Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm HOME! ( last blog)

Hi everyone! Italic
Let's see...the last few days have been pretty crazy. Thursday I woke up around 7:45 to study a little for my Oral Exam in POE. The exam was at 12:30, and went decently well...not as well as I had hoped. I think I was just too excited that I couldn't think straight! I got back to Jardines and started to pack. It took about...3 hours. We had our last lunch with everyone, and that was sorta sad. After lunch I packed for a little more and then walked with Chryssi, Florian, Adam and Lauren to drop Marisa off at her bus. After that Merete and I walked around a bunch, taking pictures and getting gifts for people. I guess a lot of people had that idea, because we saw a TON of AIFS kids walking around getting presents for people! We had our last dinner at Jardines (hot dogs and eggs), and we said goodbye to some of the people. Marta kept saying "que pena", which basically means 'how sad'. She just sorta wandered out of the comedor, looking sad. It made me even more sad to be leaving! After dinner, Merete packed a little more and I waited for her before we left for the bar Odeon to meet all of the other AIFS people. A few of the kids, Armand, Colby and Max had been taking photos the whole trip of people not paying attention, etc. so they had put together a movie to show everyone. Unfortunately it didn't work when they tried to play it at the bar. We all then went to this disco called Metro, where a lot of the Spaniards met up with us. That was really fun, because it was like a big goodbye party. Everyone was there! We left around 3 to say goodbye at Neptuno to the first busload of AIFS kids leaving to catch their planes in Malaga. It was really sad. However, Colby had brought his computer so we got to see the video they had made! A few people had told me that they saw part of it, and that I make an appearance that was the best part of the movie, so I was a bit nervous as to what that included, haha. It ended up that the song they used at one part was a popular one that goes "Maria Mariaaaa", so when that song started there were like 6 pictures they had taken off of my Facebook and just thrown in there. Haha.
After that bus of kids left, we went back to shower and finish packing. Florian came over around 5am to Jardines to help us bring our stuff to Neptuno to our bus. Leaving with me was Merete, Breana, Will, and then Adam and Florian with us. It was super sad! After we finally made our way to Neptuno (those bags were first one was 83 pounds before I evened them out!) we said our goodbyes. Inma was there to send us off. Florian looked like he was about to cry, and he reminded us about the first day he was there and how he remembered seeing Will and I in the basement when he was getting a tour of Jardines. He goes "you guys were my first friends here! It won't be the same!" Aww. He made me promise that when he goes to New York in July that I'll come visit. That would be so much fun!!!!!
Well, our bus left, and as we pulled away, Colby, Jacqui and Max mooned us. Wonderful. Haha. It was very sad driving out of Granada...
We got to Malaga and Paula was waiting for us. She had been there with the first group of kids. She helped us get through the check-on process, and then said her goodbyes and told us we were on our own! Yikes! There was a rather large group of us...about 20 on that plane, so that was fun, even though it was only about an hour and a half to Madrid. Once we go to Madrid, we ate some food, and then waited for our plane to Dallas/Fort Worth. That plane ride was 10 hours and 55 minutes, but it actually didn't feel that long at all. They showed the latest Harry Potter movie and Madagascar 2, so that helped. We had 2 meals, but I was so confused as to what time it was that I couldn't tell if I was supposed to be hungry, or what, haha. We landed in Texas around 5:30 and made our way through customs. The guy at customs was super nice, and all he asked me about was why I had dyed my hair...he liked the blonde. Weird. Anyway, we said our goodbyes to people who were leaving to other parts of the airport, and those who like in Texas. There were 6 of us (Taryn, Liz, Breana, Yuri, Will and I) on the Dallas to Minneapolis flight. We all hung out while we waited for our flight. It was weird being back in the states where everything was in English. Well, actually, Dallas was sorta a middle-ground for getting back into English, since there were a lot of people speaking Spanish there too. We all got smoothies...yumm...but I almost ordered in Spanish! I kept thinking prices were in Euros, and was like "Geez, a 4 Euro smoothie...that's like 6 dollars. Maybe I'll pass." Haha. Will said he by accident talked to one guy in a store in Spanish, but the guy just answered him in Spanish so it worked out. Haha.
Our plane was delayed by half an hour, so we ended up leaving there around 9:15pm. That flight seemed to take the longest since I was so excited. As we got into the Minneapolis area, I could see the snow on the ground! Yay!! We landed around 11:30 and then headed to the baggage claim. We got our HUGE bags and said our goodbyes. Will and I waited for my mom, and when she got there, we somehow managed to get all of our bags into our Camery! Wow!
Our traveling took 24 hours total, and I had been awake for over 50 hours. The last time I had gone to bed was after Granada 10 on Wednesday night. Haha.

