On My Literature Class and a Special Lecture

Ahem, well, I don’t really know how to begin this post. There are too many feelings floating around inside my chest right now.

I’ll just say that I attended a very unexpected and different lecture today.

The presentation was given in a full speed Spanish. I’m proud to say that I somewhat understood most of it, and I’m impressed to the point of being overwhelmed with how eloquent the presenter was. His words come flawlessly in a fluid string. It was incredible.

Ah, did I mention he is from Catalonia?

Yes, THE Catalonia, the home of Marc Marquez and Marc Bartra. That should be a big giveaway, so I won’t go into further details of what I was thinking…

(Here’s another hint: What if Marc was here right now. Sigh, imagination takes you too far).

But back to the story.

The presenter is the second person from Spain that I have ever met. Who is the first one, then, you may ask? Well, the first one was at the lecture, too. This one is from Castile and Leon. He gives off a totally different sensation than the Catalan. He didn’t even bother to take a glance of the people coming into the room. But I will have to admit that he is polite for asking the people sitting behind him if they could see. (Note, the actual first Spanish person I know is my friend. We went to middle school together, but I did not find out she is Spanish until high school. But anyway).

Call me a creeper, but I like to take note of how different people from different cultures act and interact. I guess I have a disease of looking into stereotypes and finding out if they were true. Just to clarify and be politically correct, stereotyping is bad – yes, I know, that’s not what I’m doing here. I am not aligning the people to their respective stereotypes right after I find out what “group” they are from ; I just like to compare and contrast how a person really is versus the stereotype that the society or the other groups other than his own have branded upon him. 

To be honest and admittedly politically incorrect, there is usually a truth, no matter how small, in every stereotype. It’s not just like a stereotype just magically pops out of somewhere. Still, it is important to keep in mind that an individual does not represent his entire group. I repeat, please keep that in mind.

With that said, it is interesting to see how different the two Spaniards were. The Catalan appeared slightly more friendly and laid back, while the Castilian was extremely serious, aloof, but polite.

Either way, they both seem a little distant. Maybe it was just because of the setting? But it got me wondering about how difficult it might be to be friends with the locals over there. I know it sounds stupid, but I’m not going to lie about it. Not here.

But I did read somewhere from the oh-so-reliable internet that everyone gets more “friendly” in the summer, at night, on the beach, with a drink. Well, I have yet to be in that situation, so I can’t really tell for sure. I guess this is where the concept of common sense comes in, but I don’t possess much of it sometimes.

But enough with that, let’s talk about the exciting world of Spanish literature.

No, seriously, it has slowly becoming one of my most favorite classes of the semester.

Despite the fact that I often times have not got a single clue know what the Spanish authors from several centuries ago were writing about, I try to understand the text and look up every word that I don’t know. But that’s not enough. You really have to understand the elements of Spanish poetry and play with the words, re-arranging them in such a way so that it makes sense. Most important of all, you can’t take things literally – which is what I tend to do. I have to admit that I usually feel like an illiterate simpleton while sitting in the class. Actually, I feel like that at home, too, since this class assigns homework everyday.

Nonetheless, it seems like I learn a lot in this class – about everything from the Spanish history, the history of Spanish literature, the Spanish writers and their works, elements of a Spanish poem, etc., etc. It does make me feel more sophisticated, complex, learned, and (somehow it doesn’t feel right saying this) cultured.

Right now we are studying Romanticism, which is right up their in my alley, my favorite alley. For a lack of a better verb, I dig it. Although I doubt that I could ever produce such a thorough and sophisticated works like the authors from this period had done, I totally understand their points of view… It’s scary to think that I am just like them, except for the fact that I can’t seem to express my feelings so eloquently. What we have in common is the desire for the “ideal”. We have an insatiable thirst that is impossible to satisfy. We chase after dreams that can never take a concrete or form. We know that, but we still keep reaching out our hands. We think of beauty in an unrealistic terms and we expect so much from the opposite sex. They need to fit into our ideal image somehow. If they don’t, well, too bad.

Behind the grandeur of their descriptive and imaginative words, the poets had been nothing but dreamers who failed in their marriages in real life. Here I stop finding things in common with them. Fear tells me so.

But that’s it for now. I should go back to my studies. It’s been ages since I have had a Friday off. I’m not looking forward to wasting it again like I normally do with…well… the other days.








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