This is almost my last postcard! Before leaving, I just want you to know that speaking and hearing Spanish was in no way limited to class periods. The program’s philosophy of “español primero” made me use as much Spanish as possible both in and out of the classroom, by encouraging me to speak Spanish first when addressing staff members, during activities and field trips, and obviously in class! Do you want a proof? Then check out this video!
Today I was at Tibidabo, have you heard about it? Atop the highest peak of Barcelona, Tibidabo is one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city and is home to its best views. I spent the day taking in the sights, visiting the Neo-Gothic Sagrat Cor temple at the peak of the mountain, and enjoying the rides and games of the historic Tibidabo amusement park. Here are some pictures but I’ll send some more very soon!
This postcard is from my Studio Art teacher. I hope you like it as much as I do! XoXo
Studio Art, Barcelona 2012 is a group exhibition showing the work of nine international artists: Anjali, Amelia, Antonia, Autumn, Ayanna, Brooke, Elianne, Jessica and Olivia produced during their stay in La Escuela Preparatoria de Barcelona in July, 2012.
Throughout this month, these nine artist have combined their studies of Spanish culture and language with a Studio Art course. The aim of the course was to create a personal work of art that today we present to everybody.
During the course I explained different art tecniques and art movements, always linked to Barcelona. The city itself and its artistic background was our inspiration to create our personal work of art.
Next I introduce each of them and their work for this final show:
Some of them have been captivated by Gaudí‘s universe and use his world as inspiration for their final work. This is the case of Anjali Dhillon (Delhi, 21st October). She decided to represent Casa Batlló in a watercolor and pencil painting. Antonia Alakija (Washington D.C., 19th November) chose pencil and indian ink to represent Park Güell. Ayanna Joseph (New York, NY 10th September) likes to paint the places she has visited and in this occasion. She mixed drawing and watercolor for a personal view of Park Güell and Casa Batlló. Jessica Zubizarreta (San Francisco, CA 4th October) really likes to work with collage and she love Gaudi´s work so she decided to put both things together for her final work. She is working on a college book about Spanish culture since she arrive in June.
Some other girls decided to work from their personal universe, this is the case of Amelia Wood (Omaha, NB 3rd November); Elianne Paley (New York, NY 10th July) who painted an original self-portrait representing her own eye; Olivia Marshall (New York, NY 11th December) likes draw people and real life and had worked hard to create this personal collage about her Spanish experience; Autumn Muise (April 1997) works with many colors to create lively art based on everyday objects through the medium of painting and the last one Brooke Underwood (Atlanta, GA 24th April) likes to paint symbols of her favourite bands, and she is always inspired listening to their music.
Hometown: Gijon (Spain)
Life outside of La Prepa: After finishing her Bachelor of Fine Arts and earning a Ph.D from Universidad de Barcelona, Susana has lived in New York, London, and Madrid. This year, she is back in Barcelona where she works as a freelance artist and curator.
Interest/Hobbies: Susana likes to read, explore the city on foot, and swim.
Waiting for the bus in the way to Parc de Pedralbes to investigate about our trust in others, to guide or be guided, knowing if others are able to see our good points, guessing who am I with animal sounds! I had a lot of fun!
Here we were investigating if we trust in others being guided or we prefer to guide, Geffrey was touching some materials he couldn’t see, was a funny experience for him? was he trusting in Samantha? Watch it yourself and decide!, all of them did a great job! Congratulations!
I will send you very soon a video about it, so make sure to check out “the mail” to receive my new postcards every day!
Hometown: El Prat, Barcelona, Spain
Life outside of La Prepa: Raquel has been working as a clinical psychologist for almost ten years now in a hospital and in various private centers. She specializes in EMDR (Eyes Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EDMR is an innovative clinical treatment, which helps people who have experienced psychological difficulties that may originate from some kind of traumatic experience, such as sexual abuse, childhood neglect, road traffic accidents and violence. EMDR is also successful in treating other complaints such as performance anxiety, self-esteem issues, phobias, and other trauma related anxiety disorders.
She has also collaborated with Human Project as a psychologist in the treatment of drug addictions, working with addicts and as a family counselor. Currently, Raquel works in a private center as a clinical in EMDR in Barcelona. Occasionally, she lectures on awareness, detection and treatment of gender violence.
Interests/Hobbies: Raquel enjoys swimming and being with her friends.
“Taller de cocina mediterranea” en Mescladís
In Cultura y Cocina, we went to a Mediterranean cooking workshop in Mescladís, a concept developed in Barcelona that mixes an interest in cooking with social work and the non-profit organization Fundacío Ciutadania Multicultural. The mission of FCM is to help accommodate immigrants and native citizens using educational projects that promote social cohesion and economic strategies that helpla inserción social y laboral. Because they are experts in Mediterranean cooking, they were able to explain the characteristics of Mediterranean food while cooking a variety of typical dishes like bread with tomato, hummus, and olive spread.
We also visited an urban garden, which is a growing trend. Be healthy! The students were able to learn how to create and maintain a garden as well as the importance of eating organic foods. Finally, we were able to bake using a solar oven and make a “Huertorade”, an isotonic drink inspired by Gatorade.
