Week 15

I am officially half-way done with finals, and I am somehow still alive. This week I turned in my final essay, had my final for the class I am taking with my program–History of Flamenco–and then this morning I took my Arte Prehispanico final.

It is weird thinking back to before my finals and remembering how I thought it would literally be impossible to study and take them, yet here I am with two down and two to go. My weariness and despair culminated on Monday when I just lied in bed and cried from a combination of the stress and receiving some bad news from my academic advisor (more on that later). I still don’t feel much better, but now I can actually see the end in sight.

Since I have the weekend ahead of me to study I decided to give myself the night off and I put some of that free time to good use and uploaded the pictures to the Munich and Prague posts! When I was updating the posts I also remembered one of the funniest stories from the whole trip that I had completely forgotten about!

Since no one in Spain really speaks English I have gotten accustomed to saying whatever is on my mind when I’m out with my friends from my program. I generally don’t go around saying absurd or obscene things, but here I feel comfortable telling my friends that the clothing in a store is overpriced, or talking openly about my personal problems while in public places, or commenting on how well dressed someone is even when they are right in front of me. I probably am overly concerned with not saying things that are of “bad taste” or too personal out loud, so it has actually been very liberating talking so freely.

Anyway, one day in Prague Sarah and I were looking at the watercolor paintings on Charles bridge and I lingered really long at one stand and was pretty much set on getting a painting there, but in the end I couldn’t commit and decided I didn’t want anything. Rather than being honest and just saying I didn’t want anything, I decided to take the “easy way out” and say I needed to think more and ask if he would be there the following day, to which he said probably not. Feigning disappointment, but inside happy and relieved that I successfully had adverted the situation, I walked away.

The next day we took the same bridge to the other side of the city, and low and behold the artist DID decide to come the following day. Unable to face him and my lie I panicked, shot towards the people closest to me, and began walking awkwardly close, trying to hide myself behind them.

Sarah, confused about why I was being so weird (I was extreeeemely close to them), asked me what I was doing. I told her “The painter is here! I’m walking with this couple so he doesn’t see me.” Next thing I know the two ladies (not a couple) I am walking with stop and give me the strangest look, and I realize they understand English!

Caught off guard, I turned bright red and explained the whole not-being-used-to-people-understanding-English thing and tried to laugh it off, but they were not having it. The situation at this point was fairly awkward because I am still walking right with them, so I just mumbled something and veered sharply away.

Lessons learned: I should probably get my free speech under control before going back to the US or I could put myself in more awkward situations. I also probably don’t need to go through the whole elaborate story making process just to get out of buying a painting, “no thanks” is sufficient. (In fact I have decided I need to be more honest and say what I feel in general)

I am going to save the dramatic advising story for the Spanish academics post because it is late here and I don’t want to get myself all worked up again right before bed; also, I don’t want to keep being such a downer in all my posts, so I think it’s better I put it all my complaints into one all-inclusive post and then be done with them!

Since it is 1am here, I am officially under a week left in Sevilla. Just a week before I felt like the end was never coming, and now it is fast approaching and I can’t believe it. A lot of my friends from various other programs are getting home now, and it is so weird to think how one day I will leave Sevilla and the next day I will be back in Austin, back to normal life, and I imagine all of this will feel like a dream. It all changes so abruptly.

I am starting to think that the reason I am so ready to go is because it doesn’t seem like the end ever actually will come, but until Tuesday gets here and until I am done with my finals, I am ready for the week to hurry up and I am ready to go home.

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