Club music: It’s a thing

First “It’s a thing” is apparently a thing on the west coast. I have to give a shout out to my good friend Isabelle who taught me that wisdom as she goodheartedly mocked my Midwestern accent. Apparently that is also “a thing.”

While I may not be on board with her analysis of my strong and hilarious Midwestern accent, i am sure about one thing. Club music in Mallorca. It’s a thing. It’s a thing in a big way.

It is in fact impossible to escape the american pop remakes, the bouncing beets of euro pop, and the songs which simply demand that you jump up and down like you are cool. While this type of music is not inherently bad, in fact in it’s place it can be the best kind of music, it does have a place. People of europe, please learn this.

While call me maybe was the anthem of coffee shops, shopping center, car speakers, and sweaty clubs alike, you know that one; right? In fact I bet you are probably singing it in your head. (just in case you are wondering, I won’t be calling you)

No matter what I think about this cluby music, it is an integral part of my experience here. I don’t think I will remember gangam style without remembering the first time I heard it in a hotel room in Madrid. I won’t be able to hear the beat of call me maybe without thinking of 100 spaniards singing words that were almost “call me maybe” but not quite.

This weeks word is related to just that. A true Spanish pop song. (Shout out to my advisor Antonia who sent me the link) Give it a listen and let me know what your thoughts are on club music in Europe because club music: It’s a thing.

Top 12 from 2012

This post is long past due and something I have wanted to do for more than a month now. Here are 12 awesome things from 2012. Without further ado, here they are in chronological order.

  1. Madison with the BF: I spent the week after New Year’s with my my boyfriend. I spent the week being shown off (introduced) to family and friends and exploring the beautiful city of Madison, WI.
  2. Dance Marathon: I danced FTK (for the kids) at U Iowa’s Dance Marathon. A 24 hour dance celebration (participants are not supposed to sit for down from 6 pm Friday night until 6 pm Saturday night.)that works to raise money for children’s cancer. (more info here) It was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I didn’t make it all the way. I confess. I almost feinted at the end from exhaustion. I would not trade if for the world. I don’t think I will do it again.
  3. Jar meal: My BF and I save all of the money we find, or bet each other, for fun spending only. Slowly quarters, nickles and dimes go into the jar. Our first jar money purchase was a meal for under 10 dollars.
  4. Easter: My best friends and I continued our tradition of celebrating Easter together. After a month of lent it felt great to cook meat and sweets to share with friends.
  5. Being the National Communication’s Coordinator (NCC) for The University of Iowa Associate Residence Halls (ARH) This one doesn’t really have a time, it is several things in one. In 2012 that meant winning the school of the year award in our region, along with several others. That meant organizing three different schools to go together to Boulder, CO. That meant all of the great memories with ARH and NRHH
  6. Hunting and Fishing with my dad: Maybe this makes me SUPER Midwestern  Maybe this makes me sentimental. Maybe those things are both true, but either way, I am always happy to spend what time I can just my dad and I doing our things. Be it fish, foul, or bear.
  7. Moving to Spain: I won’t blither on about this too much. Read back posts if want that (joking…mostly). Let me just say it has been one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. It all began here (if you are interested)
  8. Madrid: Our first trip with CIEE, just a few weeks into our program, we were off to Madrid for a long weekend. We bonded as a group and I began to realize what this was all about. Check out my post from the time, Madrid in My Lense. 
  9. Sweden: The 5 days I spent in Sweden were amazing. I have never been to a place so different yet so like where I am from. I could read the body language of people. I could see for the first time where my people come from. It was beautiful and so like home I cried on the bus after I woke up from a nap and thought I was home for a minuet. (Don’t tell anyone it is a secret). Posts from that trip: Hello Sweden!, Monday Morning Sunset: StockholmMonday Morning Sunset: SwedenWhat’s Up in Uppsala and, Top Ten Surprises from Sweden.
  10. Peninsula with the parentals: Spending the holidays with my Dad and Connie was great. It was great to get to see them again. It was enchanting to spend Christmas in Segovia, and the New Year in Madrid.

