Hola hola a todos, y gracias para leyendo. Welcome to part two of this week’s Megapost (check HERE for part one), and I look forward to expounding more on this week’s adventures. When I last left you, we had just finished a lovely adventure through the streets of Buenos Aires for St. Patrick’s day. I had been in Buenos Aires for about 3 weeks, and have absolutely fallen for the place. I love speaking Spanish, and I can feel my confidence with the language growing. I love the city, and how there is always something to do and good people to do it with. I love the people, and the kindness they show to strangers. And I have been blessed with some pretty excellent experiences in Argentina so far; I’ve been to oceans, rivers, and some of the most spectacular places that Buenos Aires has to offer.
But, like all things, the utter revelry that I’ve been experiencing for here has come to an end, and in the words of Sam Cooke, A Change Is Gonna Come. School has officially started! Last week, I had my first classes at the Fundacion Universidad del Cine (lovingly dubbed the FUC (pronounced “Fook”)), and I am welcome this next step into life in Buenos Aires. The FUC is a small school; only about 1,000 students (including grad students) attend, and it only occupies 4 buildings on a street in San Telmo. I almost walked past it the on my first day of class. I dig the small school vibe, though. It reminds me of Whitman in the sense that you have the opportunity to make really meaningful connections with your professors, and I’m definitely to take advantage of that here. Out of the four classes that I’m taking (History of Argentine Cinema, Advanced Castellano, Filmmaking and Production, and Sound Design and Orchestration), three of them have only 3 students. I’m in heaven.
Now, some of y’all who know me might be thinking, “But hold up Dylan. You’re a physics major. You like math and natural science and computer science. Why on earth are you taking an about-face into the realm of Film Studies? Do you even know what that major is?” The short answer is: I have no real idea what I’m doing. But that’s kinda the point. I didn’t come to Argentina to keep doing what I’m used to, I came here seeking change, and that’s hopefully what I’m about to experience. I’m fortunate enough to not have to fulfill any major requirements for Whitman while I’m in Buenos Aires, and so the only thing I need to knock out while I’m here are classes in the humanities realm. Not only do Film Studies classes do that for me, but they’re fun! My professors are awesome and knowledgable and super cool (my filmmaking Prof has already invited me to play tennis and go climbing with him), and I’m sure that I’m gonna learn a bunch. Plus, now I get to hang out with artsy film kids who dress cooler than me and have educated opinions on the meaning of life. And my school has really hip decor. This is gonna be awesome. [Gallery not found]
And as if it wasn’t enough to have started school such an awesome program (the film studies concentration people here have already taken me out to 2 different meals as part of the “orientation”), IFSA upped the game by taking all the students in the film/literature concentrations (the “Artsy” kids) to an extraordinary concert by the Orquestra Típica Fernández Fierro (Heretofore referred as the “OTFF”, because I don’t wanna type that out every time). It was so so so fun. The show was in this dive bar in this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that opened into a soundstage. The program paid for the tickets AND our food and drinks, so I split an excellent bottle of wine with some of my new UW-Madison friends and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Now, it’s really tough to describe a show by the OTFF, but I’ll do my best (check out the video I linked to really understand). Essentially, this group plays traditional Argentine tango music, but all the musicians are young and cool and play with unbelievable passion and energy. It’s like “Apocalyptica” meets tango. I was in a wonderful musical trance the whole time, and while I watched I reflected on how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to experience so many cool things in such a short amount of time here.
BUT THE FUN DOESN’T STOP THERE OH NO. I finished classes for the week on Thursday (woo I have a four-day weekend every week woo), so naturally some good, clean fun was in order. The weekend before, I had met a few other international students from Mexico, and they had mentioned that they live in an apartment near Recoleta and that I should come over sometime. Well, that “sometime” was this weekend, apparently, as my dear friend Stephanie (yes, this is your shoutout Be stoked) invited myself and some other pals over to this new friend’s apartment for some good old-fashioned shenanigans. As this is a public blog viewed by both my Grandmothers, I won’t entail precisely what went down, but what I did love about that night was how fun it was to be hanging out with other international students (Mexico, USA, Paraguay) all the while speaking Spanish and swapping stories. And I was in Argentina! And it was 5 AM on a Thursday night (Friday morning?) How cultured can I guy get!? (Well, much more, I’m sure, but I felt pretty darn awesome.)
So now, here I am, the the cusp of another weekend in which I am headed to Uruguay with the whole program (and you can be sure that I’m gonna write about that in a future post), and I’m feeling happy and full of life. This place is incredible, and while I’m starting to feel the vague hints of cultural separation from the US (mainly I’m just tired of people looking down my nose at me once they realize I’m from the states. My Spanish is good, okay!), I’m too busy enjoying life here to mind. Buenos Aires, stay magical. And to everyone reading this, thanks for making it this far. We’ll stay in touch. ALSO, be sure to check out part one of my Megapost here.