In addition to tromping around Barcelona and the rest of the Iberian peninsula, I just so happen to study. Contrary to popular opinion, I study a lot. More than you would expect. This week, I'm focused on midterms but my normal schedule looks a little like this:
Three days a week I trek over to ESCI, a business school near Ciutat Vella, for my Advanced Grammar and Composition Spanish class. The commute takes a disgusting 40 minutes of walking and metro hopping, but I like to think it's worth it. Don't believe me? Here's the building just outside our classroom:
Gorgeous, right? (Photo borrowed from "ramonfrombcn") The class itself isn't so bad either. Our professor, Rocio, smiles constantly, rarely focuses on the lesson plan and is probably one of the most naturally beautiful people I've ever met. Most of our classes turn into conversations about Spanish slang, American TV shows, and Rocio's childhood in Dos Hermanas, a teeny tiny village in Andalucia. We listen to songs, watch videos and read short stories and articles from an exercise book. It's adorable.
Rocio also just so happens to be good friends with another professor of mine everybody calls Nando:
That's him during a field trip to Plaza Espanya. He teaches a CIEE class called the City in Visual Culture. On Mondays we tour the city and on Thursdays Nando lectures, in Spanish, about the art and architecture of Barcelona. Our big project is a mega-huge research paper. Mine is about the use of architecture as a political tool during the 1980's after the fall of Franco.
My next class, Composition Four, is at the architecture school affiliated with the International University of Catalunya. It's pretty wild. Half a dozen of us CIEE kids tromp up to Sarria, a neighborhood way up in the mountains, twice a week to get a little taste of a real deal Catalan classroom. We usually start about 20 minutes late, students wander in and out throughout class, and we don't have any assignments until the final project, which counts for LITERALLY 80% of our grade.
Said project is a model, exposition panel and presentation about a mixed use housing development designed by Coll Leclerc Architects. I'm working with three Catalans and a French exchange student named Lucille. We generally rely on Spanish to communicate but throw in English, French, doodles and interpretative dance when necessary.
My final class is an architecture studio at CIEE. We're currently designing a live/work space for a single mom with two teenage children. The site:
Is currently occupied by a wonky building that doesn't really fit in with the rest of the street:
Our goal is to design something with better street presence that satisfies the needs of a mama and her two children. I'm nearly ecstatic because the site is smack dab in one of the very few enclaves of green in the city of Barcelona: