Los Examines Finales y El Escorial

Well I did it, I finished my first semester of grad school! I have to say, I thought it would be hard going in, but it turned out to be way more challenging than I’d anticipated. It’s over now though, and I can only hope that next semester will be better, but I kind of doubt it. I really have no idea what my grades are at this point, but I’m trying not to really dwell on it because now it’s all out of my hands. I had my composition exam today, and I thought it seemed to go surprisingly well. There were a few small things that I’m pretty sure I missed, but overall I’m more or less confident about it. This professor does tend to be quite the meticulous grader though, so we’ll see. The same goes for my phonetics exam; I feel relatively confident about it, but you just never know. As for literature, well instead of having a final exam we had a final paper. It was a ten page essay about some literary themes in a few of the stories we had read by this one author. Ten pages! That doesn’t sound quite so hard in English, but in Spanish it seemed practically impossible. I don’t think it was quite what she was looking for, but I managed to make it about existentialism, so the ten pages sort of flowed. It ended up being a little bit over in fact!  I was little iffy about it, but she just e-mailed me, and I got an 87! That’s practically an A! I just skimmed her comments on it, but I’m pretty sure the gist is that I still have a long way to go, but I’ve definitely improved my writing. I’ll take that.

On top of all that, I finally got things worked out with administration, so I’m officially registered for my classes next semester! I had a bit of a debacle with the business office, then when it was all cleared up I had even more trouble trying to get the classes I wanted. Today though I was informed that it’s all worked out, and I even got a spot in the class where I was wait listed! Overall things seem to be really be working out. I plan to take a class about Translation, a Spanish Poetry class, and something about literature and film. I’m really looking forward to the translation class…the other two not so much, but at least I’ll be knocking out some required reading.

These past couple of weeks have been a bit all over the place, ranging from extremely stressful to quite fun. Madrid really seems to go all out for Christmas, and the day after Thanksgiving (not that they celebrated that here) the whole downtown was lit up with these brightly colored box things and huge trees in the main plazas. We’ve been having a good time revisiting our favorite places, and some of the staff are really getting to know us. It’s kind of weird to think that so many people will not be returning next semester, but a least a few of them will be.

Last weekend we took a final outing to El Escorial, which is a really big monastery.  Well I think it was also a palace at some point too, but I’m not entirely sure. It was cool to see though, and it only took about an hour and a half to get there by train. I’m disappointed that I never made it Barcelona or Sevilla, but I suppose I still have time. I’ll be staying in the same apartment again next semester, so it will be nice not to have to lug my suitcases around with me during break. Yesterday Beatrice told me that I’ll have a roommate next semester. I’m pretty excited to have another student here, but I’m not sure how we are both going to fit into this room. I mean there are two beds and desks, but we wont even be able to both sit at our desks at the same time. Not to mention the closet…I don’t really have that much stuff, but I feel like its going to be quite a challenge for us to both fit everything in it. Oh well, I guess we are really going to get to know each other. I’m a little confused though, because there is a third bed room. It’s quite small, but I feel like it would be more comfortable for someone to stay there than for us to be both be in one room. Speaking of which, a while back, Beatrice told me that an old friend from Argentina was coming to visit and would be staying with us. I figured she’d meant just for the weekend, but by Monday I assumed it would be the whole week. That was over a month ago though and she’s still here. I don’t mind though, she’s super nice and I like having her around, but it just goes to show that the room is perfectly livable! Maybe Carmen has just moved in for good. Oh well though, I suppose that in the grand scheme of the universe its not really a big deal.

So now to enjoy a small taste of freedom! I have a couple of hours before I go to tutor, so I’ll probably start packing or maybe even take a nap! I have some errands and whatnot to run to tomorrow, then in the evening we’re going out for one last time 😥 My travels begin early Friday morning, and its going to be a long day, but it will basically be like I’m traveling back in time. I’m super excited to see everyone at home, and I can’t wait to sleep in my bed and drive my car! Oh and I also can’t wait to eat peanut butter and drink Blue Moon!

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