Amanda Bennett: A Year in Zaragoza, Spain

Luces de Bohemia y Violin January 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — psychohistoria @ 9:40 am

The cast of "Luces de Bohemia", a Teatro del Templo produccion

What a crazy couple of days! I’m finally getting almost as busy as I was at Deerfield.
On Wednesday, I had a normal school day until 5:15. I stayed after for a little bit to chat with my English teacher about my Altas Shrugged essay, but then hurried to the Escuela Popular de Música where I’m taking violins. I’m using the school’s violin (the music school – SYA doesn’t have one) so I have to go there to practice, but it is literally 5 minutes walking from my house, so there is no hassle. After a half-hour of practicing (I had to vacate the room for a flute lesson), I headed home and hit the elbows (literal translation of a Spanish phrase which means “get to studying”).
Just as I read the last line of my political science handout, the doorbell rang. Jenny and I were both going with the school to a play that night, Luces de Bohemia. Her literature class had read the script, and that was their motive for attending, but the literature teacher knew I enjoyed the theatre and invited me along. The play was at 9, and Jenny wouldn’t have had time to go home and eat, so I invited her to my house (hoping my host mother wouldn’t mind).
It turned out that Carmen called saying she wouldn’t make it home for dinner anyhow, so Jenny and I had free range of the kitchen. We baked mini chocolate-banana muffins as a birthday present for another friend (and permitted ourselves the luxury of using real American chocolate chips, which I’d been sent in a package – trust me, there is a huge difference, and the USA ones are a million times better), then our meal: “ants on a log salad” (celery, apples, peanuts, raisins, and a yogurt dressing) and alubias (red beans) with peppers, onions, and tomato. It was so delicious that we completely lost track of time and suddenly realized it was quarter to nine as we were just taking our second helpings! We threw the dishes in the sink, feeling incredibly bad that we didn’t have time to wash them, I forwent the heels, and we literally ran to the theatre, which is about 10 minutes from my house at a normal pace. Taking the little side roads I’ve gotten to know, we arrived in probably 3 minutes flat – a little out of breath, but not a hair out of place.

A scene from "Luces de Bohemia"

Seeing as the school had bought the tickets, we had first floor, front and center seats – a wonderful break from my usual 5th-floor balcony nosebleed position! I really enjoyed the play (although those who had read it found it rather boring), and arrived home a bit after 11.
The next day was just as packed. After school, I met up with a student from Málaga getting his doctorate in Arabic at the University of Zaragoza. We trade languages: he teaches me Arabic for a while, then we chat in English. After saying goodbye (he is leaving to study abroad in Morocco), I rushed to my violin lesson. I didn’t end up leaving the Escuela until 9:45, since I am joining (if they don’t kick me out for my low talent level!) the school’s (once again, the music school, not SYA) newly-formed band. There are 13 of us, with a nice woodwinds section, a brass section, a drummer, and 4 violinists (including me). And although it is hard to believe, I am not the worst, which is always a relief! However, I definitely need to practice a lot…I miss the vibraphone, where I didn’t have to worry about playing the wrong note because of moving my finger half a centimeter! The teacher was constantly correcting my playing posture and bow hold…even after a 4 year period of not playing, old (bad!) habits die hard!


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