Friday, March 4, 2011

Week(s) in review

This semester got busy very quickly! I "only have 3 classes," but I've managed to fill up my time.

As for classes...
-So far I'm still not a huge fan of my literature class (not so much content, but structure/execution of the class). The class is split over two days, two hours each day. A lot of the class is taught using references -- but if I haven't read the books previously it doesn't help much. One day of class is for theory and literature analysis. We read The Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig, which we'll use as a common book to analyze. I liked the book -- and am very glad I did my undergrad study abroad in Buenos Aires to understand all of the porteño vocabulary, references and grammar! The other class day students present to the class various literary movements/genres and their historical context. Eventually I'll be presenting on Hispanic writers in the US.

-I'm still not decided on my Culture class. So far whether I like/dislike the class has depended a lot on the topic of discussion of the week. It's a four hour class (that actually uses the four hours) and it gets a bit long, but at least I have a lot of friends in the class.

-I dropped the Caribbean class and registered for a Globalization and Migration course taught in the Anthropology Department. So far I've enjoyed the class. We've focused on changes in capitalism which have led to globalization. I never knew (or cared to know) much about economics, but the focus is a mix between economics and sociology. It's been interesting and makes sense and I feel like I'm actually learning something. The mix of people is interesting as well: there's only about 10 of us, but we come from different majors (anthropology, geography, international relations, etc), countries (US, Spain, North/South/Central Mexico, Nicaragua, Denmark), and 4 of us are left-handed.

-I also have Portuguese every day for an hour, which is going pretty well. I like that the focus is more holistic on learning the language and culture and not just mechanical grammar exercises.

As for fun stuff...
-I decided I wanted to do something for me this semester as a fun balance to academics (though at the moment it might be a bit of overload!). I'm taking a contemporary dance class offered to the public through the UNAM Dance Department. I hadn't done much contemporary dance before and sometimes it's a bit "out there" for me, but I've really enjoyed dancing again.

-I saw an announcement for auditions for the University Choir and decided to give it a shot. The funniest part was that we had to sing a verse and the chorus of Cielito Lindo, because it's a song that "everyone knows." Well.... being the foreigner, I had to ask the guy next to me to write the words down for me. It all worked out though and they invited me to join! I've started going to rehearsals but had to learn quickly. I'll be joining the choir next week on a trip to Oaxaca to perform at the University there. Each choir will have a separate performance and then we'll also perform together. Now I'll have rehearsals 3 nights a week. Last semester I was lucky to have all of my classes on the main campus, but this semester I'm back and forth between the main campus (lit, culture, portuguese) and the southern part of campus (globalization, dance, choir).

-I also bought a Groupon (yup, they're in Mexico now) for 8 classes at a fitness center in La Condesa. So far I've tried yoga, belly dancing and pilates. It's felt good to be active again (let's face it -- there's a nice park outside but I don't think I will ever enjoy running). I probably won't continue there once my month is up just because it's not super convenient to get there, but I'm enjoying the (cheap!) month of classes.

And that's my week (more like month!) in review =)

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