Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aural Dictation

So here in Spain, the teachers teach more in a manner that is akin to a college in the States: they lecture.

For me, this is a minor catastrophe. With my ADD, it´s hard to pay attention, so it helps a lot when a teacher writes on the board because I can´t miss a word or phrase like one might when someone is speaking.

So in my school in Spain, it´s a little bit like así.

-Ok students, make sure to take notes on this very important complicated intensive idea that will most certainly be on your final exam which is worth 80% of your grade, that I will not write down, but rather, mumble at sonic speed and not repeat.-

I write down as much as I can catch, but it´s a terrible system to communicate ideas. We have books for a reason.

So here is an excerpt of my World History notes from today, translated into English:

-And the economic reform inside list in state formed culture if you put and of canals front and the last royals few center.-

From looking at my notes, you´d think I were running for Miss Teen America.

I always knew geniuses would come out of the first state to secede from the Union.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


So school is probably the biggest change. But first, a little exposition.

In a small town of New England, school is the center of each teenager´s universe. The teenagers go to school, and on average of each day, do .5 tests, .7 quizzes, 5.6 worsheets, .13 projects, take 9.8 pages of notes, consume 0 calories during lunch because they need that time to finish their 3.2 hours of homework, attend 1.2 club functions, do 3.6 hours of class work, and get assigned .92 papers. Then the teenagers do their 2.2 hours of extra curiculative activities at school, then go to a friend´s house to do .17 more progress on a partner project, then go home to do 3.1 hours of homework, and sleep 4.5 hours after passing out in front of the computer trying to have a laughable excuse of a social life through Facebook.

And I thought this was for the betterment of our education...

Here in Spain, it´s so different and so much better.

I wake up at 7:30. !!!. That´s usually when school starts for me. And I get home at 2:30, with only 5 hours of school. And each day consists of 6 classes (with no actual schedualing system...I have history more than any other class, and gym less than any) and a deceant sized recreo. Then I go home to have lunch, and start my deberes. Which takes me all of 10 minutes. 2 problems for math and an open ended question in Econ...

I´ve actually gotten the medically reccomended amount of sleep every night here. I thought 8-9 hours was a myth, but it´s real! AND YOU CAN EVEN TAKE A SIESTA ONCE YOU GET HOME.

So those are the good things. Now onto the bad changes.

Everything is lecture style. 50 minute monolouges with I and my German exchange student friend Sibyl desperately flipping through our respective dictionaries. If you want to ask an involved question, well, oh well.

And the schools themselves are tiny. There are five schools to manage all the kids, but each is very small. And the facilities that I have become accustomed to I have realized are very VERY generous.
Imagine an American school. Now subtract the three gyms. Now the library. Now the science labratories. Now the photography dark room. Now all the computers. Now the music wing. Now the sports fields. Now the commons area. Now the cafeteria.
That´s bassically a Spanish high school. Litterally, just classes. All extracurruclatives are through private institutions that cost mucho dinero.

Overall though, school is still the center of my universe. Now it´s just a well rested universe.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Road Rage

So here, road rules are completely differerent.

It´s not just that speed limit signs are in kilometers. I can handle that. The metric system makes more sense anyway.

But there are no intersections. At all. Everything is a fuckin´rotary. And they´re not useful rotaries that connect 10 roads. They connect 4. Apparently Spain hasn´t heard of stop lights.

BUT THEY HAVE STOP LIGHTS. IN THE MIDDLE OF A ONE WAY STREET. And these lights go off so that people can cross the street. Even. When. No. One. Is. Crossing. The. Street.

I was about to shoot someone. And then I noticed that cars stop for me if I even hint at needing to cross the street, which makes those aforementioned lights redundant. So when I´m used to waiting for a large enough gap to cross, I unwittingly create a traffic jam as a driver stops to let me cross, and holds up the line whilst I stand there confused (and of course they start to move as soon as I decide to actually cross)

And there are theese speed bumps, every fuckin´where. I feel like I´m on a rollercoaster. And these arrows. OH HOLY SHIT THE ARROWS. Sometimes they point in a direction that reassures you´re on the correct side of the road (which here is the right side. Fuck you, Britain) BUT HALF THE TIME THESE DIABOLICAL ARROWS POINT IN THE OPPISITE DIRECTION THAT YOU´RE SUPPOSED TO BE GOING.

