Friday, April 27, 2007

Foam party

I am a little crazy with a paper I have to write for my Honors class. In my opinion it is very long, the vocabulary is very specific and sometimes I don't know how to express my ideas. But don't panic, I have already write eight pages. I can do it!! Last week I gave a draft of the project to my professor and he said it was excellent!
Yesterday I was in the library most of the afternoon and then I decided to go to the Foam party for one hour or something.
So I met with some friends in Olmsted and we went to the terrace. There were a lot of people, but most of my friends didn't go inside because they didn't want to be wet.
I was there for about an hour, then I went back to my dorm, Carpenter. I took a shower and I went back to the library until 1 a.m. Productive day!

The foam party
Fiesta de la espuma 002
With Fiona and Angel
Fiona, Rita y Angel
My feet and legs after the party
Mis pies

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Just 18 days!!

In just 18 I am leaving to China and in less days the semester is over. I cannot believe it. This year was so fast!
Next week is the last one with classes, I have to talk with my students of Spanish about the final exam, finish some final papers and go to some classes.
The last week is the finals week, but I think that this year I don't have any exam to study. For all of my classes I have to do long projects, or the papers where due during all the semester. I really prefer this system, because I don't like study just for a final exam. I prefer study the concept and the put them in practice. So, yes, the decision about the classes I took this semester was good.
This week the campus is pretty, there are a lot of tulips, which is probably my favorite flower after daisies. They told me to go to Pella next weekend because there is a festival and there are a lot of tulips.
On Wednesday, we made a surprise birthday party at Mars Cafe. It was Miryam's birthday. We didn't expect so many people, but the birthday cake was big enough and all of us could taste it.

Birthday cake
Happy Birthday
At Mars Cafe with Miryam

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good news

In the last post, I wrote that I have had more news to tell you. The most important one is that I have been accepted to do a course during summer.
I applied to some programs and I was accepted to do one in Wales and another in China. Finally I decided to take the China one. So after my trip with Drake University, I will stay there for another nine weeks.
Now, I don't want to complain but I have so many things to decide and look at that it is going to be hard to do everything. And the finals week is arriving.
So, I have decided to make two lists with the things I have to do and the information I have to look at depending of the program: health insurance, money, passport & visa, baggage, clothes, laptop, hospitals, weather conditions, Chinese dictionary, information about the places, batteries for the camera, vaccines, flight tickets to come back to Des Moines in August, tickets to go back to Spain, etc.
I am sure that I am forgetting things. Ok, I am a world traveler since five years ago and I have lived a lot of difficult situations with people like lost baggage when I arrived here, my camera was stolen in Rome, my phone was stolen in Madrid, a friend fell down in a street in Greece and went to hospital for two months, a person threw her baggage to the trash without taking her flight tickets in Athens, etc.
But this situation is different. It is Asia. I have never been there before and I do not know Chinese at all. I am nervous, happy, but above all excited.
Mapa de China

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Busy weekend

The weekend started on Friday and since that I didn't stop. Relays week is full of activities and things going on. I want to go to all of them, but some times is hard.
On Friday I went bowling with some of my floor friends and some people from Crawford Hall. From my floor we were only four, but we had a good time together. We play two games and I won one of them.
On Saturday I went to see a tennis game. I like tennis and one of the players at Drake tennis team is from Spain and he plays really well. I was just there for the double game and I saw the beginning of the single game and I went to street painting.

Duhita, Meagan, me and Prudence
Las mejores
With my RA
Duhita y Rita
Sergi and his friend while playing
Sergi 003
People watching the tennis game

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Street Painting

Today was a great day! And last week was a great week! I am going to start with today and in other post I will talk about other things that have happened to me.
So, today was Street Painting at Drake. The most colorful day at this university, where the students paint a street next to the library. The street was full of people and all of us finished the day with more paint in our clothes and bodies than in the street.
I was painting for more than three hours, I painted at La Fuerza Latina painting and I painted a lot of friends' clothes and faces.
I have wonderful time with my friends. There were also drinks and ice creams for free. But the moment of the shower appeared and it was hard to take off all the painting from my hair. I think I am going to have it all this week.
Drake 2007 painting
People painting
Cammeo, Rita and Linda
My crazy hair and face
Taking a shower

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Arlington Cemetery

On Sunday I went to Arlington Cemetery. I saw the change of guard, Arlington's house, president John F. Kennedy gravesite, the tomb of the unknowns, and most of the cementery in a tour by bus.

Arlington Cemetery
I think the change of guard happened when it was raining the most.
Cambio de guardia 005
Kennedy's gravesite
Tumba de Kennedy 002
Arlington's house
Arlington's House

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Testudo is a turtle and it is Maryland University's mascot. "For over sixty years, he has been the symbol for this campus, overseeing us in good times and bad. It is not easy work, and Testudo has experienced firsthand the dangers involved in being a source of campus pride," it says the web page.
As you know, I really like Spike and I am not going to change my mascot now.

Testudo in front of the library
Tortuga de Ia uni de  Maryland
A colorful Testudo at the Life Center
Tortuga de Ia uni de  Maryland 002
Spike in a basketball game

Monday, April 16, 2007

Last trip until China

Yes, I made another trip this past weekend. I went to Maryland to see another friend and her family that I didn't see since 2001.
In this case, she is studying at Maryland University, so I visited her campus, Baltimore and Washington D.C. It was amazing although it was raining all the time.
I arrived on Friday night after a flight from Des Moines to Minneapolis and then D.C. My friend went to the airport and we were talking for a long time.
On Saturday, I went with her to serve lunch at a homeless shelter that is for women and their children. It was sad to see the children and her mums without anything. The worst part was when the sock of a 3-year boy got wet and he didn't have other socks to wear. It is diffult to understand why people have so many children (in some cases four) when they can mantain them, but I cannot judge them because I have no say in it.

