One of the four courses I’m taking at CEA is called Spanish Youth since 1975: Challenge and Achievement. The year 1975 is remarkably important for Spaniards because on November 20th, 1975, the country’s dictator (more like dicktator, ammiright?) Francisco Franco died.
I love this class. Over this semester I’ve learned more about Spain than I think I know about America, which is pretty embarrassing, but the point is that this course has totally enriched my study abroad experience by teaching me about Spanish culture, traditions, and political scandals.
For example, we learned about Castells, an activity that is very representative of Catalan values and integral to its culture. A castell is a human tower traditionally made during large festivals. It represents Catalan strength, balance, courage, and common sense. Videos of fallen towers would make great submissions for America’s Funniest Home Videos.
The only thing is that my class only has four students. It wouldn’t be such a problem if my classmates knew how to speak Spanish, but since they don’t the hour and a half lecture is basically directed towards me. That’s okay though, because my teacher happens to be cool as fuck (as most of the teachers are in CEA). Sometimes I get the feeling she thinks I’m too much of a smartass because I carry the weight of my class, but sorry, not sorry! To understand the dynamic of my class, I need to explain the characters in it. All names are changed to preserve anonymity.
Profesora (the teacher): Her catchphrase is “chang” (pronounced ch-ah-ng) and she’s a certified MILF. Her hair is always blown out beautifully, her outfits are chic and borderline inappropriate for class, and she wears only one bright, blue earring on her left ear because the other one fell out and she doesn’t feel like finding a replacement for it. I’m not sure if she’s married, but she always talks about the love of her life, her 16 year old daughter. Sometimes Profesora will bring in cool stuff for show and
tell, like a 16th century pistol, or 12th century books. These antique items comes from her household collection which she claims is haunted by ghosts. Prof can be easily distracted; one time my three classmates and I spent fifteen minutes during class trying to explain to her what the huts that sell marijuana in Freetown Christiana are like.
Megan, classmate #1: Megan is a student at Binghamton majoring in Spanish. Megan doesn’t know how to speak Spanish. Megan is also enrolled in two courses with me that are taught in Spanish. When Megan does her homework, I am very proud of her. Since she can’t understand a word that either of our teachers say, Megan plays on her phone as long as she can until Profesora says “CHANG!! Megan, if you don’t put away your mobile, I am going to take it home with me!” But Megan is lucky, because Profesora is a sweetheart and she never takes away her phone. Chang!
Derrick, classmate #2: Derrick is kind of cute, but he doesn’t really pay attention in class and he’s too skinny for me to develop a crush on. I’ve seen his friends though who are much hotter than him. I wish they would replace Derrick. Derrick is pretty boring. I don’t have much to say about him, except that I translate most of what Profesora says for him. Also, he once emailed me asking if we had any homework due for class, so I know he’s totally trying to get into my pants.
Catherine, classmate #3: Catherine never speaks during class. She also doesn’t really know how to speak Spanish. Sometimes I forget she’s even there, because I sit in the front of the class, like the asshole A+ student that I am. Catherine is very pretty but so fucking boring that her looks don’t make up for it.