Thursday, September 6, 2012

First day of school

Yesterday was my first day of classes. Got to school on the bus perfectly fine. I took the earlier bus because I knew I would need time to find my art history class. Well, despite asking directions from one of the men who works for my program in English, I managed to go to the complete opposite side of campus. Each building, thankfully has a doorman I could ask for help. When I was super lost, I asked a doorman and he told me I was far from my class and I would have to walk all the way across campus. I just went back to my program's office and the director drew me a map. I made it to the building finally but I could not find the classroom. I asked the doorman and apparently I had to go through this dark door down a tiny hall to a door that looked like a closet. That was my classroom. Despite being at school half an hour early, I was more than half an hour late to an hour and ten minute class. Oops.

 The professor, however, didn't mind in the slightest. There was only one other student in class and it turns out she was going to do the exact same study abroad programs as I am doing. She can't do Spring in the Netherlands anymore unfortunately. My professor was very intrigued my super Basque name. While Sasha and I were talking, he was figuring out the Basque words in my last name. Apparently my surname would have originally been spelled Gartzitorena and the way I spell it now is how it is written by a Spanish speaker. Makes sense. He said it meant "Los de (la casa de) los osos articos" or "those from (the house of) the polar bears". Super cool no? He even broke it down so I could understand it. The Gartzia part is polar bear, with artz being bear and the g in front and the ia after making it an Arctic bear. The torena part is like "from the" and the house part is implied and so it's similar in that way to last names with De or Du or Von or -vich as part of them. Who knew? One goal of study abroad accomplished.

Today I have more Spanish class and my Spanish Myths and Legends class today. Of the 19 units I'm taking (with audits of course), only one three unit class is in English. That's my Basque class. Learning how to speak Basque from Spanish would be a bit difficult I imagine. Additionally, I'm  taking Arte: Del Camino Santiago a Leonardo da Vinci on Mondays and Wednesdays. Also on Wednesday night I have starting next week De Elvis a Rap: 50 años de Musica y Cultura.  I have a 9-unit, semester long Spanish course that's Monday through Thursdays. I'm going to have a very busy school schedule.

I also have an interview with the Basque Heritage Foundation tomorrow. I'm excited. I came to San Sebastian to learn about my Basque heritage. Sounds like the place for me. The work is mostly translation so I think I can handle that.

Having glitches with this blog post. If it ends up weird, I'll fix it.


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