It's weird to be home. I keep thinking in terms of things in Spain: Everything is still in Euros to me, the toilets flush funny here, and it's SUPER QUIET. I miss everyone that I met over there, but I'm definitely happy to be back home. It really is starting to feel like Christmas time now, with the snow and everything.

Well, I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blogs. It really means a lot that you guys could enjoy my experiences with me through my writing. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I hope I get to tell y'all even more stories the next time I see you! Have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Thanks again!

Hasta pronto!
M :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guess what...



All packed and ready to 5:45 am. We're all going out and not sleeping, so I'll already be on MN time. Wonderful :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Profesor Florián

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I got up a little early this morning to study some more before my 12:30 Lit test. It is sooooooo much information to remember, but surprisingly, I think I actually memorized my 9 pages of notes. I got to the room a little early to get settled, and it seemed like everyone else was there, studying, as well. Cram session! Mariangeles handed out the tests, and I got started. I wrote an essay on literature in the 50s, and then another essay on literature in the 60s and 70s. Then, we had to analyze this one poem by Blas de Otero which we had done in class, so that was decently easy. Overall, I think it went well, except my hand hurt really bad from so much writing (I basically wrote everything twice because of the scratch paper I wrote on as well). Whew. At least that’s over. Now it’s on to Grammar studying.

Hopefully I get enough done before tonight because people are going out for Chinese food to celebrate Lewis’ last day here before he goes home for Christmas. So far I have about 3 pages of my study guide done and it’s only 3:00, so I think I’ll make it! This is my last big test, and then I just have my POE oral exam and the POE paper, which I already had Mariangeles read through. YAY!


Well, we went out for Chinese food. I had been studying the whole day, so it was nice to go out. In total, there were about 17 of us in the little restaurant! A lot of Lewis’ friends from the University were there (including some of the girls from the other night at Florian’s). It was fun just hanging out with them.

After dinner, Florian came over to help Will with his paper, but ended up trying to tutor us in grammar. It was really funny, but very helpful. We ended up online, doing exercises on different websites. On one of them, (after Florian ‘approved’ the answers) we ended up getting 4 wrong. He was horrified. We went back through, and a few that I thought were wrong WERE wrong! HA! J Because of that, we decided to try one in English and have Florian fill it out. He learned a new word, “whose”, so I consider it a successful night. It was definitely interesting trying the English version of the exercises we do in grammar class!

I hope Sr. Florian’s help follows me to the test tomorrow! Merete and I plan on getting up around 6 to study some more. So…if nothing else, at least I’ll be awake for the test by 10:30…or falling asleep during it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tire su basura aquí.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Today, as I mentioned, it DID snow. However, it wasn’t nearly enough for it to stick, it just looked like it rained a bit. I got up a little earlier than normal (around 7am) to go to school a bit early to study. I went down to breakfast earlier than normal as well, so I sat with some different people. I had my notebook out and was studying some of my notes, so the Spaniards I was sitting with asked me about my exam. They said it was mean that I would have a Spanish test at 8:30 in the morning. They said they’d hate it if they had an English test that early!

So, I took my Culture test, which I was a little nervous about. Pilar told us the format, and once again, it was a bit different. She said since it was a lot more information than the mid-term, that the questions would be shorter. I thought that made sense, and was expecting fill in the blank questions, or just short 2-sentence questions. It turned out it was a 6 page test with 6 questions. We were expected to write everything we knew about a few select topics that she chose. YIKES. I felt bad for the people who hadn’t gone in depth with their studying, because I even had trouble remembering some of the details! (My 15 page study guide was just enough!) I think it went okay in general, though it’s always an odd feeling after taking a big exam like that. At lunch, the Spaniards checked in with me about the test. Luckily I felt like I could say it went well!

I started to study for Literature after lunch. I went pretty well because I had most of the study guide done already. It’s just a LOT of information—from the literature Generation of 1914 to the 70s. Whew. Time for some hard core memorization!