Afterwards, I went sailing for the first time in my life in the Baltimore harbor. I don't know how to describe it because at the begining the boat was moving a lot but then, I really enjoyed it.
We left Baltimore and we decided to go to D.C. We walked around the war memorials for more than three hours. So, we were very wet and tired after a great but rainy day.

Some children
American flags next to the Washington Memorial
Donna and I

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bulldogs are ready

We are getting ready to Relays. All the campus was decorated yesterday with pretty painted Bulldogs! I love them!
Yesterday it was also Blitz Day on campus. From 4 to 7 p.m. there was a picnic buffet and Olmsted Center was full of people.
They were also taking a picture of some students with Spike to send it to a Drake alumni 98, Zach Johnson, who won the Augusta National Golf Club.
Sodexho's Bulldog
Drake´s Bulldog 017
Senate's Bulldog
Drake´s Bulldog 016
My favorite Bulldog
Drake´s Bulldog 006
With some friends
Drake´s Bulldog 009
Having fun before the picnic
Playing with a friend
Christen y Rita

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Snowing again

The bad weather has came to visit us. Yesterday the weather was bad and today when I woke up I saw that it was very white, I went to the window and I saw snow and more snow... I am tired of this weather, I want sunny days to walk around the campus with my friends and enjoy barbeques, games or just the walks from my dorm to Meredith.
Monday and Tuesday were crazy. I was working on my magazine, designing some features and departments pages. I spent a lot of hours working on it, but I am not very happy with the features pages I did. I will wait until Monday when my professor will give them back to me.
In Honors class I wrote a paper about a photographer from National Geographic magazine, called Michael Nichols.
I am working on my final paper for this class, it is a 25 page paper and I am going to write about the Prestige, a natural catastrophe that happened in Spain years ago.

Snowing again
Snow again

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

First Spring BBQ

On Sunday I went to a barbeque organized by the Rainbow Union at the CAYA (Come as you are) house. This was the first BBQ in a long time, probably the last one I to went was in September.
There were a lot of people and Rachel was grilling hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs. The weather outside was cold so we stayed inside most of the time.
I was there just for two hours because I had a lot of homework, so around 3 p.m. I wen to the library to finish a paper for my Honors class and then I went to Meredith to finish a web page about Mars Cafe for my JMC 59 class.
CAYA house
Rachel cooking

Sunday, April 8, 2007

ISA Formal

On Friday I went to the ISA Formal (International Student Association).
I met with my friends at Olmsted Center and we went by limo to a hotel Downtown Des Moines to have dinner and dance.
We arrived at the hotel around 8 p.m. and the dinner was ready to start. We ate salad, beef or chicken, chocolate cake and coffee. The best surprise was that there was bread! Like Spanish bread that I miss a lot!
When the dinner finished they gave some awards and I won the last one, probably the funniest, called "I is international student of the year." Ok, my English is not perfect but people understand me and I understand them, so we can talk and have conversations! It was very funny, because one of my friends support a campaign for me and I won.
One of my friends won "The best Malaysian student of the year," my RA won another one also, etc..
Then, the dance started and we had so much fun. I really liked it because we were around 120 people from countries all over the world and I know most of them.

Meeting in Olmsted
Inside the limo
Limo baby!
People from my table and other internationals
Our table
My award: "My little elephant"
Rita y "Mi elefante"
With "The Malaysian student of the year"
Fiona y Rita 002
Bailando 002

Monday, April 2, 2007

Class papers, projects, etc.

And how are the things going at class? I think they are going really well. I love my classes this semester.
The classes are harder this semester than last one but I think I can do it and pass all of them before I go to China!
Just 42 days to go to China and less to finish this great academic year (I am sad every time I think about it).
At JMC 98 I have to do a web page with a classmate with the stories my other classmates have written about the topic "Working in Iowa." I also have to visit the "Des Moines Register" and write a paper about the work of the web editor. This is my favorite class and I really like the things we have done with professor Richardson.
At JMC 59 I have to design a web page about the same topic I took the pictures before (Mars Cafe). I started it this morning and I have to finish by Monday, April 9th.
At JMC 119, we are working in the design of our magazines, working with InDesign and doiing the Business Plan. This class is really hard for me because it is very specific and I did not have any other magazine class before.
At Honors 84 I have to finish a paper of 5-6 pages about Ansel Adams or other photographers works, I have to read a book and I have to work on my final paper (25 pages) about the Prestige Catastrophe that happened in Spain some years ago.
So I am busy during these last weeks but I am going to spend time with friends, around campus and doing homework.
This Friday is the ISA (International Student Association) Formal. And this is what is going on: "Start the evening with a limousine ride to the hotel located in downtown Des Moines and enjoy great food, music and much more..."

Mars Cafe web page outline- Boceto para la página web de Mars Cafe
Mars Cafe web page

Time for friends

This weekend was just great. I went to Maryland to see some friends that I did not see since 2001. I was in the United States, at Westlake High School with an exchange program and I met really nice people.
Now, six years later I saw them again. I left on Thursday because I did not have class and I was there until yesterday.
I visited Ocean City, Salisbury, Berlin (not Germany!) and I saw a lot of American houses. I love being in a car and just see the landscape because it is so different from Spain.
I really miss the Ocean in Iowa, so this weekend I was close to it and I ate some seafood and homemade food. Now I have to say that I like American food.
On Friday I spent almost all the day doing homework while my friends were working. Then I have dinner with them. On Saturday I visited Ocean City and Berlin. And Sunday was time to come back to Drake.

With Brenda- Con Brenda
Ocean City I
Ocean City II
Ocean City III
Ocean City IV

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