Los Examines

Well it appears as though I might actually survive my first round of midterms. I still have one more next week, but I’m not all that worried. They are going well enough I suppose. As usual, I spent most of my time looking over stuff for my comp class that wasn’t on the exam, then completely blanked on the actual test when some surprise material appeared, but that’s the struggle. I think I did fine, but I definitely could have done better. My lit exam was of course online and wasn’t quite as grueling as I’d anticipated, but it still took almost all day to finish (though much of that time can be attributed to avoidance and procrastination). I guess I’ll  have to wait and see how I fared on it, but I figure its only half way through the semester, so there’s still plenty of time to undo any damage. There are a couple of concepts in my phonetics class that I’m really going to have buckle down on this coming week, but overall I’m really enjoying that class and doing pretty well in it. See that’s the thing, I’m technically in the linguistics focus, but Spanish and Latin American literature are still required components of the program. I mean I guess it makes sense I just wish they weren’t quite as prevalent. Then again I suppose the reason I dislike it so much is because its so challenging, which would imply that I stand to learn a ton. It just gets old though. I mean sometimes I literally have to take a paragraph word by word and I usually have to look up a lot of them because some are pretty obscure. Then, when I know what the most of the words of mean, I have to figure out the sentence in context, then analyze the abstract meaning of the text; in other words, it takes for freaking ever and can be quite draining…and its never ending! Oh well, at least I’m improving my nueroplasticity!

Anyway, to celebrate the end of midterms (more or less), we decided to try a new club last night. This place is supposedly famous or something, but I’d never heard of it, which is also kind of surprising because its right down the road from the Prado. Admission was almost double what it is at our usual club, but we figured we should at least experience it once, and it turned out to actually be pretty incredible. Apparently this place used to be a theater but was at some point transformed into Madrid’s most notorious night club. The best part? It has seven floors! Each one was pretty unique and played its own type of music, so it was really awesome. We thought there might have been a discount for admission before 1:30, so we got there around 1 and it was pretty empty. We used that time to scope out each level and learn the full extent of what the club had to offer, but we ended up spending most of the night in the main room. Before too long it was shoulder to shoulder and the DJ was in full swing. They generally played the same music as the other club, but there was sort of a different energy. They also do this really weird thing; every so often, a huge stream of fog is unloaded onto the crowd. Its actually super refreshing because its a really strong, cold breeze.92d4de9f89edd4395bf49832a1b099e275e5950f Its pretty cool too because its so thick that for a couple seconds you literally cannot see anything around you. The first time it happened there was also a strobe light going, and it was a little disorienting. Later in the night, the crowd was showered in confetti, and apparently balloons got passed around at some point too. I think the coolest thing was the live entertainment. There was a dude playing the electric violin! He started the intro to “Hell’s Bells” and it was pretty awesome when he suddenly transitioned into the intro of “Thunderstruck”. He was on and off the stage various times throughout the night, and he was very talented.

It was a pretty great night overall, but there were some minor incidents. The first one happened when we were coming down from one of the upper levels; I guess I wasn’t really paying attention and I’m not sure how long it took me to notice that the hair I was following in front of me wasn’t Tisha’s. By then I was completely lost. I wasn’t worried though, I honestly kind of enjoyed navigating the place alone for a minute and was more concerned with finding a bathroom than reuniting with the group right away. I figured even if we never found each other I could still easily get home without a problem. Now that I think about it though, it would have been pretty bad because I had Nola’s coat check ticket, as well as her phone and credit card, but I guess that didn’t occur to me then. Anyway, we found each other soon enough and all was well again. Just like in the other club, as the night wore on, people kept dropping their empty drinks on the floor, so it was soon littered with shards of glass. My feet were covered, but Helena took a pretty good slice on the side of her’s. We took her to the bathroom, but it was really bleeding, so we decided to tell one of the bouncers up front. They took us behind this thick black curtain, and one of them attended to her wound. Not to take away from her suffering, but it turned out to be one of my greatest moments so far! The man helping her didn’t speak any English and she doesn’t really speaks Spanish. I think I sort of offhandedly answered something he asked her, so he asked if I spoke Spanish. I said yes, then added the obligatory “well, a little”, but I actually got to translate! I mean the conversation wasn’t all that extensive, but I was able to effectively get one party’s point across to the other! It was a pretty low pressure situation because he hadn’t expected us to speak any Spanish and figured we would be highly intoxicated (not that we were), so the conversation flowed pretty easily. Overall it was very encouraging. That didn’t make it better when the exact same thing happened like 20 minutes later. Poor Helena. She was a good sport though and stuck it our for the rest of the night. The only downside to this club is that its not conveniently located next to a critically acclaimed churro place like the other one, so we had to forgo breakfast, but we were all pretty tired anyway. It was a great time, but we’ll probably stick to our usual (cheaper) haunt in the future.

I told myself that I was going to utilize today to get a leg up on this week’s lit homework, but I never really could force myself to focus. Oh well, I’ll get to it eventually. On a more exciting note, I got a job! I mean its not a lot, but its a start. I’m tutoring English to two children! It was actually kind of funny because I had been talking to a girl in one of my classes about needing to find some work, and the very next day someone came into one of her other classes looking for tutors! The girls are 7 and 9, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it turns out their mom wants us to mainly focus on conversation, which means that I literally get paid to sit and talk to each of them in English for 45 minutes. It was a bit of challenge though because they aren’t quite at that level but it was fun trying to communicate. I actually feel like I’m getting to practice my psychology skills along with teaching, so it’ll be pretty good experience. It was also a good test of my Spanish trying to get it all arranged with the mom! She seems super nice though, and I’m so happy I finally found a little source of income. Other than that, things have been pretty regular around here. Nola and I are going to try to take a bus to Toledo tomorrow, so hopefully that goes well!


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