Madrid is finally starting to feel cold! Surprisingly, it’s not much different than the weather that I’m used to in Texas. School definitely picked up the pace this month and has taken up a lot more time than in the previous months. One of the greatest challenges of this month has been juggling all of the 5 group projects that I have! I was aware of all of the due dates and presentations at the end of the month, but as usual, the deadlines always come faster than you imagine.
Unsurprisingly, one of the greater difficulties that I faced throughout the entire semester was adjusting to the different work styles with my group partners of different cultural backgrounds. While group projects are hardly ever easy to begin with, normal issues and communication problems are only magnified when a group of people of different backgrounds come together. I’d say this month was definitely the time in which I learned and developed the most academically. I had to adapt myself to working with people of Canadian, English, Spanish, French, Mexican, and Italian backgrounds. Working with such a diverse group of people was unlike anything I had ever experienced before at A&M. Although it was tough at times, I am ultimately thankful that I had this opportunity because it allowed me to develop my own communication skills and adaptability to work with people backgrounds successfully.
Aside from the noteworthy higher amount of school work during this month, I was finally able to visit Granada, a city that I wanted to see since the beginning of the semester. If there is a city in Spain that epitomizes the cultural richness and tradition of the country, it would be Granada. It has incredibly strong Moorish influence, best seen by the Alhambra, a Moorish palace that was completed in 1353. The architecture is unlike anything I had seen before; the geometric stalactite carvings in the ceilings of the palace were astoundingly beautiful and unique. The entire palace was built to feel like a water oasis; this is so because of the symbolic importance of water in the moorish religious culture. Each ceiling felt like looking through an incredible kaleidoscope. Outside of the Alhambra, I was also able to experience a Hamam, an Arabic bath. Overall, Granada was definitely one of my favorite cities to visit.
At the end of the month, I was lucky enough to have my parents meet me in Barcelona for a weekend. It was such a special treat to experience Spanish culture with my family by my side. I was able to visit the Casa Batllo, Park Guell, and Montjuic. One of my favorite aspects about this trip was the fact that I was able to try really great food. Gaudi’s architecture never failed to surprise me with its total uniqueness and originality. His architectural style is definitely one that I will remember for the rest of my life. I definitely see myself coming back to Barcelona later in my life!