Classes are still going pretty well. Twentieth century Spanish literature involves a lot of intense reading (obviously) but we do a lot in class- group work, assignments, projects. Varieties of Spanish is painfully boring for the most part, because for the first hour and ten minutes the professor just lectures without stopping. The fact that it's a morning class and the classroom is really warm does not make it any easier to pay attention; I've already seen at least three students nod off during his rambling. The last part is kind of interesting because he teaches us popular phrases and idioms, but that's only for about twenty minutes of the hour and a half class. Latinamerican literature and civilicion and culture of Spain are about the same, with a lot of lecturing, although there's at least a little discussion in those two. I'm also taking oral and written production, which I didn't sign up for but apparently is required, and it's probably my favorite class, just because we spend the whole time talking about completely random stuff. It's the smallest class- I think there's less than ten of us- so it makes the conversations a lot more fun, and it's really good practice with the language, of course. I can already tell my comprehension is improving, and I think my speaking skills slowly are as well.
Life with the host family is the one downside to all of this. I'm grateful to have someone to stay with, of course; I don't have to worry about meals, I get to practice my Spanish, and I get to see how a Spanish family lives. But I've gotten so used to living on my own for the past two and a half years (well, in a dorm, but still with more independence than high school) that living somewhere where I have to be home at a certain time for meals or let someone know whenever I want to go out is getting to be really annoying. Mamache does not make the experience any easier. Frankly, she scares me, and I'm pretty sure Kristen and Alisha feel the same way. She gets so impatient and frustrated if we don't understand what she's saying (which is most of the time; her Spanish is SO hard to understand because she kind of mumbles it). She acts like we're an inconvenience, in the way when the cleaning lady's here, having to plan around our class schedules (even though we had no control over those), having trouble finding certain foods for us (well, that's more because of Alisha-she can't eat gluten- but I feel so bad whenever Mamache complains about it because it's not something Alisha can change). At the same time, she freaks out whenever we mention travelling anywhere, even if it's just for a few days, like she'll miss us horribly, even though half the time it doesn't seem like she even wants us in the house. According to a girl Kristen met who lived with Mamache last semester, you just can't win. At least it's good to know that it's not just us. Yeah...that's a huge consolation. At least Rafael's cool. He's a lot more patient with us, and actually seems to enjoy explaining different Spanish words or phrases, which is a great help.
Okay, on to a lighter topic...I still LOVE the night life here. We went to a new bar last night, Poe. A friend of mine who came here last summer told me about it but I had no idea where it was until now. It's small, get's crowded really quickly, but still has a relaxed, comfortable feel. It's run by this cool old British guy, so we don't really get to practice Spanish...oh, well. That's what salsa night at R.S. is for. The tapas and drinks are delicious. I tried absinthe for the first time too, which really wasn't as much as people make it out to be, although it was cool the way the bartender set it on fire. It definitely burns going down (not because of the fire...he blew that out, obviously...I just mean the alcohol...) but it tastes like licorice, which is cool. The bar is really close to the residence halls, too, so I met a couple other CLM students; one was actually from Minnetonka, so it was nice finding another Minnesotan.
Anyway, not much else to report right now. I'm going to Madrid next weekend, so hopefully I'll have a lot to write about after that!