Will and I went to Dunkin Coffee for a short break, but brought our study stuff along as well. While sitting there, we realized that some Spaniards are VERY messy. People just leave their trays on the tables (as we’ve also seen them do in places such as Burger King), even though the trash cans clearly say “throw your trash away here” (in Spanish). There was this one guy at Dunkin who was sitting at the table behind us. He was done with his tray and I watched him get up and walk toward the trash can. I thought for once that maybe he was going to throw his food away, but he stopped about 10 feet short at this table where a group of girls were just leaving. He asked them if they were leaving and when they said yes, he placed his tray down and walked back to his table. The girls didn’t think anything of it, but I was shocked. Why didn’t he just walk the extra 10 feet to throw it away, rather than just leave it for one of the poor workers to clean up! I almost felt obligated to go clean it up myself. It was a very odd situation.

Well, time for more studying. Wish me suerte with my Literature final. It’s gonna be tough!

Welcome, Minnesota. We've been expecting you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This just made my day:

Scarlett in the kitchen: “¡Elena! ¡Elena!”

Elena upstairs cleaning: “¿Si?”

Scarlett: ¡Hay nieve!”

I went rushing to the window, and sure enough, it’s SNOWING.

Florian (from the Canarias) later at lunch: “Geez, it’s cold outside. How cold do you think it is?”

Me: “Well, about 0, because it snowed.”

Florian: “It didn’t snow.”

Me: “Yes it did!”

Florian: “S*** I missed it!”

I hear MN got some snow as well. I also heard that it might be snowing on Friday, as we're trying to fly into the Twin Cities. Regardless, I guess I'll just have to send Florian a photo of snow when I get home. Oh, and Daryl too.

What'd you do today? Studied.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today I did end up meeting Daryl’s parents. I felt bad I couldn’t go out to eat with them because I had so much studying to do, but studying gets me good grades, not eating. They came back to Jardines after they ate (at our Chinese place!) and so I met them there. Daryl actually brought me leftovers! Aww. They were super nice, and it looked like they were enjoying their time in Spain so far. I just hope it doesn’t snow tomorrow like it says it’s going to! Yikes! That would be an interesting Alhambra trip!

Well, as I said, I spent literally the whole day studying for Culture. That’s the exam for tomorrow. It’s about…50 pages full of info that I decided to make into my own study guide. It only ended up being a 15 page study guide. No pasa nada. My hand just hurts, and you know you’re in for a tough exam when the study guide uses up a whole pen. Oh well. It’s worth it in the end. It’s just hard to watch other people whose grades only come back at pass/fail. They’re all “come play futbol”, “let’s go out to tapas”, but I have to studyyyyy. It’s really an unfortunate way to spend my last week in Spain.

Will went out and grabbed 2 pizzas from the NEW Dominoes. They re-did the whole store, so we hadn’t been able to get food from there, but Will says it's nicer now! It was a 2 for 1 deal, so we both spent the rest of the evening with our study guides on top of our pizza boxes. Mmm.

I was over with Will and Adam, studying when Victor came to the door. He told us that he was leaving in the morning and came to say "farewell". It was first goodbye! He was really easy to talk to, so I enjoyed sitting with him at meals. I thanked him for his help, once again, with our Canarias project. He said we're always invited to visit. Mom? Dad? Let's go!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A crazy meal for a rather boring day

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This morning was really funny. Everyone got up just before lunch (well, I had to get started on some homework so I was up a little before it). Merete and I walked downstairs and everyone was in their sweatpants and sweatshirts, chattering away, waiting for the comedor to open. We went in, and the first thing Elena says is “Alguien quiere cerveza?” Haha, I thought she was kidding because of how everyone looked, but she wasn’t! They had so much left over from last night that she was just going around and pouring people cerveza. Oh, Jardines. Then she came around with Coke and Fanta (I opted for Coke). We had our normal sopa, but then came the meal of the century. It was all of the leftovers from the party last night. Chips, potato salad, thin sliced pork with sauce, fried ham and fish, croquetas, cookies, apples, oranges, etc. It was awesome! (And I’m sure Scarlett liked that she didn’t have to cook…just microave!)

Then I did more homework…until about 11:30 pm. I did some more of my Literature study guide, and then started on my Grammar. I took a short break around 7:30 to go see all of the Christmas lights in the streets turn on, except they never did. That seemed normal though, because Spaniards are never on time! We waited until about 8:10 and then gave up. A lot of people were waiting around for them…oh well. Will and I wandered up to our Shwarma place to get one last one before we leave on Friday. It was soooooooooo good, as usual. I continued with my homework and then Will and I watched Good Luck Chuck, and then I went to bed. It was a rather thrilling day. I assume Sunday will be about the same.

Oh! Daryl’s parents are in town…I get to meet them tomorrow.