And the drivers here are so freakin´relaxed. Lane designation? Who needs it. Turn signals? Not neccesary. No free spots to park on th street? Why the sidewalk is just dandy.

And the most obnoxious thing (yes, it gets worse) people here decide to park in the middle of the street to run out and buy a pack of ciggerettes, and of course talk to an aquantince about his new baby for 15 minutes. And they justify this by putting on their caution lights.
-MOVE YOUR FUCKIN´CAR YOU ASSHOoh your caution lights are on. Everything is fine then, my good sir. Oh really? New baby you say? Well why don´t I just park right behind your car and join you.-

I bought a gun today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

La Casa

So that´s my room. Tons of light, TONS of wardrobe space. I love it.

Además, la casa at first seems just like it does in America. But the details are there, and they add up pretty quickly.

Here, people leave windows and doors open ALL THE TIME. It´s as hot outside as inside, so it makes no difference.

But then there are things that are a bit loco. The washing machine is outside, and there are no dryers- they hang clothes on a clothesline and let it air dry. -No no, padres, that´s cool. I didn´t want my clothes to dry all the way through anyway- (freaks)

La casa is actually an apartment, and as it turns out, everyone here in Sanse lives in an apartment. Some are in this sort of community complex and are as big as a modest house, like my friend María, but there are no white picket fences nor giant lawns.

Anyways, that´s all for now. I´m going to see Madrid with some friends on Sunday, and I´m REALLY excited.


Monday, September 21, 2009


So today is Monday, my first full day with my host family.


Iván: An actor with a talent for cooking.

Cuca: The army officer that wears sweats in 70 degree weather.

Huma: The cutest little kid since Aniken from the Phantom Menace.

And me, the American with no idea what he´s doing.


Anyways, I came here by train from Bacelona, where I stayed for a couple days in a hostel and made some awesome friends.
I´´ll post some pictures of Madrid in my next post.

Friday, September 18, 2009


So I'm currently in Frankfurt, Germany, ready to transfer my flight to Barcelona. I'm here with some hot joops, namely, Becca, Kaylee, and India.
The Germans are as gorgeous as promised.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Napkin

Upon realizing that I will be leaving America for 9.5 months (it's finnally hitting me) I'm starting to think about all the things I've taken for granted.
For example, my sister who studied in Argentina realized she loves American napkins, because the ones in Argentina suck. What followed was an entrie tirade on the lack of absorbency of Argentinian napkins, and waves of frustrated color actually whelled in her face at the mere memory of these pathetic excuses for a napkin, that were better thought of as the retarded cousin of Brawny that they always kept in the back so that people wouldn't stare.
Though I don't find myself this emotionally invested in such trivial kitchenware, I'm sure I will come across my Spanish version of a napkin. I can only hope that I don't wake one day and shoot everyone in sight because I can't get a hold of my treasured Resse's Peanut Butter Cups that have gotten me through more breakups than chocolate chip cookie dough and the Lifetime network combined.
Never get between a gay man and his self-destructive methods of filling his void.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mailing Address

If you wish to send me a letter (and I would of course reply) here is the information.

Address:Beatriz Galindo, 3, 1º, D
City: San Sebastian De Los Reyes
Zipcode: 28702,
State: Madrid

And here is the greatest thing ever:
If you hate Twilight as much as I do, you'll love this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

D.C. Ahoy!

So today I took a six and a half hour train ride from New London, Connecticut, to Washington, District of Columbia. I'm here in Arlington with my brother and sister in law, until my flight from Dullas Airport on the 17th.
This week I plan to buy little tokens of appreication for my host family. Any suggestions?

Anyway, East Lyme High School has terrible management skills. I got a call a few days ago from the Main Office asking me why I hadn't been showing up for class. Apparently I was never taken off the attendence record like my counselor said I was. Realizing that I had been technically skipping school for a week, I felt a warmth of sadistic satisfaction. I had a Hot Pocket to celebrate my anarchistic victory.