This morning I attended a welcome/changing of coordinators gathering for the Latin American Studies program. It was scheduled to start at 9:30, but started around 10:00. Nothing too earth-shattering, though some of the student feedback at the end was interesting -- ranging from praise to criticism of the program.
I left early to go to class, but I guess the professor must have been there too (and for some meeting afterward) because he never showed. I talked for a while with some of the other students in the class, so it was still worthwhile in that sense. Apparently it's an undergrad class I'm auditing, but the information will be useful nonetheless.
Afterward I ran into a friend I met during registration and he played tourguide for the afternoon. He did his undergrad, master's and is now in the process of his doctorate at the UNAM and works at Colegio de Mexico (or Colmex, another University in Mexico City) so is a wealth of information. He gave me the tour of the Humanities
building tower, which has various research centers, libraries, offices, etc I'll need to know about and introduced me to various professors.
Below: a (not so great) photo of the Estadio Olimpico, home of the 1968 Olympics and the Pumas, UNAM's futbol (soccer) team. The artwork on the stadium is by Diego Rivera.
From there we went over to the Colegio de Mexico (Colmex) a small, prestigious university in Mexico City. It has a really good library -- which I'll probably be visiting for my thesis. I got the grand tour of the cafeteria (better than UNAM) and the library and met up briefly with Robert, another Ambassadorial Scholar studying there.
While we were parking in front of Colmex, Francisco explained a rather fascinating/disturbing occurrence. In an attempt to make money, there are people that claim public (parking) space in high traffic areas as their own and charge anyone who wants to park there. Refusing to pay could result in slashed tires, stolen mirrors, etc. Eek. We payed 15 pesos for our prime parking spot in front of the university.
After Colmex we went to Tlalpan, an outlying neighborhood which still has more of a colonial feel with it's quaint plaza, cobblestone street, and colonial architecture. We got coffee and lemon pie ("pay" on the menu) from a coffee shop a friend had recommended that partners with coffee growers in Mexico.
(Note-- though we did see the people charging for parking we found a spot further down that wasn't "claimed")
Overall, a successful day!