Monday Morning Sunset: Home

Sometimes I miss home. You might call me crazy but I miss the snow. I miss the river I live by, both of them actually. I miss lakes and people who seek English everywhere. I miss birds I can identify by their sounds and corn fields no one misses corn fields sorry. They are boring after five min. Though I do miss bagels and dairy queens and chipotle. So today is a sunset from my where I lived my first year in college. I might of had a crazy roommate, but I did  have a good view.

A home I used to know. AND SNOW!

A home I used to know. AND SNOW!

Friday Top Ten: Things I am grateful for

It is the great day of turkey and thanks in the US right now and my feeling of nostalgia and homesickness are at a new high for me. This will be the first holiday that I will miss with my family, ever. To be honest I have been missing all of the things and people I left at home and wish I could visit, at least for Thanksgiving. In all of these moments of self pity about being half way around the world I thought it was an opportune moment to reflect on the top 10 things I am grateful for here in Spain.

  1. First and foremost I am grateful for the parents who support me financially and emotionally, the friends who don’t make me feel like I am missing out too much, and a boyfriend who is patient and kind.
  2. My family here in Palma, they make me feel loved and are ever patient with me. Plus, my madre is a great cook, which makes my stomach SUPER happy.
  3. That I get the chance to study in one of the most beautiful places on earth. A place which is so unlike where I am from and in which I find new things to delight me every day.
  4. The two little rat dogs that have stolen my heart and are warming my lap as I write this. They are so ugly they are cute and they are as sweet as can be.
  5. My bus pass. It is nearly impossible for Americans to get one, but CIEE worked tirelessly to get through the red tape of Spain. Now I pay 1/4 of the cost each month to get to and from school, I get to use the fast lane, AND my card beeps when I use it.
  6. Skype. this one might be cheating a little, but I am REALLY grateful for it. It lets me see and talk to family 5,000 miles away and last time I checked that was pretty amazing.
  7. Snail mail. I have always loved getting letters and packages, but hear they have taken on such a greater importance. Each time one comes it is like someone is sending me a little bit of themselves. I read letters over and over. I even open packages in a new way, more slowly and with more appreciation because they are so hard to send to Spain.
  8. Fire places. My family may not turn their heat on when it gets cold, but there is almost always a fire in the fire place at night. Plus we grill in the fireplace at least once a week. I never expected a luxury like a fireplace and it always make me feel all warm inside.
  9. I cannot forget all of my friends here in Spain. They make my life crazy and keep me a little more sane and centered.
  10. That I get cook not only my first Thanksgiving meal, but that I am going to get to share it with all of my friends here in Palma, for many of whom this will be their first Thanksgiving.

T-2 Hours

I can’t remember the last time I felt this way on the first day of school. Maybe it was the first day of kindergarten, or the first day of high school, I know I was certainly better at hiding my nervous stomach on the first day of college, but not today. Today in T-2 hours I start my first university class in Spain and I am beyond words  nervous. The strange mix of adrenaline, excitement, apprehension and pure dread running through my system made it hard to eat this morning. This morning I think I tried on 4 outfit already and I am still on the fence about this one.

Why all the nerves? Because in T-2 hours I find out if I can do this. In T-2 hours I learn if I will sink or float as I learn how to swim. In T-2 hours I will be sitting next to people who speak no English and probably don’t care who I am or where I am from. In T-2 hours the study part of study abroad becomes real, the part vacation atmosphere will begin to fade, as it must, and reality will begin to set in. In T-10 hours it will be over and I will relax, but for now the T-2 monster, my unknown monster, is growling behind a curtain of doubt and I’m giddy and nervous at the same time.

Until next time, what was the last time you had a T-2 hour monster hiding in your shadows? Do you have any advice?