till the dance floor falls apart, oh oh all over again!"

Since Miley sang it, I did it!

On Thursday night, I went to dinner with some of the other people in my program. That was about a two hour ideal that ended at very nicely at about midnight, but of course the night wasn't over. After dinner we went to a night cafe and talked more. 

On Friday I relaxed all day. I worked out, and then I sat around for a bit after my shower. Then At about midnight, I met up with some friends at Badulake (international club) and danced my booty off. We stayed there for about an hour and a half and then headed off to another club. After about 45 min we made our way to yet another club. We didn't make it home until about 6:00am. It was a great night.

Saturday was very relaxing. I sat around pretty much all day. I did some homework for my independent study, met over skype with my professor/advisor for my university to discuss my class schedule and work, then I ate dinner with my roommates. But...that wasn't the end of the night. Me and my roommates went to karaoke for the second time! It was so much fun! Upon my arrival to the club, a woman who was there the first time we went, and she liked my singing so much, she wanted me to sing another solo. I did with a little help from my roommates on backup vocals. I sang Love On Top by Beyoncé and yes, I did hit all the notes ;)

Now it has been a lazy Sunday. My roommate from the states left to travel Europe with her father today and now there are only three of us left in the apartment. I have to say, summer has been quite successful so far. I have had to say good bye to some AWESOME people but I know it is not goodbye, it is simply see you later!

Hasta luego!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Doin' What I Do


Alright, I know I didn't post anything last week, but literally, I had nothing interesting to report. It was an average school week: went to class, did my homework, worked out in the park, showered, went to bed, repeat. All week it was the same routine. 

Sooo, you are probably dying to know what I have been up to this week, which sadly has been pretty underwhelming, soooo I am gonna do a blooper blog! A blooper blog is a blog where I report to you the little things that happen between all the other stuff I blog about.

Blooper 1: "Poppin' Tags"
One thing I have been wanting to get in to is thrifting. Everyone at school in the states talks about it and I have seen people get some really neat and cool things from thrift stores. My sister for instance got a bed. A whole bed! So I thought what better place to start than in Spain! Sadly however, there is only one thrift shop in Murcia but I made due with what I had. In other words life gave me lemons, I made a sour face, added a bit of sugar, and made some candy! At the thrift store there was a lot of clothes. Long story short, I managed to find a cute dress for only 3€! Such a good deal!

Blooper 2: "Chillin' on a Dirt Road"
Since I have been here I have only traveled once. Not because of anything besides the fact I am not big on traveling. When I am somewhere, I like to be THERE, not constantly leaving and coming back. I have been moving across the U.S. My whole life so sometimes I just like to stay in one spot for a while. Anyway, I decided to take a day trip to Salto del Usero. It's this river through an almost canyon like area. Nothing compared to the Grand Canyon by any means but it is so beautifully breath taking! The river is crystal clear, you can see straight to the bottom. There is even a waterfall and cliffs to jump off of. To get there we had to walk down a dirt road, hence the title.

Blooper 3: "Kebab"
I have been really focusing on working out and staying strong since I have been here. I workout every other day with some friends and then alone on the other days. I have also been making sure I eat really well and cook for myself rather than eating out. However, I heard of this place called crunchy kebab and I told myself last week that in two weeks, so next week, on Friday, for lunch, I get to eat a crunchy kebab! I have only had two kebabs since I have been here in Spain and I feel that in order to leave truly satisfied, I must have a third.

Blooper 4: "Plunger Duty"
Of all the time I had been here, so about 5 months, our toilet had not clogged. The bathtub has been plugged, the washer machine has broken, and the electricity has been blown but the toilet was fine...until that ONE day. I woke up one morning and just like everyday, the first thing I did was got to use the bathroom. When I lifted the seat, I noticed whomever was in there before me had forgotten to flush so I did it before I went. But before I knew it, the water was turning brown and coming back out towards me. My first thought, "ew" then I backed out to make sure it wouldn't overflow and get on my feet, which thankfully it didn't. Still having to use the bathroom myself, I told  my roommate and she just didn't even worry about the fact that three of us share the one bathroom that was clogged...ridiculous. So I took it upon myself to go to the store, buy a plunger and some draino and unclog the toilet myself, yes, I still had not gotten to use the bathroom yet. Long story short, I unclogged the toilet after one hour and then finally got to use the bathroom. It was crazy.

