Today my host realised that the clocks had moved forward. Her reaction was fantastic.
I had an amazingly awkward start to the day. I arrived at the school a little before the time I had been told to arrive, found the class I was supposed to be in… and wondered why no one else seemed to be around and where all the other students were. Then a teacher saw me and came to help, also found the class I was supposed to be in, showed me where it was (I didn’t have the heart to tell him I already knew), and told me classes started half an hour later. I’d seen that on the wall and wondered why I’d heard that I was supposed to be in half an hour earlier, and again wondered where the other new students were. Anyhow, I went and had a café con leche, passed the half hour, and returned to the classroom, where there were now people.
I later found out I had missed the newcomers’ orientation. Which was the reason I’d assumed I was supposed to arrive early the first day.
Let’s file that under: How to start off on the wrong foot. In fact, there’s yet more confusion (financial, I won’t go into detail on this one*) that I’ll have to talk to someone about tomorrow. Perhaps I could have sorted it today, but I felt too nervous to confront that much in one day after everything else. Yes, let’s put that bit of cowardliness
along with the rest in the same file.
[*Hello, it’s Jess from the future here. I sorted it all out — it was very simple in the end, have faith yesterday-Jess! Uh, yes…]
However, the class was great. The teachers were great and the materials were clear and informative. My classmates seem a pleasant if quiet bunch. There are two lessons per day: the first a grammatical one, the second a conversational one. Each is taught by a different teacher. Once the lessons were done (including the ten minute break in between them), I went to the office to bravely inquire (in Spanish) about activities run outside of class time, and managed to get the information/paper handout I needed (…from the same guy that told me classes started in half an hour).
You know, the sort of stuff they would have talked about in the orientation.
Well. A guided tour around the major attractions was one of the activities listed for today, and I decided to join it.
And coming back to this post today (alas, I did not have time to post this yesterday), I can definitely say that a summary of Salamanca’s attractions might be better left until later on in my stay here, so that I have enough time to compose a better summary. At the very least, they deserve their own post. Suffice to say it was a beautiful day (and yes, I’m still going to explain the title of this post).
I’m in love with the colour of the buildings. I don’t know how to explain this artistic, nay affectionate pull I have for this particular stone colour but I captured a picture of the Plaza Mayor (this stone in particular is called Villamayor) in full sunlight which maybe explains it for me:
How about this one from today, with even better sunlight? No?
No need to be so serious about stone, anyway…
Yep. Serving as a warning to students, this iconic frog on ‘La Puerta de Salamanca’ represents the lazy ease of youth whilst the skull reminds them of their mortality…urging them to study hard rather than just party hard. At least that’s what my tour guide said. Go easy on the vino, people. However, it’s supposed to be lucky if you manage to find it amongst all the rest of the carvings on that University’s façade, which for me feels like a bit of a contradiction.
Anyway, the evening ended with tapas with the school — those lovely mini-meals you typically have with alcohol in Spain — and really, that fixed everything.
Coming up: Things I bought to read