Classes started on Monday. We have classes Monday through Thursday and then we’re free to travel or whatever on weekends. (There are a couple weekends when we have planned excursions, but I’m also looking into doing some travelling of my own.) Lucky me, I have my first class (la lengua y cultura vasca) at nine in the morning-Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Wednesday morning, I have “la cultura y civilizacion espanol” at 9am. Mondays and Wednesdays, I can come home until about four o’clock when I have “Temas de Gramatica Avanzada” and then “Introduccion de la literatura hispana.” Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have Spanish culture at one, so I’ll probably just hang around campus between classes and use my computer and do homework. (If you’re in the U.S., I’ll probably be online from about 4am-7am your time.) After culture, I’ll head home for lunch and relaxation before going back to campus for “Panorama de la literature Espanola.”
Okay, so I took this language placement test and they want me to take Spanish III, which is a ten credit class. Hi, I need to take very specific classes because I would really like to graduate in April of 2011; I’ve also taken the American equivalent of this class. I’m not doing it. I have a dictionary; I’m smarter than testing makes me look. I’ve never tested well. So we’ll see how this first week goes. We don’t actually register for our classes officially until September 18, so I could theoretically try to get into Spanish III if need be. But I’ve been taking Spanish since seventh grade. I should be fine. But we’ll see how it goes. I’m smarter than I look, especially than I look when I’m tired.
And having gone to one of the literature classes, I am pretty positive I can do this.
So one thing that raised a lot of questions before I came here and I think still raises questions would probably be the kids. Daniela and Gabriel are pretty good kids overall. But they are your typical siblings and pretty normal for their ages. For example, right now Gabriel is really into hiding things from you. He’ll come into my room when I’m crocheting and try to hide my yarn and needles from me. He tries to hide my money from me when he finds it. Basically, he finds things I own and he hides them. He also likes to rip paper, so I have to be careful what gets near him. He’s not very shy; he loves just walking into my room, even just walking into my bathroom while asking for permission to enter….so much for having privacy. But he can also be a cutie. On Sunday night, I gave him his “manta” or blanket that I had crocheted for him. And he loved it. He wanted it on his bed right away. And later that night, Antonia found him (and let me see as well) with all his other sheets and stuff pushed down to the bottom of his bed and just curled up under his new “manta.” They will argue, like normal siblings. But in general, they like each other and are pretty close. They start school (Gabi’s first year in fact) Tuesday, September 9, so we’ll see how that affects things.
Daniela is a sweetie, most of the time. She’s much better about respecting privacy and understanding the idea of staying out of other people’s things. She loves to play games like Old Maid and Memory, but she hates to lose and won’t hesitate to cheat a little to guarantee a win. You have to be really careful when you’re playing with her. The best word to describe Dani is “princess.” She loves princesses and she is a princess. She loves the Disney princesses but more than that, she wants to be a princess. She loves wearing dresses and pink and being pretty. She loves pretty things-clothes, jewelry, the whole nine yards. She’s also very interested in weddings and stuff like that. She wants me to get married. She can be fussy; she’s a picky eater. And when she doesn’t like the way things are going, she lets you know. She’ll throw a fit over losing a game of Old Maid or being forced to eat food she doesn’t like. She HATES “tortilla de patatas,” a Spanish egg and potato dish. And she’ll try to bargain with her parents over eating it. She loses and usually ends up in bed without dinner because of her fussing. Sunday night, she really threw a fit because I had eaten tortilla de patatas for lunch the day before and she and Gabi were eating the rest of the tortilla for dinner while I was eating tuna for dinner. She wanted tuna, like me. Instead, she ended up in bed without dinner.
This brings us to food. First of all, everything is cooked in olive oil; I think I’ve mentioned this before. Secondly, the food is good and pretty filling. I’m probably losing weight here but that’s for a couple reasons. Their food is a lot healthier than most American food. The other is that I don’t eat as much here. That’s partially because I usually eat with the kids and then I end up with smaller portions. I think it was Jessica R. who told me that food over here generally is blander than at home. Yep, that’s pretty true. They don’t use as many spices/herbs as at home. In fact, the only one I’ve really ever seen used is salt. They want me to cook for them sometime, so I’m looking at various recipes I have that I could use. I’m also trying to figure out what ingredients I can get here, but I can probably talk to Antonia about that sometime soon. Or if anyone wants to send me any recipes/suggestions, I’m open. Greg sent me the household cookbook but it’s missing all of my darling mother’s contributions.
Life here is good. Everyone seems to think that I have a beautiful name; they’re always telling me that, especially the men. And it’s raining cats and dogs today. It’s a bit ridiculous. But the lightning looks cool over the river.