Blooper 5: "Karaoke"
For literally weeks now, we had been making plans to go to karaoke as a flat. Everytime it got to the day, we were all busy or too tired but tonight, we finally made it! It was so much fun, we sang about three songs as a group, and in even sang two songs by myself. I first sang Mamma Knows Best by Jessie J and then Respect by Aretha Franklin. I, of course, was nervous but once I got up there I felt really good about it! I think there will be videos on Facebook soon.

Well I hope you enjoyed some of my bloopers, I am sure there are things that I am forgetting at the moment but I will try to do another blog like this so you can get all the details. I don't have any pictures of the dress, but I will put some pictures of Salto at the bottom and the singing videos on Facebook. Hope you enjoy ,

Hasta luego!

Me moving to put my feet in the water (Lord knows I didn't swim)

Me and everyone who went with me ( minus the photographer)

Me actually knee deep in the water (no photo shop)

And me randomly hugging a tree koala bear or sloth style just because. ( this wasn't at Salto but I thought you might enjoy the photo)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Help yourself, by helping others.

Hola amigos!

I have to admit I was sad to go back to classes this Monday after the two wonderous weeks of spring break. Going back to classes after any amount of break honestly is pretty difficult and even though it was just a three day week, it was pretty rough. Monday went surprisingly well. I had four hours of classes then I was done at 2:00. Tuesday was pretty nice as well, we had a healthy debate about gun control in America in Spanish. That actually was pretty fun! It was good to listen to other peoples views and thoughts on the topic. Wednesday was the last day of our classes this week and it was a half day! How awesome right!? Well, it was literature and lets just say that is not my favorite class. The teacher is fun and my classmates are nice, but the content is difficult. Analyzing poems and long passages are not my favorite activities in the world so you can imagine how class went. 

I made it through but it pretty much drained me making me physically and mentally tired and stressed. So after class I worked out with some friends and then did homework and planned some stuff for the weekend. Right after I got out of the shower, I got a message inviting me to watch the soccer game at with some friends so I decided to go to de-stress and have a good time.

On my way there, about fifty meters from my apartment I see an older woman struggling to walk down the street. Generally I am wary of people. Yes, even the elderly, but something about her made me stop and ask her if she was okay. She asked me if I lived far and I answered her honestly with a no. She then asked me if I would mind walking with her a little ways to her apartment building because she was so tired and didn't know if she could make it. I, surprisingly without hesitation, agreed to walk with her. I offered her my arm and we walked down the sidewalk together. She told me about her day and her six sons that she thinks would really like me, no subtlety there) and about her late husband whom had passed two years ago.

All was well and suddenly we were headed toward my apartment building. I asked her if she lived there, and it turned out that she is one of my neighbors! She lives on the floor above me. We both laughed at what a coincidence it was that we lived in the same building for basically five months and never crossed each others paths. As I opened the door her she handed me a euro. I tried to decline but she was insistent and told me how lucky she was that I came along to help her.

After I made sure she got in okay I started back out to make my way to watch the game. When I left my apartment, I was a bit cranky from the day still, 20 minutes late for the game, and determined to have a good time with my friends. As I walked to the location of the game, I realized how good I had felt after putting all my thoughts about myself behind to help a complete stranger. 

Sometimes the best medicine for your bad day is to help someone else cure theirs. I even made it to the second half of the game and the team I was cheering for won! That was the best start to a long weekend ever!

The rest of the week was filled with a trip to a hidden oasis and homework on the beach (yes I actually did complete my homework on the beach). Can't get any better than that! 

Disfruta el fin de semana! Enjoy the weekend!
Hast luego!

(This is me thinking about getting in the water at the oasis. I only ended up putting my feet in but that counts for something...right?)