Am I really “Studying?”
This could be what you’re thinking if you’ve read through my posts. A brief mention of “oh classes are good” here and there, but not much more than that. I promise that I am taking classes; although, I have found out that they aren’t necessarily the most important part of study abroad. Anyway, I figured (now that classes are over) I could go a bit more in-depth on what they were like.
General Overview: None of my classes were too hard, and they definitely weren’t the most important thing about my life in Buenos Aires. (Don’t worry, family, even though they weren’t the most important part, I still passed everything). My grades transfer back to my university at home as Pass/Fail, so they don’t impact my GPA at all. All of my classes were in Spanish. Here’s a little bit more about each of them.
Gramatica y Literatura: This was by far my favorite class. Our teacher would start each class with “Preguntas? Sobre gramatica? Sobre Buenos Aires? Sobre la vida?” Which means “Questions? About grammar? Buenos Aires? About life?” Leo was so passionate about what he was teaching that it made me want to learn everything I possibly could about Latin American literature. He was also SO patient with all of our mistakes and things we didn’t understand; not to mention, he gave some really great restaurant (and other things to do in Buenos Aires) recommendations. Other than that, we focused a lot on the subjunctive tense, and I definitely got better at using that. The grammar half of this class was really nice because it taught slang and the different dialect that Argentines use. In general, it just made me feel like I wasn’t making a million billion mistakes while talking to the general population.
Cine Argentino: This wasn’t the real name of this class, but it’s what we called it. There were two parts to this class – one part where we watched Argentine films and learned about the history and cultura of them, and another where we learned about the different types of scripts, planes, and generally how to produce a film. It was interesting, and for our final project we made a short film in Spanish .
Teatro Argentino: Okay this class was so fun and silly; it was great. We played improve games, which is hard enough in your first language, but they helped better my Spanish by miles and miles. In the middle of the semester, our teacher broke her collarbone, so we had a substitute who was so funny and she helped us use movement to connect to text (read: we had a couple dance parties, which was incredible). For our final project we did an obra called La Isla Desierta, which was so funny and ridiculous, but like Amy Poehler says, “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
Politicas Latinoamericanas: This was arguably my hardest class. It focused a lot on the history of Latin America and their politics. The vocabulary was hard, and the way the teacher wrote her notes on the board was really difficult to read. It was also a lot of theory on political science, such as “what is a revolution?” and that kind of thing. I wasn’t really in love with this class.
I learned a lot from my classes, but I quickly realized that they weren’t the most important part of my time in Buenos Aires. Traveling the country, experiencing the culture; those were the most important things. The classes weren’t hard because they wanted us to spend more time experiencing the cultura of the city and what it had to offer, and that was really where I learned the most.