Monday, March 10, 2014

School in Seville

Yesterday was my first day of school in Juan de Mairena.  I entered into Primero de Bachillerato (like the first year of highschool).  The system here is a little different.  To sum up my first day of school..
(I wrote that back in September.  I really lament not writing in my blog for such a long time, I get very busy!)
What I  meant to say was that on my first day of school I really didn't know what to expect... The day before only lasted half of the day (like sophomore day) and to be completely honest I cried later that day.  I laugh at it now because now that school is one of the best things that ever happened to me, but it took a while before I could get accustomed to everything.
My first impression of the school was, "WHERE IS THE GRASS?"  There is no big American football field!  In fact football and baseball are very rare sports, when I tell people I played lacrosse last year they don't even know what it is!
Oh baby..but there is Soccer.  There is soccer.
The actual building was surprising to me at first.  It has three stories and plants inside that remind me of Jurassic Park! There are walls with students' art work hanging on the wall.  The walls are a kind of weird orange color with lime green accents.  I had never had such a colorful school before.  The picture of the colorful columns were decorated by students (not as graffiti!)  there is even an adventure time one.
As most of you know I enrolled in arts.  The schooling in Europe is very different.  They track you from an early age and based upon what you are good at they suggest what career oriented classes you should take.  That's why lots of students have dilemmas picking the wrong career oriented branch because then it has long term effects on  their career.  I used to think it was great having to know what you wanted to be at such an early age, but now I see how that is very hard to decide.  On another note, their point of view is: if you aren't going into a math oriented career path then why do you have to continue with math? (once you've reached the required level of course). It's true that we have certain developed intelligences in certain areas that others may or may not have. I might have forgotten to add that they tend to be more advanced in the concepts, the teaching is what makes the difference.
As far as my classes go here is an example of what my schedule looks like:
8:30-9:30 Matemáticas
9:30-10:30 Hora Libre
10:30-11:30 Filosofia
11:30-12:00 Recreo
12:00-1:00 Cultura Audiovisual
1:00-2:00 Atencion Educativa
2:00-3:00 Lengua 
I also take Francés, Dibujo Artistico, Volumen, Educación Fisica, and Proyecto.
 My art classes and my Philosphy class are probably my favorites.  I used to take English but I decided to drop it to take Math for the ACT next year...
In Dibujo Artistico  (Drawing Class)  we draw the typical bowls and fruits!  At first we practiced with pencil and now we are practicing with charcoal.  With the big canvases.
In Volume we learn about sculptures and it is more of a 3D art.  I have made several projects like my shoe out of clay or an ear, or a piñata made out of poster. I used to hate the class, but now it is one of my favorite, we learn about Michel Angelo and his works. Bernini, Rodin, etc.
Cultura Audiovisual we take Photography, and Publicity arts, things that we see on our day to day lives.  If you want to see some really cool Photography that we learned about recently look up Chema Madoz, an artist from Madrid.
In Philosophy, let me just say it isn't an easy class to pass.  My teacher Concha (because here it is the custom to call your teacher by their first name) expects the best about her students, and I love that.  She always teaches with a lot of enthusiasm!  I like Philosophy because I can apply it to my life.  It is also very interesting seeing the different points of views from the atheists in my class.  My teacher is atheist too and I have definitely learned to see the world through their set of eyes.
My hardest class is Lengua Castellana.  It is so hard for me to read all of the Spanish literature books, but I find it very interesting and even a recent one that was entertaining.  Apart from that it's like...the direct object/subject/verb classifying thing!!! but in Spanish and 10 times more complicated!  I don't understand how these things are even useful! But c'est la vie!
Juan de Mairena is a very good school.  Although the people here say it is the ghetto, it has many wonderful things to offer.  The best part is my class.  I see each one of them like a unique artist and have learned so much from them!  My friends Ana, Jose, Susana have been so kind to take me in and show me their world in Seville.
Some of the things I have learned at school in Spain is to appreciate the right to an education, and a good one!  I never realized and appreciated how awesome the teachers and classes in the USA really were. To make a class fun and the activities the schools put together for all the students really do make a difference in our lives.  I see it here in Spain.   
Another is that with practice anything is possible.  I never thought I would be able to pass all of my classes.  But with a lot of studying and hard work I have been able to pass in ways I never thought imaginable.  People will always be there to help.
Last but not least is how can you contribute to your school?  Whether it be through helping someone or being a part of service can really make a difference, even for the commnunity.
I  get to attend during the school's 25th anniversary!  Here are some pictures of the school I took as part of a project.