One of our most impacting experiences was our visit to the restaurant “Dans le noir”, where we had afternoon snacks in the dark. We met Jose, our waiter, who served as our guide in the darkness, as he is blind. We were able to understand his way of life and learn how it feels to be in his shoes. After experiencing eating in the dark, we discovered new and amazing sensations!
Joel Bevin, the cook that prepared our dessert arrangement last week, is going to come back and judge our new contest inspired by Topchef. Joel was a participant on the Australian version, Masterchef, and will serve as our area expert. Today, Joel lives in Barcelona and loves cooking. Along the way, he has inherited many family recipes while inventing new ones!
And here is my teacher’s profile:
Hometown: Figueres, Girona
Life outside La Prepa: Silvia has her BA from the Universitat de Barcelona and her MA from the Barcelona School of Cinema. Silvia is an awarded documentary filmmaker based in Barcelona. She has worked as a screenwriter, photographer and camerawoman for television, fictional works and documentaries and she is also a teacher within both the Escola Projecte and the avante-garde audiovisual cooperative, Connectats. Sílvia’s education ranges from Economy to Cinema and Literary Theory and she speaks fluent Spanish, Catalan, English, Portuguese and French.
Interests/Hobbies: Silvia enjoys cinema and literature, but she comes from a very gastronomical family as her grandfather, father, and brothers are cooks, so she has inherited a good taste for food and the pleasure of cooking.
On Friday 13, I went to La Boqueria market with the Marine Biology Minor course. There you can find all kind of seafood you can imagine, like fish, squids, crabs, “gambas” shrimps, etc. etc.; we also saw a wired crustacean Spanish people call “percebe” (goose barnacle). It lives attached to rocks in coastal areas exposed to strong waves, and it seems that it’s considered a real delicacy here. I was not used to the smell and to see living crabs on an ice bed, that’s fresh seafood! I had no idea Spaniards like safood so much, and that you can actually eat so many different marine organisms! You can find some receipt here: http://bit.ly/QHB90
I bought some fish and I went to a park nearby the market to observe and analyse it. People looked at me strangely, but with curiosity…
On July 15, I went with my class to Badalona beach for our “Beach Campaign class”. You can think that we went sunbathing and swimming, or even playing with sand… but there’s much more than this! We applied some techniques Marine Biologists use to study marine organisms and their environment. Our teacher Arianna learned all these techniques when she was working as a pre-doctoral student at the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar of Barcelona and at the Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes. But now she is devoting to teach marine biology in a new environmental interpretive centre, La Casa del Mar, located in one of the nicest beaches of the Costa Brava (Fenals beach, Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava), collaborating with the NGO Xatrac.
On July 20 we visited the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (CSIC). It’s a Spanish Government research institution in Marine Science. We had the unique opportunity to visit the experimental area!It’s wonderful to be able to see real marine scientists on their daily work. They’re currently developing research about the effects of climate change on corals and molluscs, they’re studying the biology of seabass for aquaculture, and the negative effects of bottom trawling fishing gears http://bit.ly/91LtNF. There’s also a project to study the effects of jellyfish proliferation on coastal systems and on fish populations http://bit.ly/MG4THd. Macarena, who works at the Marine Biology and Oceanography Department explained us the life cycle of jellyfish http://bit.ly/SSrljc; we discovered why we don’t see any jellyfish in winter: they spend winter fixed on the bottom of the sea in the polyp phase! We saw all the life phases in small aquaria, with very tiny, mini-jellyfish floating and contracting their tentacles!
There’s also a storage area, where you can find almost everything you need to organize your own expedition to explore the world ocean… there’s up to a real, yellow submarine!!
And finally I went to CosmoCaixa. We watched a movie about natural selection and how animals and humans have changed over time.
You see? It was so interesting to see how everything has changed so much! Also, one of the funniest things we realized during the visit is that Darwins‘ boat with which he travelled to South America and discovered natural selection is called Beagle. Meghan, one of our programs deans, loves beagles! Did you read her bio?
By the way, you can take a look at my teacher’s bio. Her name is Arianna and she has been working for the program for 3 years!
Hometown: Gallarate, Varese-Italy
Life outside of La Prepa: Arianna holds a Ph. D. in Ecology, has studies and worked as a marine biologist in Portugal, France, Spain and Malaysia. She lives in Blanes (Girona) and she’s working in educational and science popularitzation programs.
Interests/Hobbies: Arianna enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and kayaking with friends. She practices agility dog with Juno… but she also loves relaxing on hammock with her cat Sinpa!
I am out tonight for a nice dinner with my Major class. Check out my postcards because I’ll explain you all the details very soon! — And while London is getting ready for this year’s Olympic Games, here at La Escuela Preparatoria de Barcelona we decided to create our own games: Spoon and egg game, Jump rope, Throw a ball into a box, Carry a full bottle of water without using the hands, Find a ball with your eyes closed: ¡¡frío-frío, caliente-caliente!!
Check it out!