I shouldn’t be blogging right now…

My parents are here, and they just went to the grocery store. I know that when they get back, Mom is going to yell at me for not doing my homework. Just like the good old days! And also just like the good old days, I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do, and that means blogging instead of doing my homework. So there!

Well, I’ve now officially had 3.5 days of class. I say 3.5 because today was a very special day; TCNJ calls it “long Wednesday,” which I suppose is appropriate because, well, it’s Wednesday and it was a long day. The course is supposed to be eight days long, but for some reason or other, they weren’t able to get the eighth day. Instead of making us come to class on a Saturday (thank you, Stuart!), they doubled up today. That means we had class from 8:30-12:30 and then again from 1:30-5.

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I love the sense of humor of the program director. Check out the picture and the definition of Wednesday. This daily bulletin cracked me up.

The class itself was manageable, but the classroom chairs are so uncomfortable, so it became exhausting! Here’s a shot of our classroom so you can see what I mean.
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I don’t know if you can really tell, but the chairs are small, wooden, and straight backed. Definitely not made for 6.5 hours of sitting. Luckily the class is pretty interactive and we get to move around at least somewhat throughout the day, so we managed. And hey, you can’t beat the view!

But anyway, back to the rest of this week. Monday was my first day of classes, and I definitely enjoyed it. We talked a lot about what it means to be a leader. I know I’ve said this before, but I really like the whole leadership aspect of this program. I always thought of an admin as someone who does budgets, deals with crises, and kowtows to the powers that be. While I get that that’s part of it, there’s more to it. I love the idea of being someone who inspires others to have a vision of learning. I have so many ideas and thoughts about what education can and should be that I am excited to one day be in the position to actually effect change. But I won’t go off on that tangent now; we’d be here all day.

I have class every day from 8:30-1:30 (with the exception of the aforementioned Long Wednesday). On Monday, I decided that I wanted to try to find the grocery store. Everyone kept going on about what an easy walk it is. The only problem with that, however, is that I was under the impression that the “easy walk” was in one direction, when in fact it was actually quite the opposite. So I set off on an adventure on Monday, and I started going up the hill to find the mall. Little did I know that the mall was actually DOWN the hill.

The good news is that I went on quite a lovely walk of a residential neighborhood. I even got to go past a somewhat creepy looking compound type place; there was a bell tower and barbed wire. I still don’t quite know what’s up with that place, but I’m sure it’s quite lovely. It was about 6pm, but the sun was blazing, and, as usual, I was sweating. At least this time it had nothing to do with my anxiety over speaking the language (you’ll be pleased to know that I no longer sweat when saying things like “hola. ¿Puedo tener tapas?” I am getting much more comfortable with the language, which is exciting considering it’s only been five or so days).

My walk was mostly uphill (well, I guess technically it was only uphill for half the way, since I had to go down the hills to get home). But still. It was some good cardio. I saw some pretty homes and flowers, many of which I will show you now:
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I took this last photo especially for my mom because the European road signs remind me of the speed limit card in Mille Bournes. Playing Mille Bournes is a special childhood memory for me.

I wanted to post more, but WordPress is telling me I exceeded the login limit. Whatever that means. Maybe I’ll just start a Flikr album or something.

So anyway, on Monday, I went for my walk and did not find the grocery store. I ended up just going down to Calamayor (the beach) and doing some grocery shopping there. I bought a rather random selection of items: butter, an apple, three bananas, an avocado, cheese, a bulb of garlic, a bag of pasta, a baguette, coffee (which I thought had caffeine but didn’t – more on that later), a red bell pepper, and a lemon. I spoke entirely in Spanish to the woman at the counter. She looked at my items and said, “ahhh, por una ensalada” and I said “si” and then we had a long conversation consisting of what I think was a discussion of the merits of salad and why they’re good especially in the summer. But don’t quote me on that.

I took my groceries up the 116 steps (see photo from my first post) that stood between me and my apartment. After all that, I was too tired to cook, so I made a cheese sandwich, cut up half the pepper, and did my homework before bed.

On Tuesday, I was unusually tired, but I made it through class and greeted my parents, who are visiting from New Jersey. I’m extremely excited that they finally came to Europe; it’s their first time here! They are visiting for a few days and then heading to Paris, where they will do a bike tour and have a picnic. I’m happy for them. They have their own crazy stories about cab rides and getting lost, but I’ll save them for another time.

I took a long nap after class on Tuesday, and then we went down to Cala Mayor for dinner. We ended up at a little creperie, where I had a crepe con pollo y queso, dad had 1/2 chicken, and mom had something like paella but with pasta instead and I was sure I’d remember what it’s called and of course I don’t. I think it was figerua or something. I’ll check next time I’m there. Either way, mom said it was delicious, so that’s all that matters. What post of mine would be complete without food photos?
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After dinner, my parents went to watch the World Cup, and I stayed home to do homework (my how times have changed). I was up till 4 or 4:30am, but I finished *most* of my work. I went to long Wednesday and was again unusually exhausted, craving caffeine by the morning break at 10:30. Are you picking up on my foreshadowing yet or what?

Long Wednesday happened…I submitted the PPT that was due and got through the reading discussions just fine. On the way home, a classmate said that she wanted to go out. Another classmate and I agreed, but I had to come back to my apartment to pay my rent. So they came back and hung out with me and my parents. Despite the fact that my landlord never showed up to collect the rather large sum of cash I had for him, we had a great time and laughed a lot. It was much needed after such a long day.

Oh, and are you wondering why I was so tired??? So tonight I apologized to my parents for not having decaf coffee, since that’s what they drink. My mom was like “but your coffee is decaf!”. I insisted she was crazy, but sure enough, when I looked at the label, I realize that I had purchased decaf! THAT’S WHY I WAS SO TIRED. IT EXPLAINS SO MUCH!

But now we know, and my parents just came back from the grocery store with regular coffee. So all is right in the world once more.

I feel like I need a better conclusion than this, but I am tired, my homework is calling out my name, and my parents just got home with dinner. Plus this post is hecka long as it is. So, well, I guess that’s it.

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