Summer ’08!

I suppose I got my wish–It’s now Friday after my exams are over!!! This is awesome. I had my Pragmática Intercultural exam today at 9:00am and I was finished by around 11:15. I suppose I could have studied more, but I ended up writing quite a bit. It was a tough exam format for me because the professor gave the title of a course theme that we covered and we had to write down everything we remembered about it. I’m better at exams when I have prompts in the questions to jog my memory. That way it’s less about memorizing what was listed under a theme and more about what concepts can be synthesized and applied to a given example or situation…but what do I know? I’m working in a different academic system here.

After my exam I went to see if my Women in Antiquity grade was posted yet–it wasn’t, but I saw my professor and said goodbye to her and thank you. I didn’t really have my words together to tell her that I enjoyed her class so it came out awkwardly, but I think she got the point. I really liked this professor. I went to see her several times and she seemed to really appreciate my coming to her office and asking her questions. Most professors do, but it was nice because many professors here don’t want to take the time for an international student who has no real investment in the department or the university. This professor actualy studied at Princeton for a while (I can’t remember if I’ve told this story before) so she knows the town in which I grew up. She also seemed to be impressed enough by my interest in her course to invite me on an archaeological dig in Ibiza!!! I wish I could have gone (even though archaeology is not truly my field of anthropology). It sounds really interesting but the dates do not work with my Australia program butting right up to the end of this one. Oh well. It was still cool to be asked. My professor asked me if I would keep in touch with her and tell her things that I find out about the study of indigenous Australian women and their domestic life. She’s going to be a good contact to have if I come back to Valencia for anything academic…and a nice contact to have anyway.

It’s a relief to finally be on summer vacation…but now there’s all this OTHER stuff I have to get done. There are three weeks between now and when my classes begin. That’s not very much time at all. This will be the shortest summer vacation of my life…but then in November I’ll make up for it for the longest winter vacation I will ever have (relative to the Northern hemisphere of course). So in the next two days I have to pack my entire life into a suitcase, a small duffel bag and a backpack. I’ve been throwing stuff away little by little and I feel that this really won’t be that hard to do, but the task is daunting anyway.

So here’s what I’m doing on my summer vacation:
June 28-30: Pack up life
July 1: Go to Albacete with Ana
July 2: Albacete
July 3: Catch train to Oviedo to stay with Mom’s former host sister (whom I have not yet met)
July 4: Blow up firecrackers in honor of US Independence Day while in Oviedo
July 5: Oviedo/Beaches at Gijón
July 6: Oviedo/Surrounds
July 7: Bus to Madrid; bus to Valencia; Pajama party with Luza in Valencia
July 8: Plane from Valencia to London; Over night in London
July 9: See as much of London as possible in a few hours; Night plane to Sydney (23 hours in the air)
July 11: Arrive in Sydney, transfer to Brisbane, move into residential college in Australia!!!!
July 12-13: Buying shampoo
July 14-20: Midyear Orientation week at UQ
July 21: Classes begin

Th-th-th-that’s all folks! Pretty jam-packed right? I’m hoping that my vacation plans will actually be relaxing rather than stressful, but I may not get a chance to write in the blog for a while. Still, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that might prove to be an interesting twist to the blog. I’m going to leave you all hanging though until I figure out if it will work. Stay tuned for more on the interesting twist.

Tonight we’re having a little get-together that is guiri themed. For those of you who do not know (I estimate the majority) a guiri is basically anyone who looks painfully like a tourist. I’ll paint you a picture: Hiking shorts, runningsneakers, socks pulled high or with flimsy flip-flops, giant camera with all the attachments around neck, t-shirt with giant brand or college name on it, baseball cap or giant floppy brimmed hat, sunglasses. It’s not really a derogatory concept at all. It is hilarious though and I am currently the only one of my friends that is dressed up…or down as the case may be. They didn’t dress like guiris because they are going out to a club afterward, but I am exhausted and don’t really like clubbing anyway. I’ve done it and had fun, but every time I go out I come back with my lungs full of smoke, no voice, and I sleep all of the next day away or have to run on no sleep. Partying Spanish style is certainly not mine…but I’m glad I did it a few times and I don’t feel like I’m missing much in not going after I’ve given it a good try and decided I’m ultimately happier without it.

Anyway, I better go find out what everyone is up to and sign off. It does feel good to be done with exams. I officially survived a semester in Spanish!!! *Happy Dance*

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2 responses to “Summer ’08!

  1. From Karen
    Ruthieee! Glad to hear you had a great semester šŸ™‚ Have fun this summer and hurry home ā¤

  2. Ruth,
    By the time you read this you will have landed in Australia. I’ve been catching up lately on your blog and can’t believe all the amazing experiences you have had. Hope that your flight to Australia was smooth (you must be EXHAUSTED!) and that you are adjusting to life “down under”.
    I’ll keep reading to learn of newest adventures. In the meantime, get some sleep to get rid of your jet lag!!!!
    Best,
    Nora

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