In my first post of the semester, I listed three goals:
- Play volleyball at University of Granada
- Find graphic novels for Spanish thesis artifacts
- Watch the Super Bowl in a sports bar (Go, Seahawks!)
Here, I will reflect on them…
Football: My grand plan to watch the Super Bowl at a bar flopped when I realized that it started at midnight because of the time difference and I had 8:40 class the next day. I settled for checking the live stats until halftime, which may have been better because I went to bed happy, unaware of the loss to come.
Thesis: So far, I have made two purchases at a youth literature bookshop in my neighborhood.
Volleyball: At the beginning of the semester, I went to volleyball practice with the University of Granada team with four other girls from IES. After about a month, for various reasons—sickness, schedule changes (re: natural selection)—I was the only one still attending practice. At the end of March, the coach invited me to a competition. Unbeknownst to me, the tournament was the championship for all of Andalucía, so winning also earned us a berth to the national tournament. At the awards ceremony, we received medals while crammed onto a not-quite-big-enough podium as the soundtrack from Chariots of Fire played in the background.
This tournament also boasts an annual tradition of initiation for the novatas, or new players. The older players drew mustaches, uni-brows and beards on our faces with eyeliner. Then the five us had to walk downstairs to dinner wearing sports bras over our jackets and connected at the hip by shared pairs of sweatpants while also singing slightly obscene songs. When we finally stumbled into the buffet, the host, bless his heart, said that we could not enter the restaurant attached to one another. To the older girls’ chagrin and my quiet joy, we separated and ate normally.
In addition to our group shenanigans, we were each assigned individual tasks—mine was to sing I Will Always Love You in the hotel lobby. (It’s a sign of what kind of day you’re having when it’s a relief to be singing Whitney Houston.) Then we went to the dance floor for a few songs. For two surreal minutes an older woman led me in a pasodoble (two-step). Her contingent of retirees applauded when I successfully completed the first turn.
Please check back in a few days to read about the national tournament!