Almost all of my blog entries have turned inwards and been a bit heavy. As good as it is to reflect and strongly opinionate, in this blog entry I’ll try to avoid the mires of introspection and look a bit more outward. In this case on the experience of being a student at the University of Granada.
At the UGR, I’m taking a literary theory class, “La Lengua Literaria,” and a religion class, “Creencias, Rituales y Religiones.” Both classes, though in different “licentiaturas,” (licentiaturas are basically what U.S. universities call departments) are in the same facultad, “La Facultad de Filosofía y Letras.” Facultades are the way Spanish universities broadly group licentiaturas together. The Facultad of Filosofia y Letras for example has everything from the licenciatura of anthropology to the licentiaturas of modern languages.
From what I’ve seen so far, classes at the University are very different from my classes at Williams. In certain ways, classes are much more relaxed– students and the professors themselves rarely show up to class on time and the duration of the class ultimately seems up to the decision of the professor. My classes have varied from being an hour and a half to the full two hours long.
In other ways, classes are much less relaxed. No one wears the sweats that are so ubiquitous on college campuses in the U.S. (though in general, everyone seems to dress nicer here) and eating during class is really rare.
The types of assignments are also quite different. Part of this is due to the fact my classes here are much bigger than the ones I take at Williams. I have far less mandatory reading and weekly homework than I do at Williams and no participation grade since the classes are lecture-only. My grades in my UGR classes will depend almost entirely the grades I get on my final projects and/or tests.
The lectures in both classes have been interesting, my classes complement each other nicely and I’m enjoying learning in an academic environment that’s different from Williams. Another nice thing: Monday thru Thursday my classes end at 7:30 at night. When I leave, students are heading home, people are playing on the soccer fields below and the beautiful Monastery of Cartuja, foregrounding the sprawl of the city, is lit from behind by the pinks and oranges of the setting sun.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Haley Stewart was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and is currently a Comparative Literature Major at Williams College in Massachusetts. She was lucky enough to be in a Spanish Immersion program from preschool thru high school, an experience which left her a fluent Spanish-speaker, a lover of Latin-American literature and an avid traveler. She's used her Spanish in many ways since, from teaching computer classes in Oaxaca, Mexico, to volunteering at an organization for low-paid farm workers in Oregon, to her classes on Spanish literature and history at Williams. Haley's most recent travel experience, a month and a half long trip to England on a travel fellowship from Williams, hiking alone through the beautiful Lake District in the footsteps of the Romantic poet Wordsworth, has left her even more excited to explore Granada. A lover of Federico Garcia Lorca for many years, Haley looks forward to not only walking, but living, in a city full of such poetry, music and magic